You Maybe Had to Be There

I just went back to my second-ever Pilgrimage blogpost on this platform, to see how I set up my GO Conference post last year and try to replicate the format…and discovered some really great quotes over there. You should check them out.

This year’s conference was, in my opinion, even better. I’m really glad I was invited to do a workshop there because probably I otherwise wouldn’t have taken the time out of my schedule to go, but it was so well worth it. I feel like–maybe because of the internal consistency of each of the talks, as well as of the conference as a whole–the speakers were harder to “sound-byte.” I’m going to try, though!

Disclaimer Note: I wasn’t able to get photos of Pastor Miles because I sat too far away, and I was too distracted by my upcoming workshop to get much of anything written down from Fr James Mallon, which was unfortunate, because he was excellent as well. (Sorry, Fr Mallon!)

Tamrat Layne

Tamrat Layne was astounding, but as made his points entirely via narrative, I was unable to “clip” any quotes out of context.

Miles McPherson

God has called us to be unified; He will never bless division. God has called us to love; He will never bless hatred.

Expand your in-group.

Rename me as your brother.

See my color; honor what God has made.

Give me your heart.

Soong Chan Rah


Disruption to change the status quo can be a healthy thing.

Lament as a spiritual practice has been lost in the church…it doesn’t fit the narrative.

Even though you are in the midst of the most broken, sinful place imaginable, Christians never have the option to run away and hide.

We are not seeing the de-Christianizing of America. We are seeing the de-Europeanizing of American Christianity.

Lina Abujamra


We long to see the hero pull off the last-minute win.

What do you do when your calling becomes painful?

…devastated by this God who had not held up His end of the bargain.

What stands in the way of revival is not just the need for repentance, but our getting stuck in our brokenness and disappointment with God.

The greatest lie you will ever believe is that God is done with you.

Jill Briscoe


Don’t waste the pain. Let it drive you to God; you should’ve come to Him sooner.

You’re never done.

Courage is doing the right thing, frightened. And you do it hurting and you do it sick and you do it old. You just do it. That’s courage.

After obedience, you know what to do next.

Peter never woke for the rest of his life without hearing the cock crow and making his breakfast over coals. We never get over our defeats. But God will not grow us until we let Him humble us. Every day.

“Is that your cross, Jill? Are you done? Who do you think is going to carry it home for you? All the way home, Jill. All the way home. All the way home.”



Contemplate Jesus’ persecution.

I have a grave fear of pride…God’s laid me out a few times because of it already…I know how real it is–when luxury becomes a necessity.

Say what God’s been teaching you.

Ask yourself: who’s at the top? Who has to live under this? Spend time in the underworlds.

Samson gave me a lot of hope because he was all the way messed up, but God used him up to his last breath.

Moses resisted the amenities of royal Egypt…To be a truth teller is to be despised. Will I die knowing I spent time with the poor and the disenfranchised and the people God is passionate about?



You maybe had to be there, to catch the real impact of these quotes. I am grateful that I was.

As for what I myself said…there’s a recording somewhere. I may try to make some version of it available here at some point. On the other hand, I do plan to offer this workshop again at least once, and nobody wants spoilers, right? Whether I post it or not, you’re welcome to invite me to present my workshop on listening to your church or small group, too. It’ll probably go even better the second, third, or fourth time around.



Published by Jennwith2ns

Jesus person. Wife and step-mom. Daughter, sister, auntie, friend. Collector of stories: mine, yours, tangible, not... Pastor of Central Baptist Church, founder and spiritual director at The Pilgrimage, and author of Trees In The Pavement and Favored One.

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