(photo, right: view from the stage at CCDA 2011)
It’s been a month-plus since the 2011 Christian Community Development Association annual conference. I had a great time there, as did my wife and children. My wife taught a workshop entitled “Theology of Rest” that was well-received. I was a sidekick in Jane Vander Ploeg’s workshop in the Business as Ministry track. I also shared the main stage on opening night with Mary Nelson and focused on the need for CCDA to affirm to its members that business is an outstanding Christian calling.
A month out from the event I think back to these takeaways:
1. It was great to have a Business as Ministry track. This is the first year that CCDA hosted such a track. There has always been an Economic Development track. But the business emphasis has been spotty in the past. Here’s to more “business as ministry to end urban poverty” in the future.
2. The networking was great, as always. There are too many names to mention, but I appreciated the casual way one can run into key contacts. In this way I ran into Scott Truex, Brian Jenkins, and Al Tizon, just to name a few. If you don’t consider yourself a networker, I encourage you to go to a CCDA conference and JUST STAND IN A MAIN THOROUGHFARE. The people will come to you, or within feet of you. Trust me on this.
3. It was great to follow the conference on Twitter via the official event hashtag, #ccda2011. I couldn’t be there for the Arthur Brooks – Jim Wallis morning plenary, but got a taste of it from the tweets. It’s oh so fascinating to observe what people “hear” in any given session. Richard Twiss sure got a lot of interesting tweets, just to name one “twitterable” speaker.
Finally, I’m grateful for the CCDA team providing a child care option every year. I was able to bring my entire family including four children. The three youngest were in child care nearly every session it was offered. (The oldest, 11-year-old Samuel, roamed with us adults a few times.)
Finally, finally… I’m grateful to God that my son could watch his father speak in front of 3,000 people. He was in the audience as I spoke, and he watched me on the two giant video screens with everyone else. Later in life he will have the confidence to address large groups of people, and he probably won’t remember where he gained that confidence. In that way he is privileged. I just pray that someday he recognizes his privilege and uses it as a tool to do the things God “prepared in advance” for him to do. (Eph. 2:10)