It is very different from the newfrontiers conference Together on a Mission, which for me is about leaders in the movement gathering together and has an obvious feel of family. In contrast, the Willow conference is laser sharp on leadership skills, and the caliber of the speakers is impeccable.
Bill Hybel's first session was hugely insighful, and both Wendy Kopp's (Teach for America) & Catherine Rohr's (Prison Entrepreneurship Program) leadership drive made a huge impact on me.
But it was a throw away line by Craig Groeschel that has been bugging me tonight "Are you a full time pastor but a part time follower of Christ?" How can you answer that question without much soul searching?
I have always pursued a passionate relationship with Jesus. I have endeavoured to put him first as best I can. But there is something about being 'full time' that can blur things and drain down my passion for Jesus. To be very honest, at times building a church blurs and messes with knowing Jesus.
Worse still, I now realise that there have been times when I have had a devotional time simply to 'get it done'. That is horrible. That is miles away from 'a response to grace' that I want my life to be...
It was worth two days if only to realise this afresh. God is good and full of grace and I can go to sleep tonight knowing His grace is sufficent to keep me on track being full time for Jesus