How Now Shall We Live?
Yesterday was our return-trip home from New Orleans via Lightrider. Excellent choice. The time spent on this 'mobile retreat' was a great portion of the value of CCDA 2003. It was my first trip via a chartered 'sleeper' and totally comfortable, and best of all... totally set up for making friends and conversation.
So we all enjoyed getting to know one another better... but not just 'anyone'... these were certainly some of the "driven Christians" in the Racing Capital (state) of the World. CCDA'rs care about their communities and care about sharing the gospel (and their lives) with them.
So here are just a few of the many great comments during our Sunday morning debrief time together:
Cornelius: "If you come back the same way you left Indy, you wasted your time and resources. My wife's going to ask me 'what happened to you?' Folks, maintain your New Orleans energy. It's time to be about your father's business. If you have to get angry, ok. I'm angry. I see drop-outs, pregnant teens, kids in juv'y, locked & barricaded doors. I'm tired of going to young funerals. Question is, are we angry enough to go make a difference? If it happens to the 'least of these' it happens to me. If we're to love our neighbors as ourselves, then we need to take it personally. If it happens to the least of these, it happens to you.
O: Even though I think I'm doing all I can, I'm not doing enough pouring of myself into the lives of others. I've felt like a 'caged bird' in the church. It breaks my heart. [tears start to run] Single moms need us -- I know, my daughter is a single mom. Thankfully I can help her. But what about the others? They desperately need our help.
Paul: I'm coming back even more concerned about raising up young black Christian leaders for tomorrow.
Chris: I attended an 'After School Workshop' that was a dialog without a leader. We not only learned a lot from each other; one person got on the phone and launched a website to help facilitate an ongoing brainstorming & resource center.
N: What now is my responsbility & accountability? CCDA 'laid it all out' -- I don't have any excuse now. I don't necessarily like the challenge before me, but I needed that seed planted.
NC: Did anyone notice the great contrast in our purpose in New Orleans, and the normal reason go to New Orleans? [Oh yeah.]
#22: Desire Street ministry tour was cool. What a difference they're making. And it all started with a volunteer coach at Carver High.
A: I realize I'm not alone on campus now. There are others that feel the way I do. I'm encouraged and stimulated; empowered and confident that 'its the right thing' to devote my life to. When I graduate I have opportunities and an ability to be a life-long learner -- and that's what I desire. This conference has raised questions, not just provided answers.
B: We'ren not going to help people much by just 'showing' them (what we think are) the answers; rather, by 'being there' with them... showing we care.
K: Just training is worthless unless we put it to work and make a difference in a long-term turnaround via personal relationships. I think the conference was also very meaningful as perhaps an encouragement to those who are already involved for the long haul and may wonder about incremental progress; but when they come to CCDA annually they can look back and see their progress and be encouraged.
[The intergenerational exchange taking place on the bus was enlightening to all of us. Here's an example...]
C: It was great seeing young people involved in CCDA 2003, and we should shoot for even more of their involvement in CCDA Indy 2005.
Scott: I'm concerned that we intentionally mentor young leaders for greater involvement in CCDA for the future.
Meghan: Yeah, intergenerational dialog will help us do away with some of the traditions so we can 'step outside the box' more often. Remember, in the book of Timothy it says 'don't let them look down on you because you're young; set an example.'
Paul: But not arrogantly. Young folks... Never forget, what you're seeing and hearing from these established speakers is rooted in 'brokenness'. They've 'been there' and have been broken in one way or another before God. And that's not something you're likely to acquire at a young age. I know. When I first got involved in ministry, I was arrogant as heck. Don't make that mistake. Brokenness is what God desires and uses.
K: You're right. Brokenness breeds a more relational approach to ministry.
Cornelius: Right. There's a cost of leadership. Remember when Jesus was with James & John and they like asked him if they could be Vice-President and Secretary of State? Same as. Jesus rebuked 'em saying they didn't know what they were asking. They had no idea yet what lay ahead... his suffering and their suffering. My point? Y'all don't know what ya got y'selves into this week.
Ed.Note: My point in writing this journal note today? "Indy... Y'all don't know what ya got y'selves into this week!"