On Sunday night, the five Elder Track men piled into a car (actually Dennis’ more than comfortable SUV) and drove five hours north to Beantown. The purpose of the trip was three-fold. One was to attend an Acts 29 Regional event on Monday. Two was to sit with the pastors from Seven Mile Road Boston on Tuesday and talk through the office of Deacon and what that meant in the Bible and at our churches. And three, was simply to make the most of 48 hours away together with much talking, praying, laughing, eating, and planning. All three purposes were accomplished and wonderfully fruitful. Here are some highlights:
- Matt Kruse led a session at the Acts 29 event entitled The Pastor as Strategist. That alone was worth the trip. In fact, after his session, we skipped out on the rest of the conference so that we could talk through his material. That proved to be a rich and fruitful conversation. While there are still plenty of strategic things to nail down, we reinforced our conviction that Seven Mile Road exists to see people believe the gospel, in community, on mission. Everything we do needs be about that purpose.
- The last time we went away for a conference, my frugality (others might wrongly call it cheapness) led me to book a hotel 45 minutes away from the conference site. The guys have still not stopped making fun of me for that. Needless to say, I felt great pressure this time around. But, I found a Sheraton Hotel, five miles from where we needed to be, for…wait for it…$65/night! Nailed it.
- Dennis is such a bully. If you had the misfortune of sitting in the front, you had better make sure you took out the EZ Pass in time or you were in for a verbal lashing. Each of us were running to the car calling “backseat” rather than “shotgun.”
- Laughed till we couldn’t breathe. Many times.
- Sat through ridiculous traffic to get to the Neighborhood for breakfast. The cream of wheat did not disappoint.
- On Tuesday, we spent about 8 hours with our Bibles open (and our various Apple products which the picture above seems to suggest is just as necessary!) talking through the Office of Deacon. What is a deacon? Why do we need deacons? What does a deacon do? Who can be a deacon? How should we call deacons? Etc. Again, a rich and fruitful conversation. Excited for what this will mean for us at Seven Mile Road in the days to come. Finished the day praying together for our churches and our cities.
- On our ride home, we took time to debrief on the past year in Elder Track – how the year went for us individually and what we saw in each another. It was one of most encouraging times I think any of us have ever had. Came home refreshed and ready to work for Jesus.