Below was one of my favorite views...more later (not my picture, original found here).
Here are seven of the important highlights from 2012:
- At the end of February I was invited to represent a gathering of Pentecostal leaders, NextGen leaders and Scholars at an event called Converge21 (I'm not a scholar and would love to think I was NextGen, but we know better). Little did I know that this would begin the reinforcement of a theme that would be developed throughout the year - the priority of relationship. Along with that theme, came a lot of understanding regarding the priority of relationships. I'll blog about that in coming days.
- In March I ministered alongside several close friends at a men's retreat called "Bold Venture." The focus of Bold Venture is relational discipleship (click the link for a better understanding of that phrase). The impact this event has on me has always been catalytic for God's calling on my life. I always leave challenged, with a renewed sense of optimism for those who follow, and encouraged in the authenticity and humility of so many of my brothers in Christ. I look forward to speaking in this year's event in October.
- In April I had the opportunity to serve alongside a missions team in Belgium. This particular mission trip was a combination of service and ministry. The highlights of this trip were the Leadership Roundtables and ministry in the Filipino churches. As well, the relationships which were developed would open a door for me to return later last year for another trip to Europe to encourage ministry leaders, pastors and congregations.
- In June, our annual Summer Conference was the best ever. This event, which brings leaders and churches together from all over the state, continues to improve each year. This year's teaching and worship services were the best they had ever been.
- In July I rejoiced as my son placed 3rd nationally in the Short Sermon category at our national talent competition. Of course, I think he should've won, but I'm extremely proud of him and the way he preaches the word with passion and authority. You can view his sermon by clicking on this page.
- August held our annual School of Mission in Chattanooga, TN. This was a unique trip in that I was able to take my daughter along with me. She made a lot of great friends that live all around the world and they genuinely minister to MKs (thanks to friends of ours who serve - you can find out more about them here). We also had a little free time so we were able to enjoy downtown 'Chat Town." It was during this time that I hit my lowest point of the year - not to worry, it was planned! We traveled 1120 feet (by elevator) under the earth's surface at Ruby Falls. It was a great, memory-making, trip for both of us and a great ministry trip for missions.
- In November, I returned to Europe. This time I arrived ahead of a team by a few days, ministering to leaders, churches and pastors in Belgium. Again, the relationships developed and the ministry time was rich. I especially loved ministering to pastors, encouraging them to "Embrace the Journey." After a few days in Belgium, one of our local missionaries traveled with me to France where we made final arrangements for the team that would come and serve our local IPH Church in France. Of course we had one day to partake in the typical "touristy" things in France, but the ministry and worship in the local church far exceeded that experience. I left with a real burden to pray for France and the believers in that region.
- Relational Discipleship
- Priority of Relationships
- God's Sovereignty
An event is not an experience until it's been reflected upon.