As one involved deeply in the planning and execution of the event, I am unable to provide an unbiased look at what happened. There are things I feel went very well, but I am too close. Similarly, there are things that I have negative impressions of, but that could be due to proximity.
So here is a rundown of the highlights. It is up to you to decide if you missed something special.
- pre-event involving shuffleboard in the cold evening with the team, some Atlantans (including Mr. Brown) and my kids. By the way, my 6 year old daughter out shuffled many of the adults (on a regulation ?board?).
- A typically thorough and brilliant (yet simple and basic) talk by Tim Keel on the church as an ecosystem (it is so funny that many new church planters think that the "holistic missional community" is some new thing. As if they are the first to go this route)
- Chris Haw causing trouble and making anyone with an open mind think (Chris wrote a great new book with Shane Claiborne). Some found Chris abrasive during the panel, but I asked him to push the limits.
- While a bit hot, the weather was still very nice.
- Shane Claiborne is among the nicest, most humble people you will ever meet. We have kinda known each other since 2000 and he has changed very little (and for the better). Some want to find clinks in his armor so they can feel less convicted by his lifestyle (this bored me). But face it. He is more right than most of us. Plus, what he does is out of conviction to Scripture and following Jesus. It is not done out of anger or with a sense of superiority. Other advocates and prophets could learn from that.
- The panel was too short and not as spirited enough, but some good things were said (too many of the panelists were quiet, so it was accidentally dominated by a few).
- A great Dinner with speakers, leaders and my best friend (roommate for 3 years of grad school) at Chadaway's, the best burger joint in the Southeast.
- I reminisced with old friends Danielle, Troy, Chris and Spencer. I gained new friends like Josh Brown.
- People responded to the ministries and social agencies represented, including Small Steps, which passed out 150 bags for donations, Created (a ministry to those in the sex industry) and many others.
- a lively discussion around he subject of the Sabbath led by Danielle.
- The emcee did not suck as bad as he could have, only making 4-5 remarks that only those above 30 could understand.