Its been 2 weeks since D6 2016. I had a great, reenergizing time. I got to see many old friends and met some new ones as well. That's one of the reasons I continue to go back to it. What frustrates me about conferences in general is that I get overwhelmed with good, practical, and biblical information. During this 3 day conference, I took 13 pages of typed notes from the 6 general sessions, and 2.5 pages from the 2 breakout sessions I was able to attend. To say my cup overflows would be an understatement. It's taken me 2 weeks and several attempts to sit down and sift through my notes and start to make some concrete plans.
How I Was Encouraged
As I sit and reflect on the totality of what was shared, I'm encouraged in 3 specific ways. First, I see that we (my church) are moving in the right direction. What I heard was very confirming. We may not be doing things perfectly (and never really will), but we are on the right path. Secondly, we need to keep the Gospel central in all we do and never move away from it, only deeper in. This will look differently depending on the age of the people we are working with, but it makes it no less true. When we focus on the gospel lives are transformed and ministry becomes fruitful. Finally, I was encouraged by the fact that none of us are alone in what we do. I saw old friends, met new ones, talking about current ministry struggles and both giving and receiving counsel. From these conversations as well as the main sessions we were reminded to have the long game in mind.
How I Was Challenged
I was, at the very least, as equally challenged as I was encouraged. The challenges revolve around words and phrases like: change, gospel comes to you on the way to someone else, being relentless, people over programs, change begins with honesty, being intentional because souls are at stake, and marriages that aren't intentional die. Figuring out how this works out in my context is where the challenge begins ... and ends.
I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to attend this conference. I look forward to it every year.