“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
I didn’t think I would make it here. I encountered one obstacle after another. I wondered if God was trying to tell me something. Maybe this wasn’t the year for me to go to the D6 Conference. Even Wednesday morning, with the car loaded, I hit another road block. The lights on my dashboard flashed a warning that something may be wrong. But finally, my wheels hit the pavement and the miles passed, drawing me closer to my destination.
. . . Now, here I am. Day one complete. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a minute of it. At this time and season of my life, I needed this. I’m soaking it in like a dry sponge. Too excited to sleep, I’m eager to share with you some of the highlights from the fabulous line up of speakers so far.
Emerson Eggerichs. The author of the incredibly popular book Love and Respect and now Love and Respect in the Family, Emerson Eggerich kicked off the conference (after some fantastic worship led by Matt Papa). I was moved to tears as he discussed his childhood and his non-existent relationship with his dad. Eggerichs emphasized the importance of father’s in this generation. He encouraged parents to be G.U.I.D.E.S. (Giving Understanding Instructive Discipline Encouragement Supplication) to our children.
Lysa TerKeurst. I almost came out of my seat when this author of multiple best-sellers, including Made to Crave and The Best Yes, hit the stage. Her words have been such a blessing in my life and an influence in my personal relationship with the Lord. She shared with us how to find “the us in the middle of the rush.” I enjoyed listening to her share her heart and personal stories of her own family struggles and was inspired to hold my own children (or those in my ministry) “close before I hold them accountable.”
Ted Cunningham. “Will you run or will you fight? We will fight!” With a great (and often hilarious) visual aid, Ted Cunningham gave us the analogy of the “love jug” and shared with us the truth from Proverbs 4:23. When remembering that God is our source of life, we free the people around us from unattainable demands and free ourselves to love others with a Christ-like love.
Larry Fowler. What does every pastor and leader ask each Monday morning? “How many did we have?” Larry Fowler, executive director of Awana, challenged us to also ask, “How often do they come?” Looking at the big picture and the miniscule amount of time that we have with children and youth who cross our paths on Sunday mornings, he helped us to reframe our thinking to see more growth in our ministries, families and churches.
Chrystal Evans Hurst. During our afternoon sessions, we broke up into smaller groups. Unfortunately, I could only pick two to attend. I knew right away that I wanted to hear Chrystal Evans Hurst (daughter of Dr. Tony Evans and cowriter of Kingdom Woman) speak on “What’s a Woman to Do?” She helped women to understand how to restrict, refuel and rewire. We were reminded that we bring God glory by “overcoming our kinks.”
Hurst shared with us again in the evening session from the book of Ruth. She warned us to against listening to the wrong voices and urged us to “hold (or play) our positions.”
Heidi Hensely. In my second breakout session, I listened to Heidi Hensely speak on “Mentoring from the Inside Out.” She defined mentoring as “serving as a trusted leader with an intentional path.” That was the key–to be intentional, with an end result in mind, to grow leaders.
One sentence about each of the D6 Minis . . .
Sarah Cunningham. Give your kids the gift of ritual.
Josh Griffin. We need to equip parents to disciple their children.
Walker Moore. Must by his book, Escaping the Lie, and learn more about the “Orphan Heart.”
Michelle Anthony. The focus should be on people and not programs.
Tony Evans. The keynote speaker of the evening was Dr. Tony Evans. As a little girl, I remember his voice coming across the radio waves, preaching the truth unabashedly. Tonight, he centered his message on Genesis 18:19 and exhorted us to disciple with future generations in mind. He defined discipleship as “progressively conforming people to the character and conduct (attitude and actions) of Christ.” We need to live with Kingdom Purpose.
Skit Guys. Can’t forget these two, unbelievably talented, guys with hearts of gold. They had the whole audience in stitches, and I laughed so hard that my cheeks hurt! I will never be able to think of prayer or the story of David and Goliath the same way again!
One recurring thought kept popping up in my head throughout the day: It’s all about relationships. This year’s D6 Conference theme is Connected. The program directors are striving to show pastors, teachers, ministry workers and parents how to connect church to home to community and back again, and I think they are doing a fine job. We need to be connected in our relationships at church (Titus 2:4). We need to be connected in our relationships with our children and families (Genesis 2:24 and Colossians 3:21). Most importantly, we need to be connected in our relationship with God (John 17:3 and 1 John 4:19).
Tonight, I have “remembered the Lord, who is great and awesome, and will fight for my brothers and sisters, my sons, my daughter, my husband, and my home” (see Nehemiah 4:4).