Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Elephant Room *Edited*

*For those who have already read this, I thought I'd share this at the top. A really good blog post about this event can be found here at our Pastor's son Luke's blog.*

I spent my day today serving behind the scenes with some incredible pastors/preachers at an event called The Elephant Room. My job gives us two ministry days a year, and I used one of them today to help my church {which is just sooo amazing!}.

Here's the video they played at church a week or two ago to let us all know what it's about:

And here's the awesome video they played before it all got started today:

Here's who was there, a little more about them, and some of the conversation topics although some of that changed that day as well as who sat down together.

Let me just start by saying I don't believe there's been anything like this event before. Getting these guys all in one room to hash out some pretty powerful conversations was nothing short of genius and remarkable.

Even the tense moments were still light in the sense that they always made it clear they love each other as brothers. There was a lot of joking around or poking fun at each other, but all in the name of love {and let me tell you, there were some really hysterical, rolling-on-the-floor kinds of moments!!}. There were moments when some would talk more than we thought they should, and others should talk more than they did. Voices might get a little raised. The initial rules for who talked when went out the door by the end of the day. No matter what though, it was clear how much respect they have for each other, especially in the final speed round where they all sat together at the table.

I came away from it with a much deeper respect for all of these men. I'd never heard of Steve Furtick or Perry Noble prior to this event, but I'll never forget them now. They are all men of deeply-rooted faith in Christ, strong beliefs, and passion for the gospel. It really got people fired up!

The conversations were deep, radical, empowering, and priceless. They definitely shook up some thought processes for me, and made me feel some serious information overload as I drove the hour back to my house. The most challenging ones for me were about multi-site churches and money/compassion for the poor. I have a lot yet to process.

So on a slightly lighter note, here are a few highlights from my perspective....

Combining work with church - it was held at a campus of my church, but was sponsored by my work and I got to see several of my coworkers and chat with them throughout the day. They all really enjoyed the event, so that was also really exciting for me! :) I'm so proud of my church and my work!!

I got to serve again next to one of my favorite co-servers and it was sooo nice to see her and chat with her again {she recently switched campuses and I've missed her sooo much}!! And also served with some others that I enjoyed spending the day with. Such a joy.

Jackie & I
Gina & Bonnie
I got to learn more about, hear more from, and meet a guy I genuinely admire & respect, which grew increasingly throughout the day. It did for many others around me too. This guy is the very real deal. He's humble, a bit soft-spoken, but very pointed, passionate, and fired up about reaching those in need. When he spoke, people listened intently. He was very kind and gracious as my friend & I made fools out of ourselves introducing ourselves to him as he hurried out the door to make his plane. Learn some more about David Platt by searching him online or pick up his incredible book Radical now. I highly recommend him. I hope to hear him again someday soon!

And I got to meet another guy I deeply respect and admire, and appreciate for his boldness. Pastor Mark Driscoll. He's amazing to meet in person. Very humble, genuine, attentive, appreciative, kind, and unhurried. I was actually delightfully surprised at just how attentive and kind he was. He truly cared. What an honor to meet these guys and to hear them throughout today!! 

Here are a few other random pics from this phenomenal day:

The view from our place in the cafe where volunteers could watch on screen

The studio only fits about 300 people, but it was simulcast live to lots of locations throughout the country
Control room
Matt Chandler had to leave a little early, here he is signing an autograph

These guys got most of the autographs on their scooter. They were sooo excited and did such a great job with it that I had to sneak a picture!

Tear down afterward as they put the studio back together for Sunday services

Wow. What a day. I'm still processing everything I heard and saw, but left so incredibly blessed. There's just not a great way to put it into words. You may want to check out all the Twitter buzzChris's blog where he posted lots of notes, or my pastor's blog where I think they'll post updates or maybe a highlight video at some point. Everyone's hoping they'll post it all online, but we don't think they will because that would then negate the ones who purchased the full price tickets to be there. But who knows. If they do, I'll let you know.

I'm so thankful to have had a chance to be there.

And soooo exhausted... I can't imagine how all these pastors are feeling right now!

1 comment:

Sydney said...

Wow! That day looks absolutely awesome!! I love days like that, when you come away tired but rejuvenated and inspired (in a strange way)!