5 Big Takeaways from CAFO2017

CAFO2017 was unforgettable.  As we’re hearing from so many people now back “on mission” across the US and around the world, five big themes keep popping up.  They struck a deep chord in many hearts.  I pray they’ll continue to shape us all over the year ahead.

1) God uses brokenness to create beauty.

“Dust is the very ingredient God loves to use…to take what has been shattered in the midst of our broken world – and form something amazing out of dust.  To form something amazing out of us. ” – Lysa TerKeurst

The theme of dust came up throughout the Summit, and Lysa TerKeurst’s transparent keynote challenged our perspective of brokenness.  See her full talk below:

2)  Broken connections become stronger when repaired.

“Here’s the really good news: That when ruptures are healed, when they are effectively repaired, the connection is made even stronger.” – Dr. Curt Thompson

Dr. Curt Thompson unpacked insights of neuroscience, reminding that at the center of all things is the Trinity, the inter-connected God, who wired us for connection from the start. “Our capacity to help vulnerable children..is deeply connected to our ability to be vulnerable with one another,” he reminds.

3) Vibrant ministry springs from a vibrant inner life.

Our greatest need as humans is not merely to be tended.  It is to be loved, and to know that we are.  This happens for the little girl in foster care only if she sees our eyes light up when she enters the room; only when the juvenile offender hears tenderness and respect in the way we pronounce his name.  To love others like that is not something we can just put on.  It cannot be faked for long.  It must rise as a natural fruit of life deep within.” – Jedd Medefind

What the world needs most are people whose very presence carries the grace and love of Jesus. That springs from a soul rooted deep in Christ. For more on disciplines and practices that feed the inner life, visit Justice & the Inner Life.

4) Seek solitude and silence with God, two practical disciplines to tend to our inner life.

“Truly the person that has been transformed by the rigors of an encounter with God in solitude –and an ongoing rhythm of encounter with God in solitude – is a person who is transforming and a person who can then bring their transforming self to the world.” – Ruth Haley Barton

Ruth Haley Barton spoke about solitude and silence, giving us simple, practical disciplines to tend our inner life.  To hear more about disciplines and practices to tend to your inner life, visit Justice & the Inner Life.


5) Welcoming the vulnerable can change the trajectory of a life.

“Thank you, because the ways you are taking on and taking in the vulnerable is painting a beautiful picture of your Father’s heart to the world.” – Kondo Simfukwe

Be encouraged!  Love alters lives.  Kondo shared how the extraordinary hospitality of ordinary Christians made all the difference for him.  Kondo now is reflecting that same love vibrantly in his family’s ministry, the church he leads and beyond!


Save the date to be part of CAFO2018 in Dallas, TX on May 10-11!

More at cafo.org/summit/dallas