I love California. So it’s no surprise when I had the opportunity to travel there last week for the Best of Social Media Summit, I jumped at it. At this summit I got to hang out with some of the best when it comes to social media and nonprofits. Not only did I get to meet these new friends face-to-face, but we had the chance to hear from some incredible speakers. I encourage you to look up Jeramie McPeek, Justina Chen and Naghmeg Abedini. They are unique and powerful storytellers who each challenged me in their own way. It was humbling and amazing to be able to hear them share from their hearts and encourage this group in our efforts. (For a bit more on the meat of the conference, check out posts from Matt, Drew and Clark.)
While the conference itself was incredible and I learned so much, it’s the people I’ve taken with me since leaving California. We all have varied backgrounds, and yet there was never a whiff of theology or dissension about why one denomination believes this or that or how one org does something better than another. Instead when we were talking, laughing and getting to know one another, it felt like what Paul described the Body of Christ to be. There were so many gifts representing different members – but there is something beautiful and unifying about how the body works together and I sensed that when our group was together. I can’t shake the feeling that this group of people – those who were there and those unable to attend – are poised and ready to shake the Church. Perhaps that’s why I love this quote so much:
“Modern storytellers are the decedents of an immense and ancient community of holy people, troubadours, bards, bums, hags, and crazy people.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estés
It was shared by presenter Justina Chen and it so fits this group. They are crazy. They are loud. They speak with curiosity and knowledge and are eager to learn how they can continue to grow in excellence at what they do.
These men and women are not only some of the brightest and best, but there is an undeniable love for Jesus among them. In an instant they went from online faces to new friends who I look forward to collaborating with and getting to know even better in the weeks and months to come.
Suffice it to say – this was a trip that has left a lasting impression. I will be chewing on things and posting about some of them here. For now, if you want to learn more about these awesome people, you can find them here.