Saturday, September 17, 2011

I've been away @story

I never write about an event I am attending while there for two reasons.

  1. It tells the world my house is empty 
  2. and most importantly I require processing time - a time of digestion.

I spent the last 3 days in Chicago at the STORY conference.  I needed to be there.

When I walked in and saw I was honestly in the top 5% age-wise I knew I was in the right place.  I could sense a few of the older attendees felt uncomfortable - I would guess they were mostly pastors.  But I knew at a conference that calls itself a 'creative' conference, the young age proved it was indeed what it claimed.  And it is the young who in many cases have not yet been fully added to the church, so I pursue that scattered group relentlessly at Crossroads.

Each time I have the privilege to go 'out' of Crossroads I realize how overdue my absence is.  This was definitely the case this past week.

I am called 'creative'.  This carries with it an overwhelming burden of constant performance.  A performance time rarely allows me to nurture it. This is not a sad story, it is simply the truth for all who serve in this capacity.  The difficult thing is the 'how' of nurture.  But, it must be addressed because if you do not nurture your own giftedness how can you possibly be what you must to others in your charge?

This is why I loved this conference:

  1. It's success was not measurable by 'big' feel good moments.  Everyone knows although those moments are enjoyable, they are fleeting with little result to show for them a few days later.
  2. Everyone there was the same.  Most bigger conference bring every possible church person together which is good, but here we truly were ALL creatives.  You could close your eyes and ask anyone beside you 'what they do' and it was within the realm of creativity in business or the church.
  3. I have always understood that people's story is the most powerful element you can introduce into a service or experience, but I have struggled with how to gather important stories at our ministry.  Now I know I was going about it all wrong.  I was looking for specific stories to fit my agenda - I realize now that EVERYONE has a story to tell.  I simply need to provide a 'gathering' opportunity and begin to incorporate stories into the DNA of our ministry.
  4. My creativity is fed in this kind of setting.  It was refreshing to be somewhere where no one knew who I was.  No one knew what kind of work I do and quite frankly it was an awesome feeling to bare no responsibility for those 2 days.  This in itself was worth the trip.  To sit and soak and to watch other producers run about taking care of tech issues, their work being evaluated by everyone and wearing the 'blasted' headset was AWESOME!
I didn't come home with any 'earthshattering' new concepts to implement at Crossroads.  (Hopefully this is not a disappointment to those I serve with at Crossroads).  

My take away was a quiet resolve to own my creativeness and to be used of God anyway He sees fit to help lead Crossroads to authentic relationship with Christ.  

Until we see everyone in our auditorium fully participating in serving those less fortunate then themselves, serving within the ministry and living everyday what their lips say they believe, I am not done.  

PS. I will write more about story and show pictures in the coming days - thanks for continuing to read.  I am amazed that you do....

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