The ADN Conference: Upon This Rock

Last week was the ADN conference, which, as I mentioned in my last post, was all about our identity as the Church of Christ. The theme was “Sobre Esta Roca,” or “Upon This Rock,” from the passage Matthew 16:13-18 – Peter’s Confession of Christ. We had guest speakers and guest worship leaders, introduced a new mission statement and new songs, and built on the unity we have in Christ as a church, as a congregation. It was only three days long, but it was amazing.

Check out the promo video from my personal page (shared from Jesiah Hansen‘s page):

Twelve disciples. One question.
“What do people say about me?”
“Some say that you are John the Baptist.
Others say you are Elijah.
Others say Jeremiah.”
“And you, who do you say that I Am?”
And Peter responded: “You are the Messiah.” And Jesus said
“Upon this rock
I will build
My Church.”

And then some information about the event…

Yes, La Fuente makes excellent videos. Also, the main girl in the video was my old roommate, Andrea!

“Comienza a declarar quien es Él y Él va a declarar quien eres tú.”
“Start declaring who He is, and He will declare who you are.”
                                      – Pastor Dwight “Diego” Hansen: Sobre Esta Roca (Upon This Rock)

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday morning setting up for the event – cleaning, setting up decorations, making sure everything was in place, and going over schedules so everyone was on the same page to make the week go as smoothly as possible.

Our two guest speakers were Mike Connaway (preached in English) and Andrew Spyker (preached in Spanish). They were both awesome, but to keep things short and sweet, I’ll focus on my favourite teaching, which just so happened to be the only English service (it’s just a coincidence, I promise – I’ve gotten really good at understanding Spanish, so much so that it’s become nearly second nature with a few regular speakers). Pastor Mike Connaway taught an inspiring lesson on Matthew 13:12, “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

“A miracle, you receive in an instant, a promise you inherit for eternity.”
                                                                                                                              – Pastor Andrés Spyker

He explained that to the world and those who don’t understand how God’s word works, this verse is the most “un-Christian” verse in the whole Bible, on account for how unfair it seems. But Jesus spoke not of two different people, but of the same person. The verse is all about mindset – if you think you have nothing and speak so over yourself, you’ll find that God won’t bless that attitude, and eventually, you’ll find that you will always have less and “not enough.” But if you speak blessing over yourself and thank God for what you have, and you count your blessings so to speak, you’ll find that God does, in fact, bless this, and you’ll end up with much more than you have now.

Pastor Mike Connaway teaching on Matthew 13:12.

This was something I really needed to be reminded of due to my current circumstances: God is my Provider who won’t let me lack in anything, and as long as I live by this truth, He will honour my faith.

So what, on the surface, reads like the most unfair verse in the Bible, actually turns out to be one of the most empowering verses. Just a reminder: your words have power.

This is the first conference during which I was on the worship team, and those of you who have been here know first-hand that La Fuente takes worship very seriously. In a fun way, of course, but we spend hours on a Saturday as a whole team (meaning all singers and all musicians) perfecting any new song we add to our roster so that when we introduce the song (that Sunday), we can have fun and truly worship with it – no stands, no anything. And God is obviously working with and through these individuals, because they kill it every week. I am so blessed to have an opportunity to worship with them.

Kelly Spyker (Pastor Andrés Spyker’s wife) joining us Thursday night for worship, leading the song “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong.

We love to introduce new songs, and last week we introduced two new ones: Come Right Now by Planetshakers, and Open Heaven (River Wild) by Hillsong. I’m hoping to introduce these (and a couple more) when I’m back in Chicago.

And finally – La Fuente is a church that values and strives for growth. On Thursday morning, Pastor Tony Simon (who will be joining Church in the Word for their Thanksgiving service, by the way, and he’s very excited about that) introduced their revised mission statement:

“Existimos para alcanzar y guiar a todos a Jesús, ensañandoles a crecer y servir en su iglesia.”

“We exist to reach and guide all to Jesus, teaching them to grow and serve in their church.”

And I realised why I came here, and why I need to come back. I needed to learn this myself so I could pour into others in an efficient and loving way. When I come back, I’ll also be setting an example of how to grow and serve outside of church, where people least expect it, and I can’t wait.

Thank you all so much for the support and hanging with me during this season of internal growth. Though it’s hard to really showcase the progress I’ve made, just rest assured that it’s all leading up to something a lot bigger down the road. Please don’t forget to like and share, and as always, prayers and donations are much appreciated! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away.

Love you guys!!


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