Tonight kicked off the Ignite Church Conference held at Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Chandler. This the annual national conference put on by Converge, a national association of churches committed to planting new churches, that Access Church is a part of.
This will be the third one of these conferences that Kecia and I have been to, and the second one that our staff has been to, but I’m especially excited about this one because it is the first one that we have been able to have a group of our awesome volunteer team come to! To have seven of them come and take time off of work to come and do this is a testimony to their unselfish love for God and love for people.
The conference kicked off tonight with some great worship, and a message from a pastor named Pete Wilson that really resonated with all of us. In it we were reminded that a church that really makes an impact in its community is one where Everyone is Welcome (hmmm, sounds familiar!) Nobody is Perfect (that we all make mistakes/ have sinned) and that believes that Anything is Possible. These three things spell out an attitude that moves us to accept people where they are, and yet believe that God truly does have transforming power to change everyone to become more like Christ.
And even thought it was a great kick-off to our time here, the thing that was the most meaningful to me tonight was when we got back to our hotel, and we all hung out and debriefed from the last few hours, the thing that was most on everyone’s heart was thinking about how we could serve the people in the community around us. I tell you, if I loved the people on our team before, I love them even more now! Because after being a part of a high energy program with a rockin’ worship team and a great national speaker, the thing they were most fired up about was making a dent for Jesus in our community by building bridges through relationships and service.
And I believe that the Lord will hold true to his promise, ‘Those who honor me… I will honor.‘ I believe he will honor the honest desire of these men and women to invite people to church and invite people to Christ through lovingly serving them, whatever that service looks like. All I can say is, with people committed to invite people to become fully-surrendered followers of Christ like these folks are… watch out Peoria… you ain’t seen nothing yet!