UPDATE: I wrote this post 18 months ago (September 2013.) And the Hulk-like rage is still surging through my veins but with fruit to show for it. Make sure to check out the link at the end of the post!
It’s been a little over a week since the D6 Conference in Louisville and me driving away fuming mad. Here are three things that have stuck with me since the weekend (and why I eventually left enraged:)
1. I’m not alone.
Thinking that churches need to rethink their approach to kids and student ministry is one thing. Talking about it to pastors and churches is another; it gets pretty lonely when the eyes glaze over. Being in a place where there are so many fellow speakers and attendees that get the need for a seismic shift in family ministry is beyond refreshing, it’s catalytic.
2. I’m on the right track.
Even though I wasn’t a main stage speaker at this conference, hearing the reactions from the people who attended my sessions was hugely confirming that I’m on the right track in helping parents and leaders change the cultures in their homes and churches to better help their young people own their faith.
3. I need to do more.
Up until this post, I haven’t told anyone this except for my wife, but I left the conference early after listening to one of the main speakers because I was so mad. I wasn’t mad in disagreement, but that I agreed in lockstep. In fact, I have been sitting on a book idea and outline for years that I felt I had no voice or standing to write that would address the issues the speaker raised. But I’ve been sitting on it out of fear of rejection. Not rejection of the manuscript by a publisher, but rejection of the public and rejection from the ‘experts’ in parenting and ministry, some of them dear friends. So, my face flushed with the redness of fury, I left the ballroom in mid-session, went to my room, packed my bags, checked out early, and jumped into my truck to head South back to Nashville. I called Hayley and poured out my anger and frustration with myself for not doing this sooner. I was furious in recounting to her how, in conversation with a publisher the night before the event, I purposely didn’t bring up the book idea/title when he opened the door in conversation. So with cruise control engaged, I furiously poured out the outline, the scripture, the anecdotes, and the meat of the book while I heard the clicking of Hayley’s keyboard on my headset. “We’re writing this book!” I said. “Sounds like, you’re writing this book,” she replied.
So less than two weeks later, the outline, table of contents, introduction, and first two chapters are done. Neither Hayley nor I have ever written a book before shopping it to a publisher; we’ve secured deals for over 40 titles up to now with just a proposal. But this one is getting written before I shop it. Why? Because I don’t want to wait any longer to write this book. So that no one steals my joy teaching on the topic of families, church, and faith.
So no one steals my fury.
I have to do more.
So thanks again to the whole D6 team. Because of you I know that I’m not alone, I’m on the right track, and I need to be furiously engaged in the faith/family conversation.
UPDATE cont. – The book born out of this post and that D6 Conference 18 months ago is done; House of Grace: Big sinners raising little sinners. Find out more at gracecity.org!