The ethos of Westwinds
I’m hoping to post some notes on Velocity tomorrow. Ron Martoia was great, and the conference opened new avenues of thought for me. Westwinds runs about 1,200 or so in attendance. That gives Westwinds a different feel than many churches that run conferences. I’ve been at many megachurch conferences, and it always feels like I’m the manager of a country fair visiting Disney. It’s nice, but the size is a little overwhelming. Westwinds was different. Their building was constructed when the congregation was about Richview’s size. Within minutes of arriving the first day, Ron had already stopped by and chatted. Guys like Ron could have an ego, but he doesn’t. There were well over 100 people there, but Ron knew most of us by name by the time it was over. On Friday, two groups sat in his office for a few hours and just talked. The staff at Westwinds have tons of fun. They made us feel right at home (hello, Trish!). The church oozes values like artistic creativity, authenticity, and a raw willingness to ask honest questions. But they also care. One of the most moving moments for me was before Thursday night’s Encounter, an experiential worship time. We were lined up, waiting to go in. Ron passed by and patted us on the back. He went up a bit further and met an older couple. They looked like they attend Westwinds. They embraced, and I thought “how cool.” I’ll write more about the conference itself, but honestly, what impressed me the most was the feel, the ethos of the place. What a privilege to be part of that for a few days.