This past Thursday we got to hear speakers from around the country and meet conference attendees, some of whom came from around the world!
My favorite part was a breakout session called "Why God Calls us into the Marketplace." It was facilitated by Mark Russell - the author of several books at the intersection of business and ministry. He led a discussion between Bill Peel - the Executive Director for the Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University and Michael Craven - President of the Center for Christ and Culture. It was a great perspective on the intrinsic value of the work we do.
A lot of the conference highlighted "business as mission" and the instrumental value of the work we do: how it allows us to be a presence for God in the workplace, or how we can use the money we earn to support Godly goals. This breakout session focused on the fact that business does a genuine good, in-and-of-itself. They said the gospel is greater than salvation, evangelism is greater than an event, and mission is greater than ministry. Awesome insight.
We also heard from several other great speakers:
- Matt Chandler reminded us not to "live vicariously through someone else's faith." He cited it as a common problem in the information age when "everyone's revelations are available online, you don't have to go into the Word yourself."
- Norm Miller who said "life is about the maximum utility of assets" and we want to maximize the assets God gave us, for His purposes.
- JR Vassar who addressed the common concern of "maybe I should go into full time ministry?" by saying "don't do something different [go into ministry] - but do what you're doing differently [do your job with purpose and passion and as a form of worship]."
Plus, we just enjoyed being in Texas! Good food and good friends!