The ONE Project... Celebrating the supremacy of Jesus in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Reminding ourselves that it is all about Jesus: the Old Testament, the New Testament, Prophecy, 1844, the beginning of the Adventist church, and the out pouring from, and conviction of, our lives today - are really all about Jesus and what He has done, is doing, and will do for, and through, His people.
I went for the first time this week - a little skeptical that a conference in this day and age really could keep everything about Jesus, and avoid the pitfalls of speaking against something. But I've come home knowing it was.
The format goes something like this: Worship (and boy was that a treat - 700+ people all gathered for Jesus - the worship was wonderful). Then throughout the day it was preacher after preacher... but each for only about 20 minutes. Then each table (yes tables of 4-8 people) would discuss the topic, share their dreams, and push the thoughts in chosen directions. My table had a variety of people coming and going, but the discussion was always wonderful. Somehow, along with an open mic even (risky), it all worked. Beautifully.
The MC got up at one stage and spoke to the radical hearts present by saying... we are going to do something Adventists never do. I wondered what it was - raising our hands in worship? Speaking in tongues? Worshipping on Sunday? Eating pork? NO... none of these. Apparently we were going to start on time. And then to cap it off... we finished on time too!
It was run beautifully. From the graphics, to the video stories, to the lighting, to the spirit - even when we had complaints of our church. The quality, the desire, the mission was high. It was the best Adventist conference I've ever been to.
Of course seeing many old friends didn't hurt either. Community is a big deal. And admittedly, if you came here not knowing anyone, or skeptical of the mission - there might have been a few challenges.
On the way home last night, I flew from Seattle to San Francisco. And sat next to a lawyer who became interested somewhat in the book I was reading - Called the ONE Project. We had a lovely conversation at 33,000 feet. He was in turn sitting next to an atheist studying evolution at a swank Bay Area university. I thought - "Oh yes"!!! I can have an understanding, frank, non judgmental conversation - (like the ones we'd talked about in this conference) with someone who does not believe like me. I was so excited to put into practice what I'd learned. Not sure he'd have known my thoughts though, and he didn't seem too interested in such a conversation.
But I live with renewed hope that my community can really be a people who connects all good things to Jesus, and lives to serve Him, and love Him.
And for that, in the middle of my ministry and all I do, I am so very grateful to a handful of men, who decided to stop complaining about their church - and do something about it. Kudos' guys.