Friday, January 09, 2009

Holiday Impact: Mission Possible

Volume 4, Issue 1
Holiday Impact: Mission Possible
Christmas Day we arrived in Atlanta for the IMPACT conference having no idea what would take place in the next week. We thought we were there to help serve behind the scenes on the production team for the conference – yet God had so much more in store.

Allow us to briefly explain what IMPACT is and how we are connected to this conference. IMPACT is a ministry that began as the African American ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. The Impact Movement takes the truth of Jesus Christ to the campus, community and world by producing leaders of African descent who are spiritually focused, financially responsible and morally fit. The theme of this conference. was: “Mission Possible” -Consider anew that when it's God's desire, things that are impossible with men are possible with God. ALL THINGS!
More than 1,200 conferees joined with us in Atlanta, GA from December 27, 2008 through January 1, 2009 for Impact 2008.

This conference was not just for the unsaved (those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus) but a message to regularly strengthen the believer. A dozen people indicated they made a decision for Christ the first night! Students didn’t come to this conf. to receive some warm fuzzies but they certainly got more than what they were expecting -- to be challenged in their spiritual growth to be built up in their faith, and to be encouraged the mission is possible.

Here’s where our ministry, Keynote, comes in… Keynote is home for the Impact band, Infinite Impact. They just completed their first year being an established band and touring. Keynote provided the training: musically, communication skills, Gospel presentation….for this band. Also, in early December, Keynote’s Creative Communications Group, the department Leslie serves in, held a 3 day training for emcee’s going to various Campus Crusade Christmas Conferences. Tia and Tyreke (see photo on rt.) who were the emcees at the Impact Conf. took part in this emcee training. Keynote is all about partnerships and exists to help other ministries be equipped to spread the Gospel.

You wonder: what did we do?
Mike ran Mediashout and power point for the music lyrics and speakers presentations. (see photo below) Leslie had the privilege of sitting next to her husband as she was in charge of the program timer. A speaker/hip-hop artist (The Ambassador) referred to it as the “clock, that’s ticking.” This was the first opportunity that we had to serve behind the scenes and on the production team together.
There’s a lot that goes on at conferences behind the scenes that make it powerful in the hopes of changing lives, igniting a new spark. Let us give you a few of them: countless videos during the main sessions, last minute changes in the twice daily main sessions (see photo on rt.), live musical artists and late night concerts, dynamic speakers and pastors from various walks of life. Oh, the details of putting together this conference, yet the joy of seeing God move through hearts in indescribable ways.

Highlights of the conference:
~Riding up and down the elevator (40 levels/ flights) 10+ times a day, ears popping
~Riding in the same car to the conference with an Impact music summer project student, LaDonna, who Leslie video taped her audition at the 2005 Impact conference.
~Beautiful, intense, heartfelt, passionate worship- that you don’t typically see at white churches on Sundays
~Mike and Leslie serving alongside each other on the production team at this conference.
~The feedback the last night from the conferees was jaw-dropping/overwhelming: 467 text messages + signature commitments of how they will respond to the call to ministry (see photo on rt.) (Ex: going on an Impact Summer Project, joining or launching Impact campus chapter, serving as a staff member or intern with the Impact Movement, giving financially, sharing my faith regularly…)
~New Years Eve, Mike received the lyrics for the post mid-night concert (Lecrae) during the evening sessions (just hours before). (see photo on lft.)programming the lyrics last min. was frustrating…but, God used the lyrics on the screen during the concert to make someone realize they needed to receive Christ!

Day of Outreach-
“Put God on blast in the city of Atlanta”

1,200+ conferees dispersed throughout Atlanta
886 exposed to the Gospel
217 prayed to receive Christ
244 shared Holy Spirit booklet
143 rededicated lives to Christ

An outreach highlight: the Impact worship team (see photos below) went to the local detention center where the band played a few songs then one of singers LaDonna shared her story. The worship team spread out and talked one on one with the detained youth. As a result of this particular outreach, 17 youth accepted Christ into their life!

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