I am sitting here in the airport in Charlotte waiting to catch my flight home. To say I am overwhelmed, would not adequately explain it.
I knew that today would be worth the time and expense. Just the experience alone plus the resources that were promised made the trip worthwhile. I was hoping that I would also have a God encounter today. I did. In fact, everything exceeded my expectations.
Allow me to use this blog as a public journal over the next few days as I process what God is speaking. For this post, I will give the initial and surface things I observed and experienced today.
First, I don’t know that I will ever attend another “typical” conference/seminar. I might, but right now, I can’t imagine how the typical format could be as worthwhile as today. I will attend events, but I will be quite selective and even extreme in being exclusive about the ones I choose. The reasons will be many of the things I share here from today over how ever many posts it ends up being.
There was no hype, no music, no booths, no vendors, no marketing, limited use of video, no slick presentations. It was raw and it was real. It was as authentic and transparent as I have ever seen a church and leadership be in a group setting. It was also limited. Truly limited. I’ve seen events called “limited” but they were not. 1500 is not truly limited. This was 150. On top of that there was a volunteer worker for every three attenders. More on that in a moment. The point is, there was nothing to distract from God’s voice and the principles being shared.
I was impressed the moment I walked down the street toward the venue. There was a crowd of volunteers wearing Thr3e t-shirts standing outside with Krispy Kreme donuts and they immediately engaged anyone who walked up. The volunteer that got to me first was Maria. She made me feel like a VIP instantly. She wrote down my name and info and walked me into the registration table where she got the name tag (pre-printed and nice!) and conference pack for me. Then she made sure I had something to drink and showed me to the snack table. Maria introduced me to some of the staff members and a couple of other pastors who were for the event. She then handed me a business card with the Thr3e logo and her name along with her cell phone number and instructions to call or text for anything that I might need that day. Throughout the day she checked in on me and made sure I had water etc. and introduced me to others as the day went on. The care and attention was amazing. As far as I could tell, every person there got the same treatment. Amazing! I spoke with some of the church staff and they could not say enough about volunteers in their church. These 50 or so individuals took a day off work and arrived at 6 am knowing they would be there until 7 pm and spend the whole day serving others. We have got to find a way to make that the normal way we treat people week in and week out at church.
I have so much more to say, but I’ve written enough for now. More will come.