Last week the Cross and Crown staff ran our normal schedule Monday and Tuesday but then closed up shop to head to Cincinnati Wednesday through Sunday. We attended the CCDA conference with much anticipation (http://www.ccda.org). Just like two years ago, we weren’t disappointed.
I enjoy the CCDA conferences in large part because it is a gathering of people, ministries and Christ followers with similar intentions. Their main focuses are “community development” (that’s the “CD” part), social justice and intentional relationships while reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities.
After going two years ago and being blown away by the speakers and workshops I had high expectations this time around. This year was just as successful. The speakers were great (Shane Claiborne is always intriguing… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4TjXZNeBZ0 ) and the workshops had just as much practical application and ideas for youth that I could ask for. But, the biggest thing I took away from the four day conference was how relational Jesus was while He walked this earth.
One of the workshop teachers said, “No significant learning occurs unless there is significant relationship”, and I think Jesus modeled this best. Jesus invested the majority of His time into twelve men, His disciples. It confirmed that no matter what kind, how many, how effective or ineffective the ministries are at Cross and Crown we are to be relationally focused, as Jesus was. The food panty, clothing room, medical clinic, youth activities at Rock Island, optometrist ect. are all hooks. Hooks to get us into relationship with the people in our neighborhood.
It puts a new twist of the scripture in Matthew 28:19-20, which says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Disciples. Disciples. Not just believers, but disciples. Jesus had 12. He invested the majority of his time with these 12. I need to do the same. The One who spoke everything into existence choose 12 lives to invest in. I need to be relationally focused and intentional about spending time and energy with a specific few.
If you’re ever interested in doing the same, come check us out.