After five years of talking, planning, and dreaming for the International Leadership Conference, it all came together with over 2000 disciples from all nations meeting in Orlando, Florida. It was worth every bit of time, effort, and sacrifice that went into the preparation.
We got to hear brothers and sisters share, teach and exhort on how to build in a way to both please and glorify God and motivate the body of Christ. The presenters shared what is working, what is not working, and how to share it with all disciples and pull in leaders from all over the world. Three things stood out to me: what was shared, what was experienced, and what was not said.
It was clear to those who attended and will be to those who listen later, that it was all about Jesus. Our theme “Cruciform,” taking the shape of the cross, was about leaders leading like Jesus. Not the world’s idea, our cultural ideas, nor the latest craze seen on the internet; not even leadership personalities, but what God wants and how will we as a worldwide body of believers will lead God’s people. The insights into the Word of God, the openness to personal struggles, and the willingness to share were inspirational.
For those that personally attended, we shared a common experience. Unity and love are at an all-time high. Coming together after a years-long global pandemic made the fellowship sweet even with the threat of resurging Covid infections. Reconnecting and sharing our lives with friends from all over the world encouraged us all and reminded us of the importance of worldwide relationships.
Lastly, what stood out to me was what wasn’t shared. That’s an odd statement, as we usually focus on what has been shared and perhaps those who shared it. So what wasn’t shared, preached about, or highlighted? Detailed descriptions of our past hurt in the Kingdom. We are all in a learning mode and ready to help the Kingdom advance and move forward. We have all braved a global pandemic so we now have a new collective starting point. How can we build healthy churches after experiencing this? Every Christian and every church desires to be effective and to learn how we can all work together.
That was what the ILC accomplished and it was everything my heart needed.