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Monday
Apr222013

LOCAL {a few of my very favorite highlights}

it's monday, and i'm still riding high from LOCAL -- it was an absolute dream-come-true. something i've had in my heart for a very long time, and with the right team alongside, on friday, 102 chicago-area children's ministry leaders gathered together for collaboration and my dream became reality.

i'm trying so hard to remember every detail because i don't want to forget a single thing. i'm re-hashing conversations with my husband, re-playing interactions in my head, and i'm re-reading the conference book every night before bed. i'm trying to re-live the day over & over as often as i can. 

today, a few of my very favorite highlights!

true collaboration: we planned the event so that people would meet each other, discuss their ministry challenges, and offer their best skills and past successes to help solve each other's problems. during LOCAL, new friendships & new ideas emerged as leaders worked to better each other's ministries. a spirit of collaboration and genuine helpfulness prevailed. 

 

gathering two: noel guevara & her brother josh shared their story about growing up in the church with special needs. participants were absolutely mesmerized by their story and compelled to think about the children & families with special needs in their churches in a personal, one-on-one, patient way. afterwards, folks were lining up to meet josh. it was the most beautful moment.

 

the core team: of course, leading the core team has been a highlight for me from the very first day. they've brought light and friendship to my life over the last 8 months. seeing them work as one team on friday absolutely took my breath away. i'm so grateful they took this journey with me.  

 

children & family demographics: during gathering one, i shared the illinois children & family demographics. after the stats on illinois public schools, we had a ton of follow up conversation on how to best partner with schools. there was great energy around the topic and i'm hopeful that we'll see a brilliant school-church chicago-area partnership emerge from these conversations. 

 

LABS: following each 20-minute large group gathering, we divided the groups into LABS. the LABS were for the purpose of greater discussion and application in processing the gathering topic. by far, the LABS were the greatest way people connected and collaborated.

 

our location: hosting this event at the willow chicago ministry center was perfect. every few minutes, we'd hear the "L" go by and we'd have to talk a little bit louder and we'd be reminded that we were in the heart of the city where both light and darkness exist, and that everyday we have the opportunity to add to the light by encouraging faith for children. wonderful.  

as for what's next -- who knows?! all along, we said that we weren't going to make any plans for events/resources/community that might follow this experience. we knew if we planned to do the event again next year, we wouldn't be open to the things that happened this year, and not as aware as to how we might best serve the leaders of our area. several people made assumptions we'd do the event next year {which, of course, was super exciting!} telling me they planned to bring their teams back, and i certainly hope that's true. we'll let the group & the spirit guide our plans.  

over the next few weeks, we'll continue processing and listening to chicago leaders so that we can see the collaborations that sprout up and how, together, we can create the next thing for children's leaders. on saturday, i received the first email from a few leaders who had an idea at LOCAL and want to begin working on a resource to release next summer. insane. and exactly what we hoped for. 

check out the LOCAL live blog, and melanie's lovely recap post. oh, and please! leave a comment with a link to your post, or pictures, or a few thoughts on your LOCAL experience.

cheers to chicago! the greatest city on earth. 

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Reader Comments (1)

LOVE the recap! Almost feel like I was there! You guys did an incredible job...it shows in all the details. Thankful for people like you - not just for Chicago, but for all of kidmin!

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Gist

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