I’m exhausted, so you’re only going to get a quick snap shot of today. If you’ve ever been at a conference, you’ll understand why I’m ready to pass out. The fact that I’m really tired, however, is something I am happy to report. I’m one of those guys who goes to conferences and likes to go all out the entire time. When there’s tons of free time, I’m bored. So thanks, Vineyard folks, for packing the schedule for people like me and also allowing those who aren’t to be free to go to the beach or Disney or whatever else they do.
Anyway, the music throughout all of the sessions was typically excellent. It’s Vineyard, so what do you expect. The first set was a great start of the day and tonight’s session featured none other than Anabeth Morgan of the Mile High Vineyard. As some of you know, I love Morgan’s music. One of my favorite songs of all time is “My Foundations.” Even though she didn’t do that song (Anabeth, why didn’t you do my favorite song?!?!?! Ha ha), it was fantastic. I was challenged to cast my vision upon Christ and to take great comfort in the sovereign grace of God. The kingdom “came,” as you might say (don’t worry, I know it’s not consummated!).
In the morning, there were two messages related to children’s ministry. The first was by Luis Bush and the second by Becky Olmstead. In summary, our churches need to work harder at focusing on and reaching the kids. That being said, I’m still curious exactly how that is going to happen and I’m hoping that there are some resources that find their way into my hands to pass on towards those who are involved in children’s ministry. Okay, that’s my only additional idea. The actual messages were very encouraging towards getting more focused on reaching children for the kingdom.
In the afternoon, I went to the Missions/Church Planting workshop and heard a lot of information related to the Vineyard’s involvement in Kenya. As most of you know, I’ve been to Kenya a number of times and plan on returning. I have a heart for my Kenyan friends and have had the pleasure and honor of training hundreds of pastors. So the update was music to my hears. There is actually a Kenyan Vineyard association of churches now that is not under the oversight of any other country now!!! That’s exciting!
The rest of the workshop was on some of the basic issues related to contextualization and missional theology (e.g., the foundation for missions, etc.). If you aren’t familiar with those concepts, this was a great workshop. If you are familiar with them, it was a good reminder.
This evening featured Jenna Stepp and Jay Pathak and it was full of many excellent ideas related to raising up a passionate generation of young people. The best line of the evening, in my opinion, was by Stepp, who said:
“My dad came into room and showed me how to go Jesus ninja on the demons.”
Stepp’s dad is Phil Strout, the National Director of the Vineyard. There’s no doubt in my mind that Strout is the real deal when it comes to living out a kingdom missional theology, which is quite exciting to me. Her talk, for me, was a challenge to go home and make sure that we continue raising our four awesome kids to be kingdom kids… dedicated to living out radical faith in a faithful God.
Pathak, whom I personally really enjoy listening to, also had a great challenge for us when he asked,
“Does the younger generation want what you have?”
Boom goes the dynamite. Great question. What kind of a legacy are we leaving and what kind of a vision are we casting?
Overall, the day was fantastic. I have a lot of dreams and ideas floating in my head and I’m excited to get back home and to implement some of the things that we are learning here!
I’m tired, so I need to go to sleep…
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.