This week we are hosting leaders from around the country at our New Life Leadership and Worship Conference. Our entire team looks forward to this time every year because it is a chance to have conversations and learn from some of the best pastors, leaders and volunteers on the planet. When I attend a gathering of leaders like this one, I pray for several things to happen for all of us.
1. Fresh perspective
There is nothing like getting away to a new setting to bring new perspectives. We sometimes cannot see the forest for all the congregational trees and coming away to a gathering of leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences can give us a fresh set of eyes. Many times, I have come to these gatherings wrestling with decisions that need to be made and the answer comes from one sentence from a speaker or during a random worship song or sideline conversation.
2. New friends
Some of my best friends were introduced to me at leader’s conferences. All of us need more friends in the ministry and settings like a conference provide space for conversations and relationships that can last a lifetime.
3. Personal renewal
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places, away from his primary assignment, to pray, reflect, refuel and to reengage. The same is true with pastors today. We need to retreat, to take off our “pastor” hats and simply become a follower again. Sitting still and listening intently can mean the difference between burnout and finishing strong.
Pray with me this week for all the pastors and leaders who are here to find fresh perspective, to meet new friends, and to find new strength for what God has called them to accomplish.