It’s been a busy season of ministry at my local church – we are wrapping up membership classes, training new deacon candidates, gearing up for short-term summer missions, preparing for Passion Week, revising our church bylaws, and that’s all on top of the weekly activities that are always going on. Chances are, your local church is probably very busy too!
With so much going on right now, why am I excited to bring out my local church to this year’s SOLA Conference? Here are 5 reasons.
1. I’M TEMPTED TO BUILD MY OWN “CHURCH KINGDOM”
Being in the trenches of pastoral ministry, I find it easy to lose sight of God’s Kingdom in favor of my own “church kingdom.” It’s easy to pray for revival and be disappointed when revival does break out, but it’s at the church down the street. And I don’t think that’s only the case for pastors – I see that same sentiment in fellow church members. But by gathering together with hundreds of other people from dozens of other local churches, I am reminded that there is only one, true Kingdom, and we’re ultimately on the same team.
2. THE “POST-GRAD BLUES” ARE REAL
I am thankful that this year’s SOLA Conference has been expanded to include young adults. I see many passionate, Kingdom-minded, community-loving college students graduate and enter post-grad life, only to disappear. At my church, we call this “second puberty.”
I’m thankful that this conference will be issuing a clear call for all believers, regardless of life stage, to pursue God’s Kingdom together. Our post-grads need to hear that their twenties are not meant to be wasted on jealous cycling through Instagram stories or burning out at work in order to go on that vacation to Santorini. They need to be reminded that their twenties and beyond are to be for the passionate pursuit of God’s Kingdom.
3. THIS CONFERENCE IS CONTEXTUALIZED
I’ve been to conferences with top-notch speakers, leaving inspired and encouraged, only to come back home feeling like I was in a different world. And that’s because, culturally, I was in a different world. While I am thankful for large, national conferences, they often are too generic to be seamlessly applied to our local contexts.
SOLA Conference recognizes the unique aspects of being localized Kingdom ambassadors living as Millennials in Southern California. As such, we can go to this conference and come back, ready to hit the ground running. Plus, it’s nice being able to sleep at home in my own bed.
4. THERE WILL BE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GOSPEL INPUT
If you have not yet seen the line-up of speakers, you need to check it out right now! I’m excited to have my fellow church members receive robust, biblical, and challenging Gospel input. I am looking forward to learning about how God’s Kingdom impacts such diverse areas of life, from business and counseling to addressing special needs and pursuing justice. Oh, and I’ve heard a little band called Citizens & Saints will be leading praise for all three plenary sessions.
5. THERE WILL BE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GOSPEL OUTPUT
Along with receiving Gospel input, I’m excited for my fellow church members to engage with new opportunities for Gospel output. There are many organizations already doing incredible Kingdom work, and they will be present at the conference to provide attendees an accessible way to apply what they have been learning. I’m excited for my church members to have the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, such as The Seed Company, Global Medical Missions Alliance, OC United, The Renaissance Forum, National School Project, and many others.
GOD’S ADVANCING KINGDOM
God’s Kingdom is advancing, with or without our help. But, I want my local church to be well-equipped and faithful participants in His advancing Kingdom. I’m believing and praying that this year’s SOLA Conference will help contribute to that. I’ll be there with my church and I hope to see you and your church there as well.
And, before I forget, I’m also looking forward to free tacos for dinner on Saturday! #10tacochallenge