I had the opportunity to attend the New Room Conference in Nashville, TN on September 20-22nd . This was the 2nd time in the last three years that I was able to attend. This year’s conference was head and shoulders above my previous time attending (two years ago).
Many conference that I’ve attended fall into the category of “trainings.” We (Pastors and Laity) attend in order to learn how to be more effective in ministry in our churches and communities. “Training” conferences always have a worship element that I’ve felt refreshed with- but the main attraction is usually the nuts and bolts you receive.
This year’s New Room does not fall into the “training” Conference, unless it is a training in revival.
From Sandra Richter speaking about the stages of Spiritual Awakenings through the life of Josiah in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles; to Adam Weber challenging us to tap into the power of prayer; Lisa Yebuah preaching how God has a track record of making a way in our places of impossibility; Bishop Swanson preaching about our relationships with one another and our ability to be present.
What was most impactful for the conference was the ministry of Sandy Millar (Founder of Alpha) and the worship leading of Mark Swayze Band. Millar is an Anglican priest who is full of the Holy Spirit (who knew such thing existed?). The Holy Spirit worked through Sandy is powerful ways while he shared on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Mark Swayze, and his band, helped facilitate worship musically in a way that brought depth and language to the work of the Spirit in our midst. (The picture above is from one of these worship times). I have been to many conferences across the spectrum, but never have I encountered the Holy Spirit as I did at New Room.
This Conference is important because as I write, a shooter has killed over 50 people and injured 400+ in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is, yet again, evidence of a problem in our world. The problem is our human propensity to sin. Spiritual problems need a spiritual solution. Seedbed, the organization that puts on New Room, is committed to sowing for a Spiritual Awakening. Coming home from New Room, I am hopeful that we are beginning to see the first shoots of a new awakening springing forth from the ground!