"Riding along in my automobile" is not exactly the song that I thought I would be humming at the end of the festival. But today, due to impeding weather, we find ourselves cruising the highway headed back to Kansas City. This experience at AoP has been one that is hard to put into words. I guess I could put it into the familiar adage of ’I came. I saw. I conquered.’
I came to a place of understanding and deeper revelation of what God is doing in the lives of young preachers. I came to a place that wasn’t full of criticism, biased, pressure, ego, but was rather filled with encouragement and affirmation. I came to a place of better understanding of my call.
I saw a diverse group of people - old and young - on fire for God. I saw the gospel in new ways. I saw growth taking place from session to session. I saw friendships form. I saw people thirsting for more of God’s presence. I saw a glimpse of the future of ministry.
I conquered fear. I conquered anxiety. I conquered my FIRST sermon (with ALL glory belonging to God). I conquered self doubt. I conquered the desire to compare myself to others.
I have left Indianapolis with more "Questions of the Soul", but I have also left with a great appreciation for the overall vision of AoP. To bring together young preachers of all denominations, ethnicities and backgrounds, not decide who is—or who is not—called to preach but rather to encourage each and every person to examine his or her own heart and assess his or her individual calling is a phenomenal thing. While I still have some discerning to do of my own call, I am appreciative of the catalyst that is the Academy of Preachers.