I had the chance to attend a conference 2 weeks ago that was put on by Steiger International. Steiger is the ministry that our mission partner, Luke Wehr, works with. I went because I was really interested to hear more about Steiger, their values, how they structure their international operations, and get to know their leadership on a deeper level.
Now, I say all that because what I got out of my time there had nothing to do with any of that. Sure, I learned a lot about the organization and their values. I heard their leadership give some fantastic talks on evangelism and risk and faith. I even got to connect with the Executive Director at Steiger.
The most valuable thing that I got out of my time at the conference was intentional reflection. They built in quite a bit of time to sit and listen, which is something that our society does not value. Efficiency, progress, and accomplishment are all values that our culture holds in esteem. But that reflection time allowed me to see some things that I needed to see.
I took out my journal and just started looking through it from the beginning. There were a lot of notes and entries from when I first started at Westbrook.
Hopes. Frustrations. Moments where I felt like quitting. Moments where I felt like giving up on Church.
What I realized in looking through all those notes was just how far we have come. Most of the things that I was writing about at that time make me laugh a little bit now. But I wouldn’t have remembered where we came from, and what has been accomplished, if I didn’t have the time and space to reflect.
There are 2 takeaways I want to emphasize here…
- Take time to reflect. Don’t just reflect on the past few months, but dig deeper. Get a big picture perspective on where you are and how you got here. Think about all the things that took you off track in the past…and how significant or trivial they were. Think about all the progress you’ve made.
- Take a step out and do something different. I had no idea what I was going to get out of that Steiger conference. There were my intentions for it…and there were God’s intentions for it. Often times it takes a step into something different for God to be able to speak clearly into our lives.