Details from Ember Advance, this past Saturday. The 'Advance' tagline was stolen many years ago and this type of event is one of my very favorite things to do. We actually combined an existing student missions training engagement with some extended time with the Italy team to make up this year's Ember Advance. I'm thrilled with every outcome from this day.
Very few churches spend a lot of time and energy preparing their short term teams and we had the privilege of helping facilitate this training experience for our home church and their six student teams headed all over the world. This was a follow on piece to a leadership overnight that we had run in January. The concept behind the event is simple - teams spend extended time together before they actually get to the mission field and this year's time was spent on learning some global missions concepts and team building. After the training event, the Italy team did a few more things as a team.
Here are the major elements from this year.
+ GCC Impact Prayer Time - Teams spent a little bit of time praying for the other teams.
+ GCC Impact Mission Roundtable - Ember Guide Tess spoke on Context and Worldview; Tae, new missions pastor at GCC, spoke about spiritual warfare; and I used an illustration about potatoes to talk about dependency and erupting talent. I heard the first two rocked.
+ GCC Impact Team Building Exercises - A 90 minute rotation for 3 blocks of interesting, fun, and purposeful team building activities.
+ GCC Impact Lunch/Ember Debrief - While the GCC teams had lunch and team time together, our team had a fantastic debriefing conversation which will help make these events even better.
+ Italy - StrengthsFinder session - You know how I love this. It's difficult to do this with a team in less than 90 minutes but that makes for a long session.
+ Italy - Field trip to NCC - We visit National Community Church almost every year because I believe they are one of the most innovative churches in America and because it's healthy for our students to see other expressions of Church. Saturday night's message on discipleship by Heather Zempel was easily one of the best messages I have ever heard on the topic.
"Imagine a church that makes Jesus' last command their first concern."
+ Italy - dinner in DC - Talking a little bit about the concept of oikos.
Special thanks to the Ember Italy team for working and serving hard at this event. Beautiful day.