Kansas City! I just couldn’t resist using some lyrics from the musical Oklahoma! It’s pretty much impossible for me to even say the words “Kansas City” without that song jumping into my head. Oh well. This post has nothing to do with musicals. But I am trying to keep you up to date with our lives, and it is about Kansas City.
Brent and I went to the M15 Conference, which is a ministry conference put on by the Church of the Nazarene. It happens every four years and it takes place in, you guessed it, Kansas City. I had never been before and Brent had been once about 16 years ago. There were big general sessions (and when I say big, I mean about 3,500 people) with worship and preaching. There were topical breakout sessions. And, most of all, there was a lot of talking! Talking with old friends, talking with new friends. Talking with people we met for the first time. And talking with friends from college, friends from our days in Dallas, in Minnesota, in Oregon, even Vancouver, WA. When you run into all of these people, there is a lot of catching up to do! Of course most people, including us, don’t live in the same place anymore. That’s one of the realities of ministry life. Whenever we ran into someone that we knew, one of the first questions we ask each other is always, “So where are you now?” The truth is that Brent already knows the answer most of the time because of Facebook, but I’m not a Facebooker, so it was fun for me to find out where all these people are living now.
Brent taught a few breakout sessions during the week. One was on having a process of discipleship, a few on redefining church to culture, and a few on relating marketing strategies to your church. This last one was co-taught with our friend from Dallas days, Greg Hall. Of course, they don’t live there anymore. And their not even in ministry, at least not vocationally. He and his wife, Frisa, came up from Arkansas to do the sessions with Brent. Greg talked about marketing and Brent talked about applying it to church. It was pretty cool, but honestly, I was just glad to have it as an excuse to reconnect with our friends and learn about what’s going on in their lives.
Maybe we’ll go back in another four years. Or another 16 years, you never know. When we do go back, you know there will be a lot of talking!
One of the general sessions:
One of Brent’s breakout sessions (this pic doesn’t include all the people standing in the back):
Some friends we saw, old and new:
The Hartleys: we know them from Vancouver, WA. They’re in Alaska now.
Some new friends: I’m pretty sure all of these guys live in different places throughout Texas (for now).
The darling Frisa Hall:
The Halls and the Hofens:
And now you’re all up to date about Kansas City!