I’m sure I’m not the only guy who’d love to take a knee with Bremerton High School Assistant Football Coach Joe Kennedy.
His legacy of kneeling for prayer at the 50-yard-line after his team’s football games – and his decision to challenge the school district for prohibiting him to do so – has propelled him to notoriety in the local and national news. I love what former Seahawks wide receiver Steve Largent said this week in the Seattle Times: “If it weren’t for the Joe Kennedys of the coaching world I wouldn’t have become the man I am today.”
And it’s not just Christians who are taking notice. As Matt Calkins – an admittedly non-religious columnist from the Seattle Times – recently said regarding Kennedy’s decision to put his job at risk as a matter of principle: “Joe can coach my kid any day.”
Kennedy is continuing to pray after his team’s games, most recently just outside the football field where parents, players and others from the community joined him in support. “I tell my kids to be bold in their beliefs,” Kennedy says. “I want to set an example to stand up for what you believe in, even if it isn’t popular.”
Under threat of losing his job, Kennedy is committed to staying true to who he is, and staying true to Who he serves. That’s the kind of authenticity and integrity we admire and strive for at Higher Ground.
As we march toward our 2016 event, I am more excited than ever about the opportunity to take a knee together before God, continuing to seek His grace together to transform and equip our lives.
In our fourth year, I am so grateful to have the most robust team of speakers and breakout sessions we’ve ever had. Clay Crosse – Dove award winner, author and founder of Holy Homes Ministries – came to us by a “chance meeting” with someone on our planning team this summer. He has an amazing story of ‘getting real’ with God and others and how that transparency transformed his life. He has a lot to share with us about pursuing integrity.
We are so grateful to welcome Carrie Abbott,an outstanding national speaker and expert on relationships and human sexuality; and, Dr. Scott Dudley, Senior Pastor from Bellevue Presbyterian Church who will bring a powerful message that will inspire us toward greater authenticity and the unique opportunity each man has to positively impact his community and the world.
In addition to our most popular and highest-rated breakout sessions, we’ve heard your input and we’re adding new breakout topics this year such as integrity in the workplace, embracing God’s divine design of being a man, ensuring technology doesn’t become the new addiction, and a social justice panel discussion with key local and national ministry leaders.
Wanting to invest in the next generation of men of faith, we will be expanding our breakout offering for both teens and college-age men. Take a look on our breakout session page – new breakouts are coming online each week.
Come to Higher Ground February 27, and let’s take a knee together before the One who heals, restores, encourages, equips and makes all things new. Please be praying about who you might invite, bless with a ticket or offer a ride to the 2016 event. As Higher Ground has impacted your life, we hope you’ll think about paying that blessing forward to a man who could use the encouragement and the tools this conference provides.
Steve Dulaney, President