Every year, Power to Change puts on a 4-day conference for all our staff near the end of July. It was in Whistler, BC again this year, which is a beautiful location. Shannon and I always look forward to the conference, because we know it will be a great time to reconnect with some of the staff friends we have that we don’t get to see very often (especially old university friends who are now campus staff across the country). We also look forward to relaxing in a hotel, wandering around Whistler village, taking in the spectacular scenery on the drive in, and being blessed and challenged by the conference sessions.
We knew this year would be a little different, though, because it was our first year coming with a child! Fortunately, it worked out quite well. Silas slept in his stroller at the back of the room for some sessions, so Shannon and I could both participate. Other times, one of us would hang out with Silas in the lobby, watching the session on the live feed out there. Only a few times did one of us need to miss out entirely on something, and since we had expected that ahead of time, we were pretty relaxed about it. And, having Silas there allowed Shannon to win the photo contest for one day. The theme was “relaxation”, and here’s the winning picture Shannon submitted:
Here are a few thoughts that came out of the conference for me:
- I was reminded again how much I love the vision of Power to Change. The people here love God deeply, and are passionate about people in our communities and across our nation. They are dreaming big dreams of how God could use us to introduce people across our land to the one they were created for.
- People in Canada ARE interested in spiritual things, and want to talk about the deep issues of life. However, we have to stop approaching people around us as a “project”, but as someone we truly care about and are interested in. Erwin McManus was one of our speakers, and he especially challenged us in this area. He showed us a short documentary he had put together, where he interviewed a number of prominent, secular people from the Vancouver area, and it showed clearly how open people were to talking about spiritual things!
- Another important aspect of engaging our culture in spiritual conversation is being real about how Jesus has impacted our own lives. And, I’m not just talking about a conversion story from 20 years ago, but how has God been making a real difference in my life in the past week? To share naturally about Christ, we need to be walking closely with Him, making Him a part of every aspect of our lives, all the time.
- Shannon and I were really challenged to be taking greater faith steps in our own life. Sometimes it feels like we are just living a “maintenance” life – maintaining the house, maintaining the car, maintaining our friendships, etc. We both want to go beyond that, to be agents of God’s kingdom, following His leading to do things that are beyond our own ability and comfort level, that require complete dependance on Him.
May God give us strength and wisdom to put these thoughts into action.