Posted by: Ed | June 19, 2009

HOT SUMMER & THE LEADERHIP SUMMIT – A STORY & AN OFFER

When you think summer, you think heat. When you think heat you think dry, at least here in California. And that’s where my soul was last summer. I’m not sure why. I couldn’t pin point a cause (a sin, a neglected habit, any more business than usual). There wasn’t any grief or loss that I was going through. I was just dry. I had been journaling about it for a while. I began to refer to it as “that thing”.

I did the stuff that one does. I knew the whole deal with Ignatius about consolation & desolation. It’s not like I was miserable or even unhappy. I just lacked something. I was dry. The thing! Dang!

I have found that God is the one who gets to decide when our various “things” get lifted. I know there are “things” that are on us, “things” that are the direct results of mis-lived lives, “things” that come from disobedience, that come from spirit sucking sin. But there are other “things” that one isn’t sure what exactly is going on.

So in the hottest part of our summer it was LEADERSHIP SUMMIT time. We’ve hosted it for about 5 years. I’ve been going to the summit for about 10. I love the Summit. For us at Journey it is one of our main equipping, inspiring & training tools. But at times, the Summit can be immensely powerful in the Spiritual realm. That was Summit 09.
•    God rebirthed love for the local church through Bill Hybles talk on leadership axioms.
•    I was inspired about His mission listening to Gary Haugen.
•    Risk began to look wonderful through Catherine Rohr
•    Craig Groeschel had me crying out to God for more “it”
•    John Burke renewed my commitment to Journey being a church for people that don’t do church.

The final talk on Friday was coming. I knew it would be great. Then I got the call. I had a major leak in my front yard. The guy putting in some sprinklers found it. My yard was becoming a federally protected wetland & I better figure something out. Just as I was about to jet & miss the last talk, my buddy & our facilities guy Matt, said to me: you get in there, I’ll go figure this thing out.

THANK GOD! Bill delivered a biographical talk on Mother Teresa that was exactly what I needed. It was largely about… wait for it… her struggles with spiritual dryness. Now this stays right here, don’t tell anyone, but I’d been a bit of a crybaby the whole summit. I could feel myself choking up several times. This talk rocked me. I typed furiously to get as much as I could down. It was fodder for my journal for 2 months. It weakened the power of “that thing” that dryness.

I haven’t had a problem since! O.k. that’s stupid. But you get the point.

This is not unique. Every year the summit is like spiritual water to me, to Journey, to our ministries. THIS YEAR’S SUMMIT IS AUGUST 6-7. Click here for the website.

So here’s what we’re doing:
√ We are hosting it again to make it as accessible as possible to Journey people and churches all over SD
√ We are offering the lowest possible rates to encourage you to sign up
√ Along with tons of other churches all over the world we are designating one of the upcoming weekends as “Summit Weekend” in which you’ll get a taste.

You will hear about the Leadership Summit a lot. The 2 days is filled with speakers & leaders from all kind of spheres. You will learn; you will be sharpened. You will be hanging out with all kinds of Journey peeps.

O.k. to push you over the edge, if you sign up this weekend, June 19-20 and let me know on the comment, I’ll BUY YOUR LUNCH ON THURSDAY, DAY 1 OF THE SUMMIT (kind of like everyone getting a free taco if the Lakers score more than 100). O.k. it’s on! El Azteca here we come!

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Responses

  1. What a clever way to rally the troops. Okay, I’m registered. What is for lunch?

  2. After taking an 8 year church hiatus, due to my own warped, exploratory curiosity, I vowed to God, no matter how blasé or dang-fully disappointed in church, I would never ever, ever be found MIA again. Complacency doesn’t fit my personality for most facets of life, except my past church life. It gradually infiltrated my soul until I got tired of either rocking the boat or playing church. Frankly, rocking the boat was more thrilling, but after numerous wounds from shipwrecks, the other alternative was compliance. But complacency was a slow strangulating spiritual death. Aliveness, action and a keener sensitivity to God’s heart was where the “it” would be/is found.

    Through silence and solitude, God explored with me my junk, my fillers and treasures. He asked me some very personal questions. I gave God the honest thumbs up to open and intimate……..so He did and does. The first question, my Jesus asked, “are you willing to suffer for/with me?” My first response was, well that depends. Then I ask Him, “what kind of suffering?” He replied, I won’t tell you, but you have to trust me, it’s a good suffering. As I tearfully pondered, I accepted God’s invitation, but then he asks me another question, like that wasn’t hard enough. The second question Jesus asked me, “will you, Rachelle, sit at the foot of Calvary and learn from me?” Ok God………..I’m seeing a theme of suffering and pain and yes. The answer, my reply was a puzzled yes. After a year or more and other conversations, I came to the conclusion my fate wasn’t some horrible death by disease. My Father was asking me to suffer with others, to feel their pain, to weep and break for and with them.

    There is nothing complacent about “it”………suffering. In pain one feels, in feeling, the heart is wrenched; a wrenched heart is where God is in the center. God is close to the barely beating, broken hearted. At the 2008 Summit, Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission was the super hero that rallied my passion/vision that had been palpitating for years. “It” had weight, it had quest, it had are-you-crazy God, and it had supernatural, God heart heroism. So now what? It’s been almost a year now and some very cool community and IJM connections have occurred. The process Gary Haugen recommends is for the church to get educated, explore and then engage in the war of injustices, specifically modern day slavery. I’m on this crazy journey and am honored to have other justice sojourns, courageous to live a keener, sensitivity to God’s heart.
    Rachelle Kimberling

  3. Thanks for sharing what God has done in your life, Rachelle, as a result of last year’s Leadership Summit. Very cool.

    I signed up today, Ed. I will be holding you to that free lunch thing. However, I think you would have gotten a greater response if you had said “Black
    Angus, here we come!” Try that next weekend.


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