reflections from los angeles

November 16, 2009

(Downtown LA as seen from JR’s apartment.)

Taking part in Verge LA was an invigorating weekend. This was more like a large conversation than a conference, with 19 different speakers making 14 minute presentations on mission. Some random thoughts from the time there:

  • From a participant standpoint, I love the format. The presenters weren’t big names from the conference circuit, but practitioners like me who are trying to figure it out as we go. (Admittedly, some have more figured out than me!) 14 minute talks help everyone distill what they want to say down to one significant point.
  • From a presenter standpoint, the 14 minutes was nerve wracking. Not really because of the length, but the need to be aware of the time. I got anxious about it and cut out (too much) content on the fly. For those who are interested, here is my manuscript on Sabbath and Mission.
  • I left deeply hopeful and encouraged. There is a lot of innovation happening in the church, not for the sake of innovation, but for the sake of mission. We are part of a growing stream of what God is doing, and it’s delightful to be part of it.
  • I went only knowing a few people, but familiar with a number of others through online or phone contact. As I expected, mutual passions made for quick and meaningful connections with a number of others. Even so, there were quite a few people I would have liked to have connected with or spent more time with.
  • I’m not having the same emotional affair that I had with NYC. It might have to do with the fact that I lived in SoCal for four years. (Well…seven if you count toddlerhood.) Or maybe because I didn’t have a single good latte in my time there.

Oh…but I did have a Double Double, animal style, no tomato.

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