First Reflections Following Summit VII

My heart is full to the brim with gratitude to God for all that happened last week at Summit VII in Louisville.   As I’ve heard from so many others, I found myself both refreshed and provoked, encouraged and challenged.  Although I know I’ll be processing thoughts on it all for months, two in particular stand strongest in my immediate impressions.

First, so many amazing individuals made Summit what it was.  Keynote speakers and musicians.   Workshop instructors.  Prayer room coordinators.  Featured bloggers.  Exhibitors.  The amazing crew at Southeast Christian Church.  Greeters, room facilitators, registration helpers, and myriad other volunteers.  The list could go on and on.  I’d guess that more than 200 people played a meaningful service role in making Summit vibrant—and I sensed from every single one that they offered their service “as unto the Lord.”  Both “in front of” and “behind” the scenes, it was a beautiful thing to see and be a part of.

And second, there were the attendees.   They made Summit it what it was just as much as those working to put it on.  Many of us prayed before Summit that God would prepare every person present both to receive and to give.  That happened in spades.  Those of us who played a role in organizing certainly received—beyond what we even could have hoped.  And those who came as “attendees” seemed to continually be giving:  praying for each other, jumping in with counsel and advice, offering help for future partnerships and more.

Considering all these people, it strikes me that–far more than any logic or proofs–Christians are themselves both the greatest arguments for and the greatest argument against Christianity.   When we snipe and demand and exalt ourselves and seek our own, we do far more harm to our cause than the most vitriolic atheist.  But when others can see in us the character and actions the heart of God, there is no more potent apologetic for the Gospel.  What I saw at Summit—both in all that happened there, and all that the people who were there live out year round—was as renewing and inspiring to my faith as anything I’ve encountered all year.   Praise be to God.