20 Reasons I Love Church Conferences

One question that has always haunted me is, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  The list of things I have considered is very long, and in many ways I am still wondering what exactly I would like to become as a professional.

Interestingly, I awoke this morning, wide awake, at 6 am with this very question on my mind, but today I knew exactly what the answer is.  I would like to be a professional church conference attender!

This photograph is from the 2009 STORY Conference in Chicago, IL.  It was taken by Pastor Mark Beeson.
I absolutely love going to church conferences and it doesn't matter where it is, who I'm with or what it is about - I LOVE IT!  I've been to conferences in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Virginia.  I've been to conferences in large groups, in small groups, and alone.  I've been to conferences about big ideas, small groups, church finances, spiritual growth, preaching, and student ministry.

Here is a list of 20 reasons I love church conferences.

1.  Traveling to new cities
2.  Meeting other churchmen and hearing their stories
3.  Filling up a new, fresh notebook with speaker notes
4.  Discussing the material with friends
5.  Processing the material alone
6.  Free hotel continental breakfasts
7.  Joining a chorus of thousands of voices praising God
8.  Being moved to tears at stories of life change
9.  Feeling overwhelmed by God's presence
10.  Getting charged up to do great things and be a great pastor/leader
11.  Carrying around a backpack full of new books and resources
12.  Networking with like-minded men and women
13.  Exploring new churches, new cities, and new ideas
14.  Getting to know friends more deeply
15.  Having my spirit renewed with drama, song, video and preaching
16.  Break time snacks
17.  Q&A times during break-outs sessions
18.  The surprise and delight of something new and previously undone or unknown
19.  Discovering new preachers and new sermon material
20.  The anticipation that comes with thinking of how great the conference will be