Evening Speakers Inspire Laughter, Big Dreams

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Kington, Kendrick entertain and inspire at Conection 2012 evening sessions

by Connie Faber

Evening sessions at Conection 2012 were intended to be entertaining, and from all indications the selections of comedian Kenn Kington and actor Alex Kendrick accomplished that goal. 

Conection 2012 evening sessions proved to be both inspirational and entertaining.

Friday evening comedian Kenn Kington had the audience laughing so frequently that tears flowed and sides hurt. Kington told humorous stories from his own life, including a show-and-tell incident that involved buying women’s knee-high hose in desperation when he was on his way to a show.

Kington’s signature “isms”—statements that aren’t quite right—were popular.

  • “The fan is going to hit the roof!”
  • “I am as loyal as a heart attack.”
  • “I am sweating like a bullet.”

Kington’s stories and comedy routines were interspersed with encouragement to appreciate one’s family and to live faithfully as followers of God.

The Friday evening program opened with dinner music provided in Spanish and English by the worship team from Iglesia Agua Viva, a Hispanic congregation in Omaha (pictured left).

The Conection 2012 worship band, comprised of musicians from The Bridge Bible Church in Bakersfield, Calif., organized by John Szablowski, led a time of worship singing. Szablowski invited Ed Boschman, USMB executive director who had once been a worship leader, to lead the audience in one song (pictured right).

Dinner music Saturday was provided by Omaha pastor Chad Stoner on saxophone and his wife, Elaine, on piano. Local musicians joined Stoner, who is well known in the Omaha jazz community, for a concert following dinner (pictured below). The group’s unique smooth jazz with elements of gospel and rhythm and blues were well received.

“God uses music to bypass the head to go straight to the heart,” said Stoner. The musicians with Stoner that evening are Christians that use music to connect with people and to “love on” people in Omaha’s clubs.
“If any groove gets funky, know that every word glorifies God,” said Stoner.

The Chad Stoner Band took a break for a special performance given by children who had participated in the Red Sea Conference, a special children’s program organized by volunteers from Stony Brook Church, a USMB congregation in Millard, Neb.

The only standing ovation of Conection 2012 went to Saturday night’s speaker, Alex Kendrick, founder of Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Ga.

As he told the story of his congregation’s decision to begin making Christian movies, Kendrick was both humorous—“I was doing my own makeup, which is terrible for a man to do”—and encouraging.

Kendrick told of times when “God took my expectations and just blew them out of the water.” Sherwood Pictures’ first film was Flywheel, a 2003 film that Kendrick hoped would be shown in Albany’s theaters, which it was. But then Blockbuster made the movie available in its stores and the DVD sold 750,000.

Kendrick said his dream for their next film, Facing the Giants (2006), was that the movie would be shown across the state of Georgia. Kendrick learned the importance of waiting on God and eventually the movie was released nation-wide by Sony Pictures.

The company’s other movies are Fireproof (2008) and Courageous (2011). About two-dozen adults and children, many bringing their own late-night snacks, stayed after Kington’s show to watch the movie Courageous.

Kendrick interspersed his story with words of encouragement and lessons he’s learned.

  • “’No, Lord’—these two words don’t go together.”
  • “That was the only thing I did right: Pray all the time.”
  • “There’s a difference between a good idea and a God idea.”
  • “You can’t think big enough to out-think God.”
  • “God wants you to go through a season of prayer. Through this movie business, I’ve learned that God loves to be sought.”

After sharing his personal story, Kendrick answered questions from the audience. When USMB executive director Ed Boschman closed the evening, he affirmed Kendrick for providing USMB congregations with an effective ministry tool and prayed for God’s favor on Kendrick and his work.

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