Today was a great day!… Leaders from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin gathered in a hotel in Saddle Brook, New Jersey to dialogue about some of the ministry issues they are struggling with and encourage each other.
At the first regional Leaders Table, I sat in the back and observed as Nancy Beach asked each of them to share any challenges they wanted to be sure were discussed before leaving for the day. Five flip chart pages later, they had an agenda. Insights were shared by Nancy and others on topics like dwindling creativity, pastor relations, staying culturally relevant, leading artists, soul care for your team and yourself, plus many other “hot” topics.
Throughout the day, there were so many things that encouraged me…Before we even started, I met Howard who came all the way from St. Louis because he had missed the Arts Conference and just needed to connect with some others. During introductions, Divera from Pennsylvania shared their ministry’s vision to “Reclaim the Streets” in their town and shared how their ministry was committed to reaching those who may not step foot in a church. Somewhere during a few hours of conversations filled with the sharing of ideas and insights I watched first-hand as leaders who never knew each other before today became friends and cheerleaders for each other. The day ended powerfully for me, as each leader shared their commitment to do something to grow their soul.
The leaders today inspired me with their humble spirits, their incredible love for the power of the arts in the local church and their willingness to do all they can to reach people with God’s love. Randal from New Jersey said it best today…”There’s nothing better than being on the front line and seeing God change lives”.