I mentioned in my blog last week about this cool conference called M15 that I had the privilege to attend. This conference takes place every four years in different places. The fact that it was in Kansas City this year and I was able to go as a freshman was an incredible blessing!
My friend Jaque and I left Monday afternoon and headed to downtown Kansas City. MNU took care of most of the costs: hotel, the conference, and lunch on Tuesday. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel. There’s 28 floors to that thing and we were on the 17th. I despise elevators to no end because I made the mistake of watching Devil on Halloween one year, but there was no way I was climbing 17 flights of stairs. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. BI love any form of adventure I can get, and being from the country, tall buildings and busy traffic is something to get used to. I’m still not used to Olathe traffic so I hardly ever go anywhere that I have to drive to.
The conference started off with a service Monday evening after dinner and registration. There were five services total with six workshop sessions available. I went to 4 workshops and by the time I left, my brain hurt from all the information. The first one was “Capturing the Hispanic Heart.” Since I plan to be a missionary in a Hispanic country, the workshop touched on how to interact with Hispanics and fully accept their culture.
The next session was called “Hospitable Church.” Shawna, pastor and leader of the session, talked about why the younger generation is falling away from the church. I’ve been wondering about this topic for awhile now and the reasons vary, but the “Y” generation feels relationally detached from the church once they graduate high school. The funny thing is, I am writing a paper for Comp II about this very topic. The information I obtained I am definitely using in my paper. I’m excited about that.
Each service, a different speaker spoke. My favorite was Cheryl Sanders. She was hilarious and you could tell she was on fire for God. She also spoke on the subject of younger generations, but that was pretty much the theme for the conference, hence the motto “Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future.”
The last workshop I went to had to do with a controversial topic in today’s society: “What to do when a congregant member says, “I’m Gay!” I’ve been curious myself as to how to handle these situations throughout my everyday life. Without getting too much into what was said, it was a great discussion. The panel of people was helpful in the way that different viewpoints were shared.
I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I had to go to this conference. As much fun as it is to be at MNU, being able to skip a couple days of class, not wearing shower shoes, eating at Chipotle and going to Starbucks was definitely a great time. Surprisingly, I ended up getting to bed earlier too. Each night I try to reflect back on my day and figure out what I can do differently the next day. Monday night, there was this beautiful sunset. It was one of those sunsets that was so beautiful that a phone can’t quite capture all of its beauty. I see God in every sunset and I knew when I saw that one that He was ever so present throughout the conference. He hasn’t left me yet either. I hope to attend many more of these conferences in the future. If you would like to know more about the M15 conference: http://www.m15conference.org/
I hope you guys have a fantastic week. Thanks for reading!!