At the encouragement of our church council at Desert Foursquare Church, my wife and I attended the national convention in Phoenix. I’m so grateful for a council that saw the value in having us join the 3500 or so Foursquare brothers and sisters who traveled from all over the world to be there.
Headliners included Wayne Cordiero, David Kinnaman, Chris Hodges and Ed Stetzer. We had the privilege of three nights of worship with Matt Redman. The energy was incredible and the teaching was phenomenal.
My wife walked away with two big take-aways. One, a greater understanding of forgiveness, and two, a deepening love for the people of the Coachella Valley. I’m grateful for such a wonderful woman.
I had a difficult time processing everything I heard and experienced, but here are a few of my thoughts.
1. The face of our nation is changing rapidly. With an influx of people from other nations, and a growing hispanic population in our Coachella Valley, I have a growing passion for blending cultures. I’m keeping my eyes open for an hispanic brother or sister who is called to minister to our valley. We could potentially start a church at Palm Desert H.S. next week if we had the right person with the right anointing.
2. We have an incredible opportunity to reach the young people (high school/college age) in our desert. In many ways, they are the poor and the least among us. My personal commitment to the students in our church is deeper than ever. I am resolved to bridge the generation gap.
3. The church is changing (thank God!) to be more focused on service and less on the service. Sundays are important, but the church is 24/7. We’ve been living this at Desert Foursquare, but this week was a reminder to me to keep living in ecclesia and being the church.
4. Modern media and technology are here to stay. Old and young are all engaging in social networking, videos, twitter and more.
5. Preaching is becoming more conversational. I had a conversation with Pastor Ryan Oddo in which he described how his Sunday preaching was always a catalyst to a deeper conversation. That’s not a novel idea, but the level of execution is. 63% of The Bridge attends a home group where they dig into knowledge and wisdom through relationships every week.
6. The church exists for the poor, the hungry, the widow & the orphan FIRST. This ties into pt. 2, but service in general is for everyone. I’ve been working through James 1 & 2, and the thought I can’t get out of my head is how much emphasis is put on what we DO. The evidence of salvation and a spirit-filled life is serving, loving, caring, helping, forgiving… doing the things we would not do if left to our own will.
Thanks to our church for supporting us to attend this week. I am so grateful for you, and I look forward to seeing you all soon.