Well, I missed my people at Eastview yesterday. A pastor always feels kind of weird when he finds himself not a pastor - it's very healthy, mind you, just weird. I heard things went great and I'm already working on Sunday's sermon...looking forward to it.
Let me say that this pastor's conference was the best I've ever attended. Maybe it's because I've gained some experience in this role or maybe it's just that the right conversations happened. Of course, there is the setting. Cabo was great - not really clear sunny days, but nice "partly cloudy" days (you know the kind where you can get totally fried when you think it's not sunny - yeah my head is peeling). Here are some highlights from my week:
-It was whale season..and it is amazing to stand on the beach and watch a whale jump up out of the ocean. Makes you feel really small and makes God seem really big.
-Had a great breakfast with a pastor veteran who is now retired and 80 years old. I loved sitting and listening to his wisdom.
-I won (via a drawing of all the sr. pastors present) a trip to the Holy Land for free!
-I was renewed in my passion and energy for preaching and leading. I am so unbelievably blessed to be able to do what I do. See Daniel 4:17 for a verse that came alive to me this week.
-I am humbled to be able to encourage other pastors who are not having such an easy time of it. This job is not easy and I'm glad God allowed me to speak into their lives.
-There is nothing like sharing the intimacy of a meal together. Many of my conversations this week took place in the context of food. There is something in the sharing and the saying grace and the conversation that happens around a table that is priceless.
-I was able to write a lot in my journal this week. I'm a big fan of capturing memories and God thoughts in writing for reflection and historical perspective later.
-Sara is the best pastor's wife a guy could have. Why did God bless me in this way? Don't know, but I'll take it and I'm thankful.
-We talked about preaching.
-We talked about technology in ministry (what would Paul do if he lived in this era of history? One staff member said he'd own a MAC!). There are a lot of ideas out there. I still believe in the face to face, live ministry as the most effective.
-A guy came and talked about Pastor's tax laws. Very interesting stuff from a guy who has worked extensively on congressional subcommittees with this.
-We arrived home last night to Chicago around 6:30 with a 65 degree change in weather. Good to be home even if it is cold.