I attended the ETCH conference, that was held in Nashville Tennessee, for the first time this year. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t before going) ETCH stands for Equipping The Church and Home. I did know it was a conference for children’s, youth, and family ministry workers and pastors. This was a drivable distance for me and I was fortunate enough to have my wife go with me (although she didn’t attend the conference, she “rested” … and by rested I mean shopped). It was a good time to catch up with ministry friends from around the country and make a few new friends (as well as see friends that have moved to Nashville). All it all, it was a great experience. Here are a few take-aways that have resonated with me since last week:
(DISCLAIMER - I did not attend every session or breakout. I wanted and needed time for connection with others as well. While I don’t make apologies for that, I wanted to be up front about it.)
Ben Trueblood - The success of your ministry doesn't change your position before God.
Lisa Harper - Don’t elevate your gift over your family or team, submit it to them.
Mark Jones - Parents need to be: engaged, equipped, encouraged, and enlisted.
Joshua Straub - Pillars of Parenting; 1) A secure parent. 2) A healthy balance between exploration and protection. 3) A rhythm of grace followed by truth. 4) Safe spiritual mentors / community. 5) Play & Laughter.
Russell Moore - Get God first, then you’re free to family. Family is critical, but not first.
Micheal Kelley - A lifestyle of mission for the family does 3 things: 1) Creates margin in people’s schedule. 2) Helps families normalize gospel conversations. 3) Encourages a normal sense of hospitality.
Dorena Williamson - Love God AND neighbor. It’s both not and either/or.
Heidi Hensley - When it comes to being the primary spiritual influence in the life of a child, whose responsibility is it? The person of faith who knows the child.
Biran Dembowczyk - Maintaining gospel focus in ministry requires: 1) Working hard at resting. 2) Fighting sin, especially pride. 3) Remembering to serve from your identity, not for your identity. 4) Don’t do anything that doesn’t clearly connect to the gospel. 5) Continue to learn the gospel. 6) Continue to grow in your love for the gospel. 7) Continue to find ways to live the gospel.
Looking forward to attending #ETCH19 … and maybe even submitting a proposal for a breakout session.