One thousand, three hundred and forty-six. That’s how many students descended on the Indianapolis Convention Center to attend the 2019 Cru Winter Conference in Indianapolis, which happened December 28th to January 1st. During the conference, the students heard speakers, did outreach, had a lot of fun, and there was a LOT of music!
My every waking minute was spent prepping music, running rehearsals, working with the conference planning team, working out song lists, and coming up with ideas for how the worship songs could be arranged and executed to create moments where musical worship helped the students have an encounter with God.
This is my third year to direct the worship band (pictured above), which is made up of students from many different campuses who had never played together before being selected for this team. It takes just about everything I have in my musical bag-of-tricks to pull off, and it’s exhausting. But, it’s extremely rewarding to be part of how God moves in so many students’ lives!
Preparing for that conference took a lot of my December, and when my head wasn’t buried in music, it was buried in a Bible and a bunch of textbooks! That’s because in the weeks before and after the conference, I took my final two theological development classes for Cru. They covered biblical interpretation, cultural issues, LOTS of reading and audio lectures, and LOTS of writing and speaking. But, as of the last couple of days, I’ve completed Cru’s course of 11 seminary-level theological classes.
<Audible sigh of relief.>
But alas… there’s no rest for the weary. I leave on the 24th to head to Thailand to lead worship for a conference of Cru’s staff and short-term missionaries who serve in various parts of Asia. To protect our staff who serve in countries where the spiritual and political climate makes it dangerous for them to be missionaries, we’re on a complete media blackout, and I can’t mention anything about the conference location, attendees or other details on social media – we can’t risk outing someone over an Instagram or Facebook post.
And then, when I’m home in February, I’ll take a few days off and rest.
Whether it’s directing the band for a huge conference for 1346 college students in Indianapolis, or playing guitar for few hundred missionaries in Thailand, I’m grateful to bring everything I have as an offering. And I’m even MORE grateful for your sacrifices of prayer and finances – they allow us to continue to use music to help accelerate the work of building God’s Kingdom around the world. You’re part of that with us!
…for our teams abroad. This month, we have teams in Spain and Thailand leading worship for missionary conferences. Please pray that our people (and equipment!) experience safe travel and adjust quickly to the climates, time zones, etc. Also, pray for my health as well – I’m finishing up a bout with some sort of flu, and am quite ready to stop coughing!