Reflections on Unleash

Going to conferences usually evokes several emotions in me. I am usually excited about what I’m about to learn, but secretly I sometimes dread the travel, the time away from home, and the confusion that typically exists about where to go and what to do. It’s just my structured, analytical side coming out. I went to Unleash this week with my emotional ministry tank running low. It’s been a tough few months for me for a number of reasons, but the end result is that I didn’t know what to expect.

From the time we pulled into the parking lot, there were smiling faces everywhere. Thank you NewSpring for having volunteers so passionate and excited about the vision of your church. The main sessions were inspiring, the breakouts were informative and I left energized and excited about what God has called me to do. I think the second main session gave everyone a glimpse of what pastors go through. The emotional weight of leading a church can be overwhelming at times, and the conference really encouraged pastors. Thank you NewSpring for realizing that we are all in this together. That as churches we should share and encourage one another instead of competing against each other.

The worship led me to tears several times. I think everyone in our group was caught a little off guard by the volume and especially the subwoofers (right Sonda), but I absolutely loved it. I guess that is the result of going to so many youth conferences and concerts over the years. After the conference, our group from Cornerstone stopped and ate supper at Sticky Fingers in Greenville. As a pastor, I was excited to see how God birthed a passion in our people from seeing the volunteers at NewSpring. But it all comes down to vision. Having a vision to reach people in our community. Having a vision to help people grow and become more like Christ. I think everyone is starting to realize the impact that a church can have if they become passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission. God is amazing. He knows exactly what I need to hear and when I need to hear it. Thank you NewSpring and Perry for listening to God, and for encouraging and motivating our church to follow God passionately.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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