Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Catalyst Conference

Last week I was blessed to be able to attend a 1 day conference in Chicago with 20 of our Life Community fellow leaders. 
I was so blessed to have a husband and mother-in-law take over everything for Mylin so this trip was possible in the middle of the week for me!
Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel spent the day sharing with us about their history of becoming pastors of multi-campus churches and how life has transformed during their 16 years of pastoring.
They offered so much wisdom on organizational culture, values, building a healthy staff, and self-awareness (and so much more!)
This took place at Willow Creek near Chicago and Bill Hybels (senior pastor at Willow Creek) even sat and taught us a bit about central beliefs to our theology and what he has learned in his 30+ years of pastoring.

(For more information on the details you can visit here.)

Anyways...I went to this conference not really knowing what it was about or what I would even get out of it.
I didn't have too many expectations other than I love the relationships that develop on road trips and the conversations that are shared among like-minded people. 
After the first session on Thursday morning, I realized that I wanted to being praying for an answer to a specific prayer request be revealed to me that day.
I have been on a long quest to simplify things in my life and God is continually showing me areas that I can cut back in or change.
I had 2 small ministries that I served on a monthly (if that) basis and I was feeling God calling me to cut that down to 1...and keep my focus on my main ministry, MomLife, and 1 of these smaller ones.
I shared this with a friend I was sitting by and began praying for a clear answer to be revealed - my judgment was being clouded with pride, emotions, and over-thinking.
I am SO grateful that God delivered!
And it was VERY clear!
I won't go into too many personal details, but one sentence came out of the speakers mouth, "Loyalty is not a fruit of the spirit" and I felt released from one of my ministry obligations
Thank you, God!

Another cool thing that was happening to me was that God was giving me direction and wisdom on creating rules, or rather, a mission for my family.
Joel and I have been discussing this lately - what phrases, beliefs, values, we want our children to know and live by
While we are gathering wisdom from other parents that have come up with these already, we are molding some of the themes God echos in our lives into a Draper family mission statement
I do not know what this will look like for our family, but I envision having them framed and displayed in our house for our children to easily see and for us all to reference regularly
Some of what I feel that He is calling us concentrate on is:
All for the kingdom's glory
The joy of the Lord is my strength
All done to honor/give honor to God

I know there is so much more to add - and I know that it could end up just being the entire New Testament...but I want to make a concise, simple list that young children can memorize and obey
I hope to remember to keep my readers updated as this goal grows and transforms

Lastly, I felt that God was giving me many ideas of ways Life Community can improve as a ministry in our community and what I can offer/do to serve and help - I still am not sure what that looks like detail-wise...but I plan on working some of that out and having accountability to act on it!

What things has God been teaching you, lately?
I love to be vulnerable with friends and learn from each other - please share!


  1. Rachel, you're incredible. This post was really inspiring to me!

  2. I echo Kim sentiments. Right now, we have been implementing scripture (Proverbs especially given the age of Bailey), into our daily conversation and verbal discipline. We are taking Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and evaluating what that looks like in daily life. We have also taken a deep look into our family traditions....while we are preparing for some resistance, it is important to be conscience of what we are standing up for. While some of our traditions have a redeeming quality, others do not.
    Also, the Mission Statement.....something that we have teetered with since watching the movie Courageous. We discussed more of an individual mission statement, then after making a workable one for the Towne family.....I love the idea of posting it for all to see......what accountability. I have also taken a hiatus from Blogging/Facebook/Pintrest......I feel much more liberated and aware of what time I was spending reading Blogs/writing blogs etc. (Although as I am writing this, I feel a very strong urge to start blogging again...ahhhhh).

    Anyway.....Thank you so much for being open and letting us all into the world of the Draper family. :)