On Monday the Beeson Pastors '11 went to Orlando, Florida, for the Exponential conference. Exponential is hosted by Dave Ferguson and the good people at The New Thing Network. It is a gathering of church planters and pastors exploring how to partner with the kind Father in extending the ministry of Jesus in the mission of the Holy Spirit. This year's theme "sifted" revolved around Luke 22.31 - “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
The general session addressed the soul and character of those seeking to follow Jesus and serve as a leader in His work. The break-out sessions spoke to leadership issues, and nuts & bolts of church planting. I found the sessions by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay who lead a church in Denver, Co. and work at Missio. Their concepts on the Tangible Kingdom add to the ruminations of this year.
A very pleasant surprise was the ability to connect with IWU classmates and colleagues in ministry from the Wesleyan and Free Methodist Church.
One surprise in the week was an incoming text from Anna that she was at Urgent Treatment with Asa. He was there to have staples put into his head. Why? The story is that he and Moses were at a friends house. They were having target practice, Asa with a spear, and Moses with a sling and rock. Moses had his sling in motion, with a rock in the pouch, Asa stepped up to throw his spear and the sling dinged him on top of the head. The net effect was three staples near the top of his head. Anna told me later how the PA put them without numbing him. Incredible. I told my cohort that I don't think my sons need to read John Eldridge's book, Wild At Heart. I'm blessed to be the father of some tough and tender young men.