Can’t believe I am typing these words already but 2009 is coming to a close rather quickly. One of the things I am doing for 2010 and 2011 is look and plan further out so that the weeks, months and years don’t slip by without intentional thought put into them as to what I am praying God will do in that time.
The first thing I want to address is conferences. In a time where budgets are getting smaller and conferences budgets seem to be the first to take a hit. I think it is more important than ever that you take a look at what is out there and weigh the good and the bad of each. So let me tell you about where I am going this year and why.
Napkin Conference – I love the vision of this conference. To be a conference that is more about helping people clairify and even facilitate the dreams, ideas and visions God has given folks to do ministry different. As I look at everyone who is going to be speaking two things stand out to me. 1. They almost all children’s pastors currently serving in a local church. I am a huge fan of hearing other kids guys who are still doing the work of the ministry not just retelling war stories of years past. To me how many of the speakers are currently pastors is a major part of what makes me decide to go to a conference. I am a huge believer in the local church. I believe that the church is God’s idea and is the vehicle he uses to reach a lost and dying world. Did I mention that it was in Vegas, includes a Vegas show in the registration. It should be a hoot can’t wait to see some old friends and make some new ones. 10$ Reserves your spot sign up now! Make sure you tell them Sam sent you.
Pipeline Conference – This is a regional conference our church does. The primary purpose is training for our own people the secondary purpose is to be a regional resource to our area. I believe that there will be more of these in the future. If the economy continues to sour expect many more of these to pop up all over.
Orange Conference – I am going to orange this year again for me it is an opportunity to network with other kids people. I love hear how and what other kids guys/gals are doing. I also love how Orange is all about leveraging our influence to build with the families we serve. That the family is more important that any program we do. Just like the local church, I believe that family is ordained by God and family is microcosm of the church, that a church is only as strong and as powerful as the families that comprise it. Orange gets this. The people from the ReThink group are amazing people, I can’t wait to see them again. Lastly I am a huge Andy Stanley Fanboy. I am hopping to stick around after the Orange conference to catch a service at North Point.