I am back from Wichita after a week of learning, praying, practicing, and growing at Gathering 2 of the Apprentice Experience. I am sure I will be sharing many insights with you over the next few weeks but here are some random items that are fresh on my mind as I return to life in the normal:
- My fellow AEers are amazing people. I don’t just say that. Up and down the line of the 30 of us include genuine, talented, sincere, brilliant people. But not just their skill set is impressive but their ability to listen, take an interest, and love on others is what makes them so amazing.
- Spiritual Direction is a really enriching thing. I had never done Spiritual Direction before but the two times I have done it, once at Gathering 1 and then again at Gathering 2, have been just what I needed. It is not confession and it is not counseling but more like a chance to get, as one of our teachers said, soul naked. Scary but so needed.
- Spiritual Disciplines are for growth. I have tried most of the spiritual disciplines because that is my natural bent and I enjoy studying, contemplation, solitude and silence. But what I had driven home to me was that Spiritual Practices are a way for us to move from our static positions to a growth position. For example…
- I need to be more vulnerable. I need to expose more of who I am to people. To let people inside instead of keeping stark boundaries. So, during the week, I made a practice of connecting with people in an intentional way. I invited people to run with me when I usually like to run alone. I joined a group of late night conversationalists when I would have normally retired to my room. I moved around the room so I could interact with different people. This was hard, but that is what the disciplines are designed to do. Be challenging enough to help us change.
- There is hope for the church. Politics were not mentioned. Trump was only mentioned in a light-hearted way. Theological debates were kept to a minimum. We were constantly encouraged to move from our head to the heart. What we were challenged to do is become like Jesus – trust Him, learn from him, be creative with him so that we could be outposts of light to a dark world. If we can do that, then others can as well and the ripple effect could be profound and exponential.
If you like what you are hearing from my reports and think you would like to join the Apprentice Experience, they are taking applications for Community 4, which will start this summer. Applications can be found here.