Thursday, July 27, 2006

Big Dawgs Hitting the Road

The BigDawgs4Christ, a network of Christian men in the Middle Tennessee area, are heading out 120 strong at 7:00 in the morning to Atlanta for the UNLEASED 2006 Promise Keepers men's conference. There should be an attendance of upwards of 10,000 men at Philips Arena this Friday and Saturday.

It's always a great time as we get challenged to live out our faith as godly men. The friendships forged over the years on the trips are enduring! We as a group have probably taken over 500 different men (fathers and sons) since 1995.

I personally enjoy reacquainting old friendships with the leadership and staff of Promise Keepers and some of the speakers that I have worked with while on staff back in the '95 - 2000 era of Promise Keepers. It was an vibrant - "high velocity, high challenge" - time back in the days when there were stadiums full of men.

These days, arenas are the better fit for the conferees with concentration on the messages, logistics and weather (hard to stay focused on the messages from the platform with the sun, rain beating down on the old noggin or airplanes flying overhead). Plus fify thousand guys is a lot of bodies to move around; although it's always nice to be in a environment where trash is kept to a minimum and no beer is spilt on the back of one's neck!

It takes about 800 volunteers to stage an arena event; about 2,500 for an stadium event. These volunteers are recruited at least six months out and the cool thing is that more than half of the volunteers are women!

The BigDawgs4Christ always volunteer to handle the mass feeding of box lunches when we go as a group. Takes about forty of us to feed 15,000 men in about 25 minutes. The boxes are stacked and opened; it's grab and go time. It only takes two hours from unloading the pallets of lunches, stacking the boxes, herding the men through the feeding lines, handing out trash bags to every tenth guy, breaking down the boxes, cleanup and trash dumped.

Definately one of my favorite moments. The Bible talks about feeding ten thousand men; it blows my mind to have seen fifty two thousand men at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis back in 1996 fed in 32 minutes, scattered everywhere. And no trash! The image - five times greater than Scripture records - is etched in my mind forever.

I've got my Bible loaded on the Treo, camera and notepad ready, and my mind and heart open to be challenged. I'll blog about the Promise Keepers event Sunday when I get back. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

(a sold out PK / Nashville last August at the Gaylord Entertainment Center)

Tennessean recap link and another here

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1 comment:

SistaSmiff said...

Hope y'all have a wonderful time. I think it's cool the dudes have their own little pow wows like the women do ala Living Proof.

Speaking of Beth and LP, I'll have to tell you about something really exciting and cool I get to be apart of with her in a few weeks.