The Lobby (March 13-15) is less than a month away. The good news is it’s not too late to register, but time is ticking. If you are still waffling on whether to pull the trigger or not, let me share why you definitely need to come, from one small group point person to another.
First confession: I am an introvert, and there are few things in life I disdain more than walking into a massive conference to make small talk with people I don’t know. For me, going to a massive thousands upon thousands of people conference would be horrible for me.
But the Lobby is not like that at all. This is a small conference, with only a couple hundred people tops. That person you meet on the first day during registration? You are going to see him/her that night at dinner easily and the next day and the next. For me this was huge when I attended my first Lobby last year.
Second confession: my small group ministry is struggling. I feel like I hit a wall with getting more people connected. Let’s be honest more of us are struggling, and sometimes going to a conference and hearing the big names who talk as if they have it all figured out is not encouraging, but rather a gut punch.
But the Lobby is not like that at all. Yes you will hear some great speakers, some of the best when it comes to small group ministry. But those speakers only occupy your time for a few hours a day. The rest of the day is intentionally designed for you to have conversations with people who are wrestling with the same questions. Even the breakout sessions are purposefully designed to share ideas with one another instead of passively listening to one person rattle on about information that is not helpful.
And then there are the firepits. Let me remind you that this conference is in southern California in March where the average temperature is 70 degrees. Evenings are cool, but not single digits or lower, like some of us are accustomed to seeing in March. Instead of retreating to rooms, many people gather around the fire pits around the retreat center and talk. The conversations are all over the place, but again it’s about building relationships.
Just be careful as last year I was at a fire pit with Ron Wilbur and shortly before we all headed off to bed, he asked the question, “What questions/issues keep you up at night?” Great question, but not a question I want to think about right before trying to sleep.
But here’s the best part: there is absolutely no obligation to participate in any of this. You may need to attend simply to step away from everything, spend some precious time with Jesus, and sleep a lot. That might be the best thing you do for your ministry this year.
Please join us at the Lobby.