Saturday, June 18, 2005

Willow Creek Arts Conference

Just got back from 4 full days at the Willow Arts Conference. I thought it might be a good idea to process a bit.

I love going up there - and I know why. I can just take in all these creative things - and have good discussions with other people I'm in ministry with all year long.

Best things:
  • The morning with the Nichole Nordeman concert and John Ortburg preaching. They were both very genuine - and very obviously using their gifts to God's glory. John O talked about the book of Job - and being in a spiritual winter. He re-iterated the need to acknowledge pain and suffering in our services. Good stuff...deep stuff.
  • Briefly getting the chance to thank Nancy Beach - she's very genuine. I admire that.
  • Seeing WC's new auditorium. Awesome. Although I was again thankful that we do not use I-Mag in our services. Noone's face should be that big...but especially mine.
  • I love going to the sessions where they show us things they've done in their services or different artsy things. I don't think it's showy - I love seeing it and it makes me think of 1000 other ideas.
  • Gene Appel's message Friday morning about costly love. I doubt I can do it justice in an explanation...but realizing that I cannot think more highly of myself than anyone else. Christ died for the world and loves the world.
  • Getting a surprise visit from Melissa and Kira. I have great friends.
  • Coming back with new ideas and fresh energy.

Pesky, lingering thoughts:

  • I don't want to put Willow on a pedastal and try to be just like them - but I also don't want to look at them overly-critical or belittle their ministry. I'm on the outside looking in - and I'm just grateful for their hearts for God and His kingdom. Is that okay?
  • Where is the balance in worship between giving glory to God and putting our attention on Him and ministering to people and connecting their lives with God's story? Can we do both, or are we bound to favor one at the expense of the other?
  • What does moving worship "forward" really mean? When people are trying to do that, what are they really trying to do?
  • One word: copyright. Enough said.
  • I HAVE to make some friends outside these church walls. Non-Christian friends, specifically.

Glad to be home. And there's plenty of summer left.

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