Reflections on the Cross Conference #1

I’m not one who gets a lot done at 35,000 feet. I used to feel badly about that as I watched fellow passengers pounding away on their laptops, but I have accepted the fact that airplanes are not good workstations for me.

crossheaderThat’s why it’s remarkable for me to be typing on my iPad as U.S. Airways takes me over … I’m not sure…maybe Nebraska?  I’m flying home from the Cross Conference, a student Missions conference of around 3500 people that ended last night in Louisville, Kentucky.

A baby is screaming behind me, the guy across the aisle is snoring, and I’m trying to put into words how these last four days have impacted me.  It’s not going to be easy to do it justice, but I’ll try my best.

  • I’ve been reassured.  The Cross Conference amplified the sense I had a couple of months ago at Moody Bible Institute (you can read about that here) that the mission of God is in good hands.  The next generation is ready to take the gospel to places it has never been – I’m more sure of that than ever.
  • I’ve been convicted and humbled.  In my normal circles, I am the “Missions Guy.” When it comes to cross-cultural ministry, I am usually assumed to be the most passionate, the most knowledgeable, and the most experienced person in the room.  But I’ve spent four days among people whose experience dwarfs mine, whose knowledge eclipses mine, and whose passion for the nations leaves mine in the dust.  It has been sobering, but I think it has been healthy.  It makes me want to grow.
  • I’ve been stirred.  I heard John Piper, the conference founder who recently retired from over 30 years in the pastorate, pray this prayer: ” Lord, I’m 67 years old. I beg you to show me how you want to use my life over the next ten years to take good news to the nations.”  I don’t pray like that.  But I will now.

Let me tell you something else I’m going to do, since it includes you.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’m planning to increase the frequency of my posts in order to share some highlights of Cross with you while they are still fresh in my mind.  It will help me to process these ideas and put them into words. And I hope it will be a benefit for you to hear, even second-hand, from men like Matt Chandler, Kevin DeYoung, and David Platt, whose closing message was among the most powerful I have ever heard.  No, scratch that – it was THE most powerful message I have ever heard.  But more about that later…

I’m glad I went to the Cross Conference, and I’m looking forward to bringing some pieces of the conference to you.

Because nothing is more important than the gospel, and nothing is more certain than its spread to every tribe and tongue and people and nation.  And amazingly, we get to help!  If this series gets you more excited about that idea, as these four days have done for me, it will be worth our time.

Welcome to Cross.  And get ready to be changed by it!

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About Sabbath Thoughts

My name is Mike Gaston. I am a former missionary, a Shepherding Pastor at Heights Church in Prescott, AZ, a happy husband, a spoiled father of two daughters, a proud grandfather, and a recently-convinced pursuer of the benefits of intentional, regular, contemplative, Christ-centered rest. This blog will allow me to share thoughts about Sabbath, as well as thoughts about God and the Christian life that come out of my restful Sabbath moments.
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10 Responses to Reflections on the Cross Conference #1

  1. Linda Olson says:

    I am ready to listen, to hear what God has for through your words!

  2. Sherry says:

    From someone who has read and listened to Platt many a time (Secret Church simulcasts, internet messages, books, and now in person at the January 2014 Truth and Life Conference), I can second the fact that his passion for the Gospel and the nations is inspiring, convicting and infectious. Can’t wait to hear all about your experience!


    • Sherry, I had heard a lot about David Platt, but never heard him speak. I was looking forward to his message, and he did not disappoint. I’ll probably be posting about his message in a couple of weeks.

  3. Sargon says:

    Pastor Mike, I spoke to one of the students that attended and it was clear that “Cross” was very effective. I am looking forward to hear more. May we all become “Highly Contagious Mission Minded Christ Followers”.

  4. says:

    Mike, thanks for sharing your Cross experience and I am looking forward to hearing more. David Platt is amazing. God is using him in mighty ways. So glad you are energized. I am feeling a vague restlessness regarding our local outreach. Perhaps God wants to do something new or different. Please help me capture your renewed focus and apply it to local evangelism! Looking forward to seeing you soon. Happy New Year! GTYA, Steve

  5. JoAnn Meier says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share!!

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