Today some of our team from New Life Fellowship attended Movement Day, a one-day conference to catalyze gospel movements in urban settings. Today was the first time this event was held, and the main speakers were Tim Keller, Ray Bakke, Brenda Salter-McNeil, and Bill Hybels.
You can follow some of the live blog via twitter here.
Here are some of my thoughts after this inaugural event:
1. It was really great to gather with other ministry leaders in NYC – This was probably the coolest part of the day for me – connecting with other folks from different ministries in the city. Shout out to Charles Galbreath, the Epic folks, the folks in the youth track, and Christ Tab. I’m a big fan of these people.
2. I loved all the speakers in the main session, and probably could have heard more from them – Tim Keller was usual Keller with aplomb and insight, giving us a case for how gospel movements (forged through partnerships) are what’s needed in the city. I can listen to the guy all day and never want to leave the city after hearing him talk about the gospel and NYC.
Ray Bakke was amazing, and gave some really interesting insights about worldwide trends when it comes to cities. I want to meet the guy and ask him a million questions. He had the line of the day – “Christians began to flee the riots of Chicago and Los Angeles and they all met in Colorado Springs.” I was dying.
Brenda was stellar. She talked about events that can be seen as either catastrophic or catalytic, and she urged us, particularly when it comes to the changing, diverse world, to be a reconciled community that witnesses to the world. I hope Brenda can come to New Life again someday.
Bill Hybels capped off the time with an incredible devotional talk rooted in an exhortation to pray, pray, and pray some more. I was floored, and I’ve been thinking about what he shared all day.
All in all, really relevant, thoughtful, and compelling talks.
3. After the morning, I was exhausted – I had so much to think about, and the idea of going into another four hour meeting was really daunting. I was originally signed up for Life-Giving Leadership, but I ended up switching after taking a long break after lunch.
4. The Mentoring Millenials Track was really challenging/inspiring – The track went right along with the heart of our church, wanting to impact young people, especially those who are clearly disadvantaged when it comes to resources and education.
Jeremy Del Rio and others did a fantastic job of mixing up teaching, panel discussions, and interactive elements to tackle some of the larger challenges we face in serving the youth of our city.
This conference was unique in that almost our entire staff was there, and being able to brainstorm with other new yorkers in a tight, typical nyc basement, felt right.
5. I love our team from NLF – We just have wonderful people from diverse backgrounds. We certainly have our share of conflicts and struggles, but man, straight up great people.
*Btw, I finally met the person who said our leadership was hipster. He approached me and confessed that he was the one that said that about our staff!
He told me that he meant we were “hipster” in that we are relevant to young people. And, of course, he thought Peter Rohdin was hipster. Funny.
6. I’m looking forward to more – There were so many “wins” from today. Just to have a chance to meet with others in NYC felt worthwhile, even amidst all that’s happening right now. And the morning talks blew me away, as well as the brief learning time I had in the afternoon (I wasn’t there for the whole afternoon track).
Thanks to Mac and the team for making it happen. I’m looking forward to next year!