It first hit me in the fall of 2012. I had listened to Oklahoma U.S. Congressman James Lankford speak to a small group of men from my Bible Study about what led him to run for Congress. He talked about how he tries every day to not only perform at the highest possible level as a Congressman, but also to live out God’s calling; reminding us that we all do ministry wherever we find ourselves, whatever we find ourselves doing. Whether we are paid to do ministry, fix toilets, repair carburetors, rehab athletes, report the news, interpret the law, or even make laws!
I walked out of that room that day thinking, “more people need to hear him talk like this; not for his political gain but for our spiritual gain.”
So, I began thinking about ways to make that happen. Early the next year, my wife and I decided to put some action to the idea. We invited Congressman Lankford to speak again, this time in a little larger room, and invited our friends who are fellow believers. The goal was for all attendees to be blessed and encouraged by listening to someone’s story as they lived their life for Kingdom influence. We wanted them to hear our Congressman talk about how important and rewarding, yet difficult, it is to be a light unto the world, which involves loving and listening to people and being willing to share our faith.
Since that first talk in March 2013, we have continued to host monthly talks (cleverly naming it “The Speaker Series”). No one is asked to sign up for anything, join anything, pay anything, stand up and introduce yourself, or even commit to returning. It’s not a “networking” event, although you will be glad to see other attendees. If you can invest an hour, you will be encouraged, enriched, and blessed. That is the whole point. We could all use more encouragement.
God has blessed this effort beyond what we could have envisioned. Encouraging words have been shared as our speakers discuss how faith intertwines with the daily activity we call “life.” Many of the speakers have been willing to be raw, vulnerable, open and honest about how their relationship with God affects everything they do in their business/career and in their home/parenting life. Many memorable “nuggets” have been shared, but I'll never forget one in particular. Tom Hill runs an extremely successful business and has every reason to talk about the great things his company has done. Yet he pointed out an important truth of human relationships: if we talk with others about our successes, we build walls – but if we talk with others about our failures, we build bridges. We can all agree that we need more bridges. Whether you are in our hometown of Oklahoma City or elsewhere, we hope having the chance to listen to others share their hearts can be one of the ways to build bridges.
NOTE for OKC: The Speaker Series is open to anyone. Our next two speaker events are OKC Chief of Police Bill Citty and Lt. Wayland Cubit on January 12th at noon and Bob Barry Jr. on January 13th at 6:00 pm. If you would like to attend, just let us know with an email to Justin. You can also visit: speakerseriesokc.wordpress.com for more information.
New Heavens, New Earth
(written as a gift to SALLT)
Music and Lyrics by:
©2015 Kyle Dillingham, LLC