This weekend I'm participating in a huge United Methodist Men's conference. This is their national gathering, with men from all over the United States.
It's fun to be a speaker and an outsider. I'm here by myself, am staying in a nice hotel off-campus from the conference, and I feel more like an observer than a participant.
But that's OK. One of the challenges of being in leadership in a home church is this constant sense of responsibility, and a connectedness with the details, and the sometimes overwhelming burden of helping to carry the struggles of so many people. That's also true when I'm leading a smaller conference or a retreat. But here I'm simply listening, worshipping, praying and learning.
When I teach my workshops I'll be there 100% for the men in that room. I have what I believe is a dynamic presentation ready to go, and I'm working hard in preparation. I'm looking forward to the interaction, and I'm excited about what I get to share.
But on balance this conference is more relaxing and restorative, and so far I'm having a good time. (They picked me up as a speaker because so many Methodist churches have been using my book, GET REAL: a spiritual journey for men, and there's a huge pile of copies in the conference bookstore.)
- So here's my prayer: "Lord, use me today for your great purposes. Give me words that will inspire, a willing spirit to listen, and the kind of passion that communicates compelling truth. It's a joy it is to serve you in this way. Today I want it to count for something eternal in the lives of the men I teach. Amen."