I left for Dallas on Wednesday, July 28… not knowing what to expect. I knew that a slew of people would be in attendance, but really wasn’t sure about how things would go. Needless to say, I was quickly blown away by Watermark Church; This place is unreal! I know that the church is not the building(s), but this is a structure built with intent. A place where people can connect. I’m thankful for Pastor Todd Wagner and his staff for hosting this great event!
As far as the conference went, it’s difficult to know where to begin. I attended some outstanding breakout sessions by Blaine Hogan, Carlos Whittaker, and Gary Molander. I still have so much stuff to process about the creative process after spending time with these men. Better still were the conversations with them between sessions; I love a conference where everyone is simply free to connect. The speakers aren’t shuffled off to some secret VIP area, they’re attending just like the rest of us.
A couple of the keynote speakers just blew my mind; I cannot say enough about the time with Jon Acuff and Todd Wagner; Each encouraged and challenged the audience to lean heavily into our God and then into our gifts (not the reverse order) and use our creativity to tell God’s story.
I’m also so grateful for conversations with some guys who I admire for their passion for God’s Church: Greg Atkinson, Travis Paulding, Chris Moncus, Matt Knisely, and many others. You guys continue to inspire me!
We were introduced to an amazing talent in Jon Abel, who lead us in worship. If you’ve never heard this guy, go listen now!
One completely unexpected highlight was bumping in to Phil Cooke; This is a man who I have tremendous respect for as he is deep into “the business” of video and television production in Hollywood and standing for the Gospel in everything he does. I saw Phil speak at NAB a few years ago where he encouraged all of us to be networkers and people-connectors; Those words stuck with me and are so much a part of who I am today. It was an honor to sit and speak with Phil and thank him for his encouragement.
Hats off to Rob Thomas and his whole crew for putting on a great gathering of the people who do what we do in church media. Worship, laughs, encouragement, challenge, and relationships… It doesn’t get much better than that.