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In just a few weeks, pastors from across the country are going to gather in-person with safety protocols at the D6 Conference in Orlando. The questions you have to ask before you hit a conference is why am I going? Is it the right time? What am I going to experience in-person that I can’t get online? These are all excellent questions. I am asking you these questions because I am going to be one of the people at D6, and I have been asking these same questions.

When I was asked about speaking at D6, I thought about all the implications, and I soon said yes. I am excited about being back at a conference for the first time in over a year. The last time I traveled was to a conference in March 2020 and now we have a chance to gather, worship, learn, and dream together again. I am going, and here are a few reasons I am gathering in-person this year. (There is still time for you to jump in and join us! Just go here!)

The D6 Team is thinking about safety ahead of the conference.

This was important to me. Can we gather and connect safely like many of us are in our church settings? The team at D6 is thinking about that and making sure we are safe as we gather. Also, many of us will have had the vaccine already. This helps ensure that we are working to gather safely!

I am tired and need some fresh vision heading into this next season.

I am speaking, and I am most looking forward to hearing the other speakers more than anything. I bet you are as tired as I am! I bet you are facing ministry fatigue too. There is nothing to replace getting away to work on your ministry away from the church. There is also nothing better than getting to be around others fighting the same ministry fight for the family!

I am excited about learning from others.

We have all faced different experiences through the pandemic. This year at D6, I think there will be more collaboration and encouragement between people than ever. We all need to ask hard questions, and D6 provides that safe space to make that happen.

I’m ready to worship with other leaders.

I love gathering in a room (even if I have a mask) and worshipping with other leaders. There is a collective passion in a conference like D6 as we are fighting for families together. My heart needs time to worship with other leaders.

I need time to be still and listen.

Conferences give us time to look back at what we have done the past year and then look ahead at what God wants for us next. For just a few days, we can push pause on the busyness of home and church and listen to the voice of Jesus and what He wants next for us.

I am ready to reflect, celebrate, and prepare for what’s next.

We all need to step back and recognize the collective trauma we have endured navigating this pandemic. As people of hope this gives me a chance to celebrate the presence of God even in the hard times. I can’t wait to celebrate what God wants to do ahead of us.

There is time to join us. I hope to see you there!

Michael Bayne
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