I was blessed, privileged and oh so happy to attend the Community Bible Study Leadership Conference in Denver this past weekend. It was held in the sumptuous (YES, I just said sumptuous) Hyatt Regency Hotel, downtown. As a rule, I stay in my hometown and don’t wander too far. I’ve only ever been in downtown Denver 3 times in 5.5 years of living here. It was pretty nifty! Thankfully, a group of us car pooled and I did not have to drive. Here’s our merry band before we headed out.
Driving into Denver, on a Friday night, is…interesting. It certainly rivals driving on New Jersey’s Route 4&17 Cloverleaf/FlyBy/whatever they call it these days. We knew we were in our own little bubble when someone nearly took the back bumper off Sandy’s car. The Holy Spirit traveled with us all the way to Fiocchi’s, where we met up with 15 other gals from our class. After a wonderful dinner (and shared pizzas and appetizers) we checked into the Hyatt, then the conference.
Upon checking in and grabbing hugs from our Area Director and Area Director of Student Ministries, we got a nifty tote bag with the weekend’s program, a nice water bottle and a wonderful devotional book, A Leader’s Heart. We
hogged saved two rows so we could all sit together. After a wonderful, Spririt led worship time, we settled in to hear the opening speaker.
Kelly Cassels, CBS Board of Trustee member started off by sharing three steps every leadership journey should have.
We must admit we need help. Only with HIS help (God’s, not Kelly’s) will our leadership journey be transformed into what HE would have it to be. Then, we believe that GOD will transform it, that HE will give us the power to travel the road. Of course, we must confess that it is HIS ministry. Kelly said, “The throne in your heart is a one-seater. You need to get up and give it to Jesus.”
Another round of worship music, then Kimm Carr, Executive Director of CBS, arrived on the stage. Not only is she cute-as-a-button, she has the softest, sweetest Georgia-bred voice, and is one of the most transparent and inspiring speakers I have heard in a long time. Her topic, Navigating Life’s Surprises, was rich and meaty and encouraging. Her testimony of her journey of how she ended up in Colorado Springs in the position of the head of a world-wide ministry is amazing. Through it all, she emphasized that the focus, as our journeys must also share, is Jesus.
The evening’s program ended with a video message from Matt Heard, Senior Pastor of Woodman Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs. He had a great presentation that any native Coloradoan would be proud of. Using the illustration of hiking, TEAMWORK: Don’t Leave The Trailhead Without It, really came to life. Using familiar tools like maps, rope, first aid kits and champagne (well…we need to celebrate the victories!) he drove home the point that we are part of a team, not only in our local classes, but in the entire ministry.
Now, what conference would not be complete without late night coffee and peach cobbler over which to discuss the speakers? Not ours! The lounge supplied the goodies and we supplied the conversation. Long past 10 pm, we dragged up to our rooms to continue discussing the evening and get some shut eye to be ready to be filled more the following day!
And that, my friends, will be the next post. Stay tuned!