Tuesday, June 6, 2017

General Assembly 2017...

It happens every four years and it's my favorite event in the life of my denomination.  It's General Assembly and it is happening later this month in Indianapolis, Indiana.  What makes it so special?  Well, there are many things that I look forward to at General Assembly, but here are my top 3 reasons why I love it:

1) It is very much a family reunion...
I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene.  In fact, I joined the church when I was about 10 years old.  I have been on staff in 6 churches across three states, been the Preacher's Kid in 11 churches (ranging from infancy-now) since my Dad is a Pastor, went to a Nazarene University ("On a hill stands old Trevecca..."), and the list goes on.  To say I have Nazarene friends around the world is not an understatement and the only time I have opportunity to catch up with those amazing people is when we all come together for General Assembly.  It's a time to see how God is working in the lives of people across the world.  And there will literally be people there from all parts of the world (except perhaps Antarctica...I don't believe we have any churches on that continent...yet. 😁)  At Assembly we get to encourage and learn from each other in ways that simply are not possible at any other time.  It's amazing.  This year, I gave myself a challenge and I have been learning Korean.  I'm not even remotely fluent, but I can hold a short conversation pretty well now. I'm excited to be able to greet the participants who speak Korean in their own language this time.  Why?  Well, why not?  They are a part of my global family and not many of us in the States had the opportunity to learn any Asian languages in school, so now as an adult, I'm trying to learn.  Eventually, I plan to learn a little Japanese, Chinese, and even Vietnamese as well and then at the next General Assembly I'll be able to greet them properly too...but this time...I'm focused on Korean. We shall see how well I do. 

2) We get great training for ministry...
There are tons of workshops covering every area of ministry throughout the first few days of General Assembly.  This free training is available to anyone who wants to attend and is an amazing resource for those who want to grow in their faith, add to their ministerial toolkit, or simply learn more about the Kingdom of God.  Plus there is a large exhibit hall where you can get more information about ministry tools, learn about the work God is doing around the globe, check out the large number of Nazarene Educational Institutions that are represented, or even shop for a souvenir.  There really is something for everyone.

3) The Worship Services...
There are amazing church services in the evenings of Assembly.  They are dynamic, they are fast paced, they are really cool to be a part of, but more importantly, they are filled with the power of God as we hear His Word brought from one of our General Superintendents.  It is amazing and it really is something that you have to experience to fully appreciate.

There is also a huge service project that takes place leading up to General Assembly called "One Heart, Many Hands" (See the video below) and the work they accomplish is highlighted during one of the evening services.  It is always amazing to see just how much can be done when everyone bands together.  Hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of people will come early to participate in this amazing outreach.  

If you have the opportunity to come to General Assembly, I hope you will come and see all that God is doing in the life of the Church of the Nazarene.  And if you will not be attending, please pray for all those who are.  We appreciate it.  I'll share some highlights from the event next month.  

Until next week! 

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