I had the privilege of joining many wonderful people from around the region and nation at the Simple Church Conference in Lexington, KY a few weekends ago. The conference was full of bold insight and wisdom that spoke deeply into my life concerning both the realms of women in leadership, and the organic simple church movement that is exploding across this nation. The Spirit was teaching, transforming and molding my heart, and it showed! Laughter and tears were abundant as many stories of our King were shared with everyone. I walked away from a powerful weekend with renewed vision and passion.
Though there were many triumphs that weekend, I can focus on two of great importance:
1) Two by Two
My friend Jeremiah (pictured below in the black t-shirt) attended to conference with me. He has been involved with a simple church on UK’s (University of Kentucky) campus for over a year now; he hosted the community at his apartment for a semester! The stories and lessons that he heard at the conference blew the confines of his imagination right out of the door. I saw a huge transformation in his attitude towards our home church community: an attitude of defeat and stagnation turned into an attitude of vision, thriving multiplication and boldness! So evident was this transformation that he invited two of his roommates to the final day off the conference (Bryan in the green polo and Landon taking the picture below). They too caught fire to the idea of church as lifestyle, not a location. Now, only two weeks later, my entire simple church community sees a brilliant future of going out, two by two, into campus and starting new communities that worship the Lord! I am now joined by many brothers and sisters in the passion and willingness to go to our campus, two by two, to change our classmates lives forever.
2) My Mother and Sister
During the first hours of the conference, Felicity Dale spoke on the nature of gender hierarchy in the Western church. Women across the world are “mission critical” to the success of the global church, and this includes their strategic involvement in church leadership. During a following prayer time, I saw my mother and sister, who are not Christians, leading Bible studies in their spheres of influence. I shared what I saw, and the entirety of the conference prayed for both of them to be brought into the Kingdom for ministry! Exactly one week later, I had a Spirit-lead conversation with my mom about church (which rarely happens, ever), and my sister brought her roommates to a simple church alliance cookout. One week later…The Spirit is on the move, my friends!
While there are many more lessons and stories I can share, I will simply say that the conference was an enlightened time that truly inspired me and many others. I thank the Duerson family and everyone else who were instrumental in organizing the conference – your hard work and preparation has surely touched the lives of many, including mine!