From A Certain Point of View
Over the past few years I have been asked to be on many different stages in front of many different people. No matter what you are asked to do, it’s always an honor that others would want you to be leading in some capacity from the stage. In just two years I have spoken at different colleges, taught in classrooms, preached in churches across the country from Seattle to Chicago and North Carolina. I recently did my very first “virtual” talk at a conference with leaders from the African Methodist Episcopal Church (technology is incredible) and I have spoken at other various conferences and events. Every time I am asked to speak, I feel the pressure to always do my homework. I ask questions like who is my audience, what is their background and experience, what is the most important thing that can be said and what actions steps need to be taken? I work hard at being prepared, I practice my delivery ( I do this in front of the mirror which is very difficult and sometimes awkward, but if I can look at this face and say something, I can look at anyone) and I try my best to be confident and bold when stepping on the stage. This is normal for anyone who does public speaking often, but I wasn’t ready for the stage I would be asked to be on and what I would be asked to do!
I have been attending Stadia’s Celebration at The Exponential Conference for years now and it’s always incredible. I love attending for so many reasons – you share a free meal with your staff and close friends, you get to have conversations and catch up with your peers who are doing fantastic work in church planting, you laugh a lot, you are inspired to stay faithful, and yet reminded how big the Kingdom of God really is. The emcee has a really difficult job because there are so many in the room for so many different reasons. Some are there to learn more about church planting, others are looking for a group to call family, some are planters who need help in a variety of ways and others are just wanting to straight up party and let loose. The emcee has the responsibility of getting people’s attention, celebrating all that God is doing, transitioning, and introducing different presenters. I know how difficult this job can be because I was asked to emcee this event last year! Although challenging while on stage there was something, I noticed because of my unique vantage point.
As I began to look around, there were so many people represented in this one space. Megachurch pastors, microchurch pastors, different church planting organizations, partners from all kinds of denominations, men and women from different countries and ethnicities, church staff and leaders from around the world – and to say it was a little intimidating would be a gross understatement. When you have Dave Ferguson, who is leading Exponential, to the left of you and then Albert Tate, who is one of the best speakers in the country, directly in front of you, inwardly you are freaking out. The level of influence in the room is overwhelming to think about.
Although that is what I initially saw at first, as the night went on the titles and personalities started to disappear. I began to see everyone for who they really are and, more importantly, why they were there. The Stadia party is filled with men and women who are children of the highest God who have vested interest in seeing God’s Kingdom expand. Almost everyone has dedicated their lives to serving the local church and wants the world to experience the love of Jesus. Their ambition is for lost sons and daughters to return home and they won’t stop until every child has a church.
I will not be the emcee this year at the Stadia party (thank you, Jesus), but there is no way I would miss this night. If you want to be around high capacity leaders who will stop at nothing to grow God’s Kingdom and experience fun, laughter and a free meal, then you have to be there! Each year I walk out encouraged and grateful for what God is doing in His church and who He is using to accomplish this beautiful mission.
Join me at The Stadia Party at The Exponential Conference on March 3 at 6:30 and see church planting from a new point of view.
Crockett, and his wife Natalie, have been in ministry over 18 years and they have been primarily focused in the Southeast region. While in college they served in churches in Virginia and Kentucky and after graduation they were full-time in Ohio and Atlanta. Crockett has always been burdened for churches to ” do whatever it takes” to introduce people to Jesus Christ. This led him and his family to move to Hickory, North Carolina and start Vintage City Church. Crockett has served on the boards of different church planting networks, coached multiple planters and is obsessed with helping the church live on mission. Crockett and Natalie have three amazing kids who are sold out to church planting. Crockett’s role at Stadia is to build relationships with churches and planters in the Southeast region and help Stadia plant more churches that intentionally care for children in the U.S and around the world.