Why Launch Out Is More About Community Than Anything
In my last post, I talked about the 5 Reasons Why You Should go to Conferences and the ways attending can improve your life. Little did I know that the most unconference conference, Launch Out, would be much more about community than a conference.
This past weekend we traveled to Atlanta GA to attend our second Launch Out conference. Having attended last year’s Launch Out in Nashville, I thought I knew what to expect.
I went into the conference knowing there would be hugs, great stories from some incredible speakers and even possibly some tears.
Knowing all that still did not prepare me for the community that awaited. Unlike most conferences, including last year’s, this time, I felt I knew many of the attendees. Rather than hiding wanting to curl up in the fetal position I decided to embrace the crazy.
Instead of going as an attendee to absorb everyone else’s dreams. This time, I had applied to be a speaker. Why not join the Dreamers and share my thoughts right?
After some discussion with the organizers, they felt a panel would best fit my topic of interest. Initially, I was a bit put off. I applied to speak! Not share the spotlight with others, I thought.
Powers greater than me and a message bigger than anything I could prepare was in the works if I would just listen.
After sharing and hearing from many other great speakers, it was my turn to share. There were three of us on the panel, all with different levels of Mission or Ministry experience. One gentleman named Andy lived in India and is responsible for forty-five boys there, then there was Amy, who was an AV missionary specialist at a camp in Alabama, then there was me. I paled in comparison to the service of these two I thought. I was humbled to be able to share the stage, much less the spotlight that I was so concerned about.
Words I had planned to share disappeared. We answered questions, shared our hearts. When done I could not tell you much of what I said. Through tears of obedience, I shared my heart, my testimony some would say. Tears in the audience showed me I was doing his will.
A bit embarrassed I gathered my composure and greeted the community that awaited. They did not judge me as I judged myself. Instead, they welcomed me into their fold of community, arms and hearts wide open like family.
I look forward to the next opportunity to speak before an audience. I pray that He will continue to humble and work through me.
It is our call to be servants and to go out into the world and make disciples.
This past Launch Out conference was a community of servants being bold in ways they likely did not imagine. I am in awe of each of those that were silent enough to answer His call.
If you would like to view the Mission and Ministry panel, here is a rough cut raw version that was recorded. I am humbled to have been a participant and look forward to more opportunities to share His message.
I would love to hear your thoughts on your Launch Out Atlanta experience. Or perhaps you were unable to attend but have another conference experience you would like to share. Feel free to comment below and join the conversation.
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.