I’m blogging tonight from the World Conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors in Branson, Missouri. Here in a beautiful part of the midwest, some 1700+ pastors and counselors from places near and far have gathered to learn, network, and seek ways to better minister to people.
I have attended AACC events in the past from the vantage point of a clinical therapist. However, since I’m not doing private practice at this point in my life, this year I’m focusing on sessions related to leadership development, discipleship, and ministry.
This afternoon I spent several hours with Dr. Eric Scalise as he shared some particularly insightful information regarding transformational leadership. It’s kind of funny . . . I’m dealing with that on my own with leadership in my church. I think God is really wanting me to pay attention, so I think I will. God is speaking to me in many ways about my own life and ministry. One of the most significant things I’m hearing from Him is the importance of working to intentionally see people the way He sees them. Scalise helped me remember the fact that I’m an ambassador for Christ, which is an awesome responsibility. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about that in future posts. I need to take some time to process it all.
Tonight was our first plenary session with Dr. Larry Crabb. He is an amazing man of God and a gifted communicator. He always challenges me to be more proactive about my own personal and spiritual growth. And yes, I need to do just that.
Michael O’Brien is leading worship at this year’s conference, and it’s an awesome thing indeed to raise voices of praise with that many men and women of God. I think of it as a preview of what heaven is going to be like.
What do I expect to gain from my time here? Well, here are a few of the things that I’m pondering in my mind:
- How does God want to use me to better connect with people who need to know Him? I can’t afford to become self-satisfied.
- What are my ‘next steps’ in ministry? Life transformation is a lifelong process.
- What God-sized tasks does He want me to tackle? It’s all about Him, remember?
Tomorrow I get to bask in the teaching of Gary Smalley, Jennifer Cisney, H. Norman Wright (one of my faves), Kenneth Nichols, and Michael Lyles. It will be like drinking from a fire hydrant, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.
IT’S YOUR TURN!
Who are some of your favorite speakers — and why?