Since Wednesday, I have been at the National Pastor's Convention. About once a year, I try to put myself with people who I would normally not be with, hearing people speak who I would normally get to hear. I always come away with a lot to think about.
I heard William Willimon, who I have read and listened to for years. He always makes me think. When he preaches, he has a way making it look easier than it really is. It takes hard work to do that.
I had the opportunity to have breakfast and a long conversation with Scot McKnight. I have been reading Scot's blog for sometime now. It is easily one of the best blogs I read. It was very good to meet a blogger who I have been reading for awhile. I also heard him speak at two seminars. One on the Jesus Creed and Embracing Grace (Both of these are titles of Scot's books). He has an engaging, yet passionate way of speaking that has a way of drawing listeners in. He makes me think.
Thursday evening I heard John Ortberg speak. He is someone who I have read and heard on tape but this was the first time I have had the opportunity to hear him speak. A very good message on dealing with difficult people.
Other highlights included hearing Ben Patterson interview Dallas Willard, asking him to reflect on his work and ministry. I've been blessed by his books. What a blessing to hear him reflect for a few minutes. I always learn something when he talks.
This was a good conference. A few days like this go a long way in terms of helping me think and reflect on my life and ministry. I suspect it will also be helpful in ways I don't expect.