We switched venues today, moving from CCV to Community Church of Joy (CCOJ) for the final day. We listened to presentations by Walt Kallestad and Mike Breen (pastors at CCOJ) in the morning followed by presentations by Dale Galloway and Cynthia Hale. After a dinner break, we closed out the conference at Phoenix First Assembly where Tommy Barnett and the church offered the closing presentation.
It was a good day and a good conference. One of the best things about the conference is that it created a lot of tension. There was so much contrast among the different speakers and their ministries
For example, after spending two days at CCV (an awesome new building with extravagant high tech capabilities) we went to CCOJ which is in the midst of a major transition. Walt Kallestad presented a transparent confessional talk about the personal transformation he’s gone through since his massive heart attack (and subsequent 6-bypass surgery) in 2002. That transition was written about last year in a major ministry magazine.
Kallestad talked about his personal transformation from making consumers to making disciples. It’s been a difficult process. In fact, several of his staff members are no longer with him, and they’ve lost a lot of attenders in the process. But I’m thankful to see this transition, even though it’s very hard for them!
Kallestad was followed by his new partner in ministry, Mike Breen, who shared about our purpose as Christ-followers, using the "operating system" (OS) metaphor. It was very well done. Breen noted that too often our OS is the church, but he argued that the OS should be discipleship. It was a very thought-provoking morning! I definitely need some time to process it all!
Closing out the seminar at Phoenix First Assembly only added to the event’s contrast. It’s another huge megachurch, and part of their presentation involved special music presented by their various (huge!) music groups. They showed a couple videos of their Christmas and Easter pageants, and ironically, they were the kinds of productions that Kallestad has abandoned in the last few years.
So, as I said, this event has created a lot of tension. In the coming days, I’ll have to try to process it as much as I can in order to come to some conclusions for my on life and ministry.
But that just about wraps it up for now. Joleen and I (after we complete the first round of papers for this class in the morning) plan to head up to the Grand Canyon. We’ll return to Phoenix for the Emerging Worship service at CCOJ Saturday evening; we may also attend at least one Sunday services at CCOJ and/or CCV. So I may have more to say about what’s
happening there in the coming days.
God’s best to you!