Tuesday, April 25, 2006



What an amazing Saturday conference we had at ENGAGE.

I can't even begin to describe all the cool stuff we did and experienced.

There's a cool picture journal and blog of the day's events over at:

Go check out some of the workshops, arts entries on the graphitti wall, the service projects we went out on, etc.

All in all, the day exceeded my expectations.

There were people who had never done anything like this in their spiritual life before, and this was my target audience. So, I was thrilled to have so many people take their first steps outside their comfort zone to serve the least and the lost at ENGAGE.

The workshops were all well received and all of the feedback I got was glowing.

The service projects were all very successful. People were blessed, and our participants were excited to be putting their hands and their feet into action for the Gospel.

David Ruis did a fantastic job. I am so honored to call this guy a friend and a brother. He delivered two challenging messages to our group that inspired and blessed us.

The Arts Interactive was the most ambitious part of the day, and in hindsight I think I wouldn't have done so much on setting it up as I did for this day. Next year will be cool, but not as "over the top" as this one was. The best thing was that people really did pick up a brush and a pen and began to share their thoughts and experiences on paper for all to see. I was happy about that.

1. I would make it a two day event. Start on Friday afternoon/evening and extend the experience and the dialog a bit. Maybe even have it spill over onto a Sunday morning also.

2. I will make the next ENGAGE event small on purpose. This year's event was about 70 people and that's about right. I'll cap next year at 100 or less to keep the interaction and the intimacy level high.

3. I'd like to have David Ruis return, but I'd also like to involve other voices like Greg Russinger, Crissy Brooks and my buddy Scott Laumann (who had planned to come this year but couldn't make it at the last minute).

4. Arts Elements: I like the artistic elements very much, but maybe this should be a separate track? I'm not sure. The other option is to do a separate arts conference that specifically focuses on art and justice. This would be small and highly creative, which I love.

5. Involve other area ministries more. I have good friends who work for some incredible ministries here in the OC and I'd love to have them enjoy a larger presence at the event. The OC Rescue Mission, MIKA, the OC Interfaith Shelter, Teen Challenge, Side By Side Ministries, MoreOfJesus.org, and many others, are doing great work for the poor in the OC and I'd love to have a roundtable with reps from each of these groups to come and share together about the face of poverty in Orange County and how we can all work together to improve the quality of life.

6. More volunteers. I did the entire conference pretty much on my own. This is why I am exhausted. This is why I didn't see my family for most of the last week. I will gather volunteers and empower them much earlier in the process next time. I promise.

7. Speaking. I think I'd like to actually take one of the sessions to share next time. I had originally planned to share at this ENGAGE, but because of all the pressure on me (due to lack of volunteer involvement) I decided to let David do all the talking...and it was awesome! But next time I want to share about what I've learned specifically about dealing with poverty in the OC over the last three years or so.

All in all, it was a great day. I'll have podcasts/downloads of David Ruis' messages at ENGAGE pretty soon for everyone to listen to for free. It was a wonderul experience and I can't wait for next year.

Now I turn my attention to MOMENTUM and the Roadshows in June.

Back to work!

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