Tulsa Workshop is epic in my spiritual journey. For over twenty years I have made my way to Tulsa for spiritual renewal, inspiration, and fellowship. Each of these years I have encouraged others to participate in this event so that they could experience what I have been enjoying for so long now.
I am certain that there so many things happening behind the scenes that I will never know. My appreciation for the workshop remains immense. It takes a financial commitment that would make the faithless shake in their boots! I do not take the Tulsa Workshop for granted.
There were some logistical changes this year that I thought were an improvement. Beginning the workshop on Wednesday and letting Friday night be the final evening assembly were great changes. The schedule was filled with godly men and women sharing great information. The worship times were energetic and uplifting. I enjoyed hearing some new voices this year. There is a generation of young intelligent articulate speakers that God is growing, and that encourages me. Those who have a little more grey in their hair (or a little less hair) are reminding me that age does not wither faith - it can make it vibrant.
Something tells me, though, that this is not the real heart of the workshop. The workshop needs those things. It's hard to talk about the workshop without talking about these elements. But there is something else that brings it all together.
There is a synergy about the collective of people brought together by such an event. Every person there wants to be there. Every Christian is on a mission to learn more about THE mission! We embrace those we know and love to see them. In unexpected conversations with 'strangers' we share ideas and information around a booth in the Expo. We end up at the dinner table with people we've just met, but with whom we will live forever. Friends introduce us to other friends. Folks we have only known in FaceBook land and Blog world are now flesh and blood! We remember those who are no longer with us. And we leave knowing that our part of God's kingdom is vibrant, alive, interested, smart, and meaningful.
Forget all this talk about the church being irrelevant. Sorry. I just spent a week with some enormously bright people on fire for God. These are the people who make good things happen in their home congregations. These are the people we wish would move to our town and populate our own congregations! These are the people who will sacrifice and give and sweat to see others come to know the Lord.
The Church of Christ is made up of some awesome people!
The surroundings, lessons, worship were great... but the people... wow. You can count on me, Lord willing, to be at Tulsa Workshop in 2011! That's a group of people with whom I always want to be associated.