Last week I attended the D6 conference. It's billed as Children's, Youth, and Family Ministry conference based on the concepts of Deuteronomy 6 where parents are are reminded to be the primary spiritual influence of their kids. The conference lived up to it's billing ... and so much more. As I reflect on last week, it seems to me that what this is a discipleship conference that is trying to place the responsibility for discipleship where it biblically belongs. It's about discipleship priorities. It's about generational discipleship. This is why I return this conference year after year. As I reflect on discipleship as a whole, here's some of the best things I heard at D6:
Ron Hunter: "Kids take their cues about the reality of life from Mom and Dad. Their values are our values." Which should lead parents to ask - What values am I teaching, implicitly or explicitly?
Shaunti Feldhahn: "The one common denominator is the success or failure of a marriage is either a sense of hope or a sense of futility." Which should lead pastors and leaders to ask - What am I doing/teaching to pass along hope?
Pete Wilson: "Be like David who took care of sheep." Which should encourage pastors in the areas of pastoral care and the shepherding of God's people in our care.
Alvin Sanders: "A requirement of disciple making is ministering to those you are supposed to hate." Which begs the questions - Who is my neighbor, and how am I loving my enemy?
Tim Elmore: "There are two kinds of people in ministry. The pioneer - those who explore and pave the way for others; and the settler - those who only move ahead when it's safe." The question is which one are you?
Phil Visher: "Don't overestimate how much a kid can learn or overestimate how much an adult wants to learn." How often do we get these backwards?
Jen Hatmaker: "If our goal is raise people up and send them out, don't disparage them when they leave." Question - who's kingdom are you building?
Ron Deal: "Step-families done poorly create chaos. Step-famililes done well are redemptive." How are you ministering to the complexities of step-families?
Chad Overton: "Margin is defined area of buffer. We need margins in our ministries to keep the weeds out, so that there is less wear and tear, and to make our ministries appealing to the eye. God works in the margin." Do you and does your ministry have margin?
Todd Meadows: "Think: purpose before practice, being before doing, people before program, quality before quantity." How often do we get these reversed?
Kurt Johnston: "The best leadership lessons are the ones you never saw coming." How teachable are you?
Scott Rubin: "We need to learners. Don't be afraid to ask questions." What questions should you be asking?
Tom Shefchunas: "Leaders want to lead. Don't micromanage them." Who are you micromanaging?
Carol Barnier: "Stop being uncomfortable with questions. There is no question that can unravel God." What questions aren't you answering?
Brian Hayes: "You had better make sure you have the right leaders around you because you are only as strong as the leaders around you." Do you have the right leaders around you?