From April 27-29, 2017, I will be participating in the Missio Alliance Conference in Alexandria, VA. The theme for this year’s conference is, “Awakenings: The Mission of the Spirit as the Life of the Church.”
I have the opportunity to lead a forum and workshop, but that is not why I’m going.
I am on the writing team for Missio Alliance, but that is not why I’m going.
I’m getting to reconnect with several girlfriends who are fierce leaders on mission to advance the kingdom of God, but that’s not why I’m going.
I’m getting to meet with my publisher, InterVarsity press, and my new editor, but that’s not why I’m going.
I’m getting to worship again in my “church away from church”—the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church—where the conference is being held, but that’s not why I’m going.
I get to hear from one of the keynote speakers, Dr. N.T. Wright several times throughout the weekend. I had the opportunity to read his book, Jesus and the Victory of God, while in seminary. It’s massive (like almost 700 pages massive!), and I did learn a lot about scholarship on the historical Jesus. One day, I hope to read some of his writings on the Apostle Paul. Hearing from Dr. N.T. Wright is not even the reason that I am attending this conference.
I’m going because this year has already been filled with craziness—some good, some not so good— and I suspect it will continue in that way.
I’m going because I am aware of the changes that are taking place in our country, and I have a glimpse of the injustices that are perpetuated all across the world.
I’m going because I attend a multiethnic church who seeks to make disciples across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic lines. A lot of times we don’t get that right but together we are trying.
I’m going because in my own life, I have friends who are suffering. They are struggling with deep-seated and long-rooted issues, some of which we don’t know will ever heal or go away.
I’m going because my life can feel overwhelming. There is a lot of good to come this year with speaking, writing a book, leading a nonprofit, and international travels. I know that I can’t do any of these things in my own strength.
I’m going to this conference because I need Jesus, and need to be reminded again and again that the Holy Spirit is actively at work in me, and in the world. I need reminding that the same Spirit that descended upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, and caused the church to explode throughout the book of Acts is the same Spirit that is at work today. He does not tire, and is not asleep.
I need the assurance of this power. I need to be awakened in every part of me to this truth.
I’m so glad that I get to take part in this Great Awakening! You, too, have been invited. Registration is open until the end of this month. Will you join us? Hope to see you in April.