Monday, March 07, 2005

Willow Creek Next Gen Conference

I spent 4 days last week at Willow Creek with three of my adult leaders and 6 student leaders. Their new auditorium was unbelievable. 7000 seats??? A coupe of things stick out to me about the trip.
There were only a handful of occasions when I felt like I was leading kids. The students with us truly acted like leaders and lived up to expectations that I placed upon them.
The personal theme for the conference for me was my own personal brokenness as revealed to me in the light of Christ's overwhelming grace and mercy. I'm not in the middle of some major backslide or struggling with a nagging sin but to feel forgivness and grace and mercy wash over me like a river was such a gift. I have been following Christ for 17 years now and it's great to know that God's mercies truly are new everyday.
Maybe the highlight of the trip came after we got home. Bethany, of our student leaders slipped a note in backpack at our Saturday night Service. I didn't find it until the next day. It was a thank you note for inviting her to the conference. She told how she felt like she really connected with God for the first time. She felt a calling on her life; calling to serve others and to serve the Lord. She concluded her letter by telling me she wanted to lead others like I have led her. What a gift to be able to see someone like Beth come into her own, to experience the Lord of the universe and to hear his calling on her life.

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