KAUAI: Someone Had to Do It
All abuse coming to me is richly deserved. A pastors’ conference in Kauai?
Those Christian Church guys know how to pick a conference site. In Churches of Christ, we usually go for exotic places like Abilene, Lubbock, and Midland. (Well, there is that annual pilgrimage to Malibu.)
Actually, I think this was exotic even for them. They went there because this is the last year for Bob Russell (who I think maybe started the group many years ago) as senior pastor of the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville–a church of about 19,000. This year is the 100th anniversary of the formal division between Churches of Christ and Christian Churches, so it’s one of many activities planned together.
Building megachurches is no longer a big vision for me. I more prefer the idea of sending out Christ-followers who will seep into every crevice of society as they participate in the mission of Jesus. This may result in large churches, small churches, cell churches, etc.
Having said this, it was wonderful to meet so many of these men and women who have given their lives for evangelism. Very inspiring. (Some of the specific lessons I learned I’ll try to come back to later.) They have built churches that have preached and lived the good news.
We come from different backgrounds, different schools (theirs tend to be Bible colleges and ours tend to be universities), different conferences, different churches, etc. But we have so much heritage in common. One of their ministers told me that it seems to him that they were trained to be evangelists while we were trained to be theologians. That’s exaggerated, of course. But it does indicate that we could certainly use the help each group could offer the other.
Now — about Kauai. What can I say? (Unnecessary note to Highland members: yes, we paid our own way.) Diane and I love to hike together, so we hiked all over the canyon: on the stunning Kalalau trail (with views of the Na Pali coast), to the top of the Sleeping Giant on the west-side trail, to the bottom of Wailua Falls, and on parts of several trails through Waimea Canyon. I also snorkeled a little, but Diane thought the water was a wee bit cold. Against my best judgment (with a touch of acrophia that only kicks in with tiny aircraft, bridges, and some buildings — all things made by people — I feel pretty good on things that God made like mountains), we took a helicopter ride that is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done for sheer beauty.
We missed the last part of the conference. A 7th grade basketball game to get back to, you know.