Moons Over My Hammy
Why would any leader spend money out of their church’s budget to take their team to a conference that may or may not be good when there are so many different ways that money could be used? As leaders, we have all had those doubts and worries and questioned whether we should invest time and resources into a conference. Every leader has felt the tension of using those resources to help the community or upgrading the children’s environment or promoting the next event. Is going to the Exponential Conference really worth it? The answer is found in four simple words: Moons Over My Hammy
Let me explain. When I was leading a church, I committed that not only would my wife and I go to Exponential each year, but I would take my team and their spouses, too. There are so many things I could tell you about those trips: how we all piled into a plane and sometimes a van and looked at each other knowing we all needed time to just breathe, or the moment when we saw the Florida palms trees and felt the warmth of the sun and knew it was time for a break from our ministry context. I could easily tell you about the times our team would go to different breakout sessions and how all of us could not wait to hear what the others had heard or experienced. There were countless times I would look down the row we were sitting in and watch as my team would worship, be challenged by amazing leaders and speakers, and be poured into by men and women who are much smarter than me. I could share the numerous times we ran into friends from other ministries who had become like family and listened to their ups and downs as they listened to ours. There are so many reasons why I believe you and your team should join us at the Exponential Conference, but like I said, it really comes down to those four simple words: Moons Over My Hammy.
The reason you and your team should come to the conference is because you will make memories that will draw you closer together, and that has the power to unify your mission and sustain you during difficult times. The memories our team has made have helped make hard times easier to go through. Sure, each year, all of us came back with gasoline poured on our mission to reach those in our city who don’t follow Jesus; but when I think of Exponential, I actually don’t think of the speakers, the breakouts, worship or even the lines at the food trucks. I am reminded of all the fun and laughter our team experienced together, like:
- The moment our children’s pastor and I coerced our creative arts pastor into doing the sky coaster and the sound he made when they yelled from 300 feet below to pull that lever.
- The time we all learned that our Operations Pastor could not go under water without holding his nose, or he would come up coughing (yeah, it’s really weird)
- The days we chose to go to Cocoa Beach and not answer emails or phone calls and just enjoy the waves.
- When a member of our church who races cars challenged us to a competitive go-kart race.
- When we would arrive late and go to the closest Waffle House and start dancing with the employees when the music would play through the jukebox.
The memory that sticks out to me the most (and if I am honest there are some I can’t share on this blog) is when my friend Matt pranked Waffle House. Now, what you have to know about Matt is that he is probably the best prankster I have met, especially when it comes to prank phone calls. I know this might sound strange, but he has this alter ego named D-Ray, and D-Ray’s voice sounds just like Roy D. Mercer. After a long conference day, our team was hanging out in our room. We all loved it when Matt did prank phone calls, so we were pleading with him to call someone. He grabbed his iPhone, found a number, and called it all while putting it on speaker. The voice on the other end said, “Thanks for calling Waffle House,” and Matt explained to them that he loved Waffle House and wanted to place a to-go order. The employee politely asked, “What would you like?” Mike responded like only D-Ray can, “I would love to have an order of Moons Over My Hammy,” which is actually only sold at Denny’s. She tried to explain to him that he was calling the wrong restaurant, but he insisted that he had eaten Moons Over My Hammy there before, and he was going to be there in 15 minutes to pick it up. This conversation went on for a solid 10 minutes, and all us were crying laughing and laid out on the floor trying to be quiet. It was by far the one of the funniest conversations I have ever heard.
Ministry is exhausting, and there are seasons of difficulty. Every one of us needs a space not only to learn and laugh, but to make memories with those we care for most. Every leader, regardless of position, needs moments to inhale and exhale and a time where we can unwind and rest. As servants of the Kingdom, all of us give and sacrifice so much to grow and expand the Kingdom, but we have to have a place where we can make unforgettable memories. Those stories will be shared with one another for years to come because it’s things like Moons Over My Hammy that will recharge us and keep us focused on the mission God has given us. The Exponential Conference is the perfect place to make those memories.
I hope you will join me at this year’s Exponential Conference!!
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.