I’m sure there are many people who can give an unbiased report and review about the D6 Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. I am not one of those people.

I was going to apologize for my bias but I am not sorry for it. If I were to give my opinion of the conference I’d talk about the incredible slate of speakers, the great music, the spot-on breakout sessions that scratch the very specific itch of various ministry issues, and the fun professionalism the conference exudes.

I’d talk about how I love the way appreciation for God’s Word was in the forefront this year and how I’ve been challenged to make it a priority with my kids at church.

I’d talk about the way I feel about my wife and daughter after I leave there. There’s no way to miss the challenges to be sure to make “home” priority one. I have a vivid childhood memory of putting my hand on the small whelp left on my leg from a little tap from a switch that my behavior forced my dad to give me. I didn’t like it, but I knew why it was there and I made the changes necessary to keep it from happening again and I never doubted Dad loved me. That’s the way I feel after a D6 Conference.

I’d tell you about the mountain of resources I come away with. Although many of the resources are informational, my favorite this year was very practical. There was a vendor who described the child check-in station my church drastically needs.

It would be easy to talk about all that stuff and more, but I can’t be trusted. I’m head over heals for the D6 Conference for a totally different reason.

I’m crazy about the D6 Conference family. Let me compare it to a family reunion.

First, we have the cousins you’ve never met but after one conversation you’re thinking, “Why do I not know this awesome person better?” These are the D6 attendees I’ve never met who are hungry to serve the same Savior as I am.

In a connect session I met an Korean-Canadian man who is trying to establish a family ministry among people who marry one another for citizenship or in worse cases, have a child to help them avoid deportation issues. Family is a business transaction to them. But my friend is getting after it and trying to make a difference for Christ. It’s so…”neat” is not a strong enough word, to see the body of Christ at work in such a diverse way.

Next you have that crazy uncle you love who you get to see once a year. This is the support staff who comes alongside the Randall House team to make the Conference bigger and better.

This year I met a guy who is total energy. He is Adam the D6 Guy. He’s kind of over the top when it comes to prizes and posting on social media. I never saw him without his selfie stick actually.

He pulled me aside and we got into a little goofy interview that took a turn for the serious and then I started crying. Now please understand, I am undeniably a crybaby. I’m pretty sure I need medicine for it. But he should know better than to ask me about one of my heroes of the faith, because I didn’t stand a chance when describing why my dad is one of my heroes without opening up the waterworks. After the interview we talked and hugged and I cried a little more.

Another one of these “once or twice a year guys” is Ryan. I think you would call him the production manager for the D6 Conference. I have worked with him at our national convention and I love every minute I get to spend with him. He is the absolute best at what he does. And the neat thing about him is he feverishly works to make the production “bigger and better” while understanding the importance of being within budget, with both money and time. I loved hearing him explain how he understood it was his ministry. There is no way the D6 Conference could be what it is without him. I am so thankful the Lord gifted Ryan the way he did. I’m even more glad he’s my friend.

Now we get to the close family, the Randall House team. I’m struggling with describing them. They work with a fever and joy that comes only from being sold out to their common purpose. And boy do they work?! I got 18,000 steps one day trying to keep up with them. I recorded fewer steps than that for the whole year of 2007! The cool thing is they have no egos. I saw people who were accountants 362 days a year, but on those three other days they did everything from building backdrops to ringing up customers.

One member of the team does video work at Randall House. I had the pleasure of working with him for two days. We shot tons of video that he sorted through and somehow even made me look entertaining. Well, it actually wasn’t “somehow.” It was hard work. He stayed up all night editing and came up with a montage that honestly was better done than most that you see on late night talk shows with teams of people with huge budgets and tons of time to produce.

In the business world, you’d be ecstatic to have this kind of passion and skill even if the person was a fragile genius who blew up if you didn’t remove all the green m&m’s from his bowl for him. Brett works with so much joy, excellence, and humility that it’s really inspiring to watch.

That’s the way the whole team is. From Ron Hunter and Brandon Roysden all the way to the interns, this group is focused on pointing families to the throne of Christ. I am a fan of this group. So if you want an impartial review of D6 I’m not your man. If you want to talk to a guy who has been challenged and inspired by a group of people he is so proud of he could cry, come see me. You haven’t even gotten me started on Becky or Randy or Michael or Matthew or….

Jon Forrest

Jon Forrest

Jon has been working with students at Bethel Free Will Baptist Church in Ashland City, TN for over 24 years. He loves bragging on students, cheering for parents, facilitating workers, and collecting Nerf guns. Christ is his only hope for time and eternity. You can read more from Jon at his blog.
Jon Forrest

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