I had the opportunity to attend the David C. Cook conference called "The Gathering" It was being hosted locally (4 minutes from church and 2 minutes from home) making it a no brainer. Here are some of the best things I heard:
Mike Erre (Main Session #1 - God is our Source - John 14)
When did Christianity become risk management?
We seem to value excellence over weakness. Jesus doesn't want to be a part of anything we can do without Him.
Michelle Anthony (Main Session #2 - God is Provider - John 2)
It's not about the provision, but about the Provider. When we miss this, we miss out on what He is doing.
Jesus isn't a magician, He is the Messiah.
Keith Ferrin (Breakout #1 - Helping kids make the shift from "believing" the Bible to "loving" the Bible)
How do we pass on a love for the Word of God to the next generation? Change their "should" to "want to". Until "should" turns to "want to" consistency will be the problem.
Our brains learn best in the context of story through the process of repetition.
Michael Anthony (Breakout #2 - So, what's the difference between Christian education and spiritual formation and how can I use them in my ministry?)
Christian education is how we organize and educate the church so it can grow. Spiritual formation is celebrating a person's personal spiritual journey.
We need a combination of both. We need to move people from "what" to "why".
Albert Tate (Main session #3 - God is Enough - Jonah)
Let the truth of God overtake your facts.
We consistently mistake God's embrace for His endorsement. You can be used of God and still have the wrong motives.
Brady Boyd (Main session #4 - God is our Peace - John 17)
Before we can talk about the peace of God, we have to talk about the pace of God.
We aren't forsaking our responsibilities when we rest. It for the the sake of those responsibilities that we rest.
Michelle Anthony (Breakout #3 - Helping families become spiritual healthy: avoiding the 6 dysfunctions of parenting)
Family ministry is more than a program. Programs won't reach today's families, only an encounter with the gospel will.
As we pursue Jesus we get the abundant life. When we strive for the abundant life we get dysfunction.
There was a Breakout session #4 that I didn't attend. I got to the place where I knew I was full and needed time to process and reflect ... and that's still happening.