I’m headed to Brownsburg, Indiana tomorrow for the Externally Focused Church Seminar. I’ve heard good things about the speakers’ book, The Externally Focused Church. When I read Living a Life on Loan a year ago, I was encouraged and challenged by their message. I’m always looking for opportunities for us to reach outside our walls and make a genuine, lasting impact on our community with the life-changing message of the good news of Jesus Christ. Hopefully, this seminar will help open my eyes to the possibilities and stretch me to help move us out of our comfort zones so we can more effectively shine our light in the darkness that surrounds us.
I’m also trying to work it out where I can attend The Sticks in November. Like many other small-town pastors, I’ve attended some of the larger, national conferences and walked away from them thinking, “So – that wouldn’t work in our small town.” And while I’ve taken away some key principles, there usually seems to be some disconnect between the presenters from such-and-such megachurch located in a big metropolitan area…a context that is light years away from churches that are located in the middle of a cornfield. You know, one like ours.
I’ve always wondered why they never put together conferences for smaller and medium-sized churches and for churches that aren’t in large, metropolitan areas. Last year, my prayers were answered with the Smaller Church Conference from the Energizing Smaller Churches Network. Because of scheduling conflicts, I wasn’t able to attend any of the nearby conferences this year. But then I discovered The Sticks. It sounds encouraging. I’m praying that things will work out and I’ll be able to attend. It sounds like a conference I won’t want to miss. The speaker lineup looks phenomenal. Sounds like a conference full of creativity and passion – all with the small town in mind!