Over the past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel down from Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee to take part in Donald Miller’s StoryLine Conference. I will say from the beginning, that the main drive that caused me to register and take part in the conference was the influence that Don has been in my life through the reading of his books. It was not until I was down there that I realized the application a story like this would have on someone’s life. The writing that I’ll be doing will be a mix between a summary, evaluation, and my own reflections. I’ll also include a collection of images from the weekend at the close of the entry [Check out the StoryLine book!].
While a lot of folks may give Don a bad rep because he isn’t exegeting and exposing the truths of passages, resulting in stirring of the Holy Spirit by their unavoidable application… I was seriously moved by the amount of reevaluating of my own life that had to take place as I sit and listened to lecture after lecture.
God did not create us to live in reaction, but to be co-creators of a meaningful life. – Donald Miller
What type of reevaluating took place? The nearly 1,000 people who were in attendance were encouraged to reflect on our own stories, hence the name of conference. For centuries, the people of God understand and bond with God through the narratives that He is writing. From the very beginning, God has been penning the story that climaxes in the Cross and Resurrection events and culminates in the New Creation. The people of God are not to sit idly by and be spectators. The people of God are called not to reaction but to action. Most prominently we see that in the Great Commission that is found at the close of the Gospel of Matthew. “MAKE DISCIPLES.”
Disciple making is our mission, but what is our vocation? What is the means to that end in which we all strive? Many of us think that the means is either elaborate and unattainable (“I will be single my whole life because I’m called to translate the Bible into 25 different languages while I am a missionary in the Pitcairn Islands!”) or straight up mundane and boring (“I don’t really have a direction for my life – God just wants me to be me and I’m okay with that”). Most Americans might lean on the latter response, and Don and others that spoke at StoryLine might say that we all have much more potential than we can ever imagine (Though we aren’t all called to being desolate and a slave to learning languages!). The bottom line is that we are each designed and prepared for different roles, for different vocations.
What would the world miss if you did not tell your story? – Donald Miller
I just mentioned that we are prepared for different roles. The conference spent a lengthy amount of time explaining how it is that we are prepared for great roles – and sometimes we are prepared for those positions by way of suffering. Though that is difficult for us to grasp, and maybe this is something I can share more on if readers are interested, God is “okay” with us going through times of trials and tribulations if it results in our betterment and the glorification of Himself.
If folks have more questions about the conference or Donald Miller’s writings, I would happily field them and respond as I am able to. In a nutshell, the conference did a great job of allowing me to reflect on who I am and who I would like to become (Christ). Also, I was constantly reminded that both my story and your story truly do matter, particularly in the narrative that God is writing and has been writing for all of time.
Learn more about the book here.
This is the venue for the conference, at Belmont University:
This is Don speaking on suffering and forgiveness:
And, just for fun, a picture of Don’s motorcycle!
And like I said, please do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions! Just go ahead and post below or email me.