When you have a chance to share fellowship with your colleagues, work relationships take on a whole new meaning. When you can get to know someone on a spiritual level and find out that your connections are so much deeper than just work and common social interests.
Last week, my wife and I attended her company’s annual conference in Nashville, TN. She works with a leading Wellness and Anti-aging company as her “side gig” (she is an Interior Designer by trade). We have attended all of their conferences to learn about the new products and programs, bask in the personal development opportunities, but most of all because of the amazing energy that comes from so many entrepreneurs looking not just to make money, but to truly help people (as their motto states) to “Feel Better, Look Better, and Live Better”
But is goes deeper than that. A few years ago, at our very first conference, we met with our team in a hotel room in Dallas for hors d’oeuvres before a group dinner, and after some great conversation we gathered in a circle and prayed. For each other, for our friends and families, and that He would guide our work to truly show His glory in everything we do. Mary and I knew that many of the people in the room were faithful, but to have it manifest this way helped assure us that we had chosen the right Company to join and certainly the right group of colleagues to work with… Wow!
Fast forward to 2019, and here we are with many of those same people enjoying the activities of a Convention (we were at the Gaylord Opryland, an amazing place!) and having a meal together on Friday night. I was thinking ahead to Sunday (after the conference ended on Saturday, many of us would be staying in town an extra day or two) and remembered that my Brother and Sis-in-law, who were competitive Cowboy Action Shooters, had mentioned something called the Cowboy Church, so with a quick Google check, I found that Nashville had a Cowboy Church and it happened to be walking distance from our hotel!
My suggestion at the dinner table was met with surprise, but everyone seemed to think this would be a great way to close out our weekend. So Cowboy Church it was.
Sunday morning came, and we met in the hotel lobby to leave on foot for the church. It was colder than we expected and (unusual for me) I got us a little lost on the way, so we ended up arriving a bit late.
The Church was in a theater in the corner of a strip mall, and when we walked in as a group of eight or so, we heard a spiritual medley (“Daddy Sang Bass” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”) being performed by a Johnny Cash tribute singer (Harold Ford) as the opening. We took our seats and the service continued with several Country Western singer/songwriters sharing their music and testimony with the band on stage. The pastor, Dr. Harry Yates, interspersed the introductions of the singers with prayer and gave a great message near the end of the service. One of the features of the morning was hearing his wife Dr. Joanne Cash Yates (yes, the late Johnny Cash’s sister) sing with beauty, grace, and spirit. All in all, it was a truly joyous morning for all of us.
I bought a CD of the service to bring home and share with my brother and a few of our colleagues who were not able to stay in town with us.
And to top the morning off, one of the singers, a wonderful singer/songwriter named Sheri Pedigo, joined us at (where else but) the Cracker Barrel for brunch. She shared her story with our group, and we left with new friends, new connections, and a strengthened faith in our collective journey…
Truly one of my best moments of Fellowship on the Road!