I had the joy and a great learning experience of being at Exponential this past week. It is typical of conferences, brain overload. However, the one thing that is awesome about this conference is the running theme and this year it was “Sifted”.
Luke 22:31-32 NIV
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
We heard stories of just about everything you can imagine when it comes to being sifted. We heard of health tragedies, marriage failures, church failures, you name it, we heard about it. Satan really is sifting God’s people, But Jesus has prayed for us that our faith may not fail. By the way, this means that our faith can fail.
I found a lot of encouragement and a lot of reminders that “I want to finish this race well”. There were more than 100 church leaders there as presenters and the one who made the greatest impression on me for the week was Rick Warren. I have a new respect for Rick and I will sit at his feet (podcasts) and learn everything that I can from him. There is great wisdom in his teaching. He was the most well known person there and yet he was the most personable person there. I watched him take the time to greet people, talk with them, hug them, pray for them, and just be present with them. That goes a long way in my book.
Soon the podcasts of all of the breakouts as well as the main sessions will be available and I would encourage you to listen to them if you are in ministry. I will post links to them here on the blog when they are available.