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Who I AM

  • I'm a creator, entrepreneur, author of DREAM YEAR, and aspiring novelist. My wife Ainsley and I live in Virginia Beach with our five kids Wyatt, Dylan, Cody, Annie & Millie

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The event was spectacular. I don't think anyone sang to the How He Loves mashup because it was so dynamic and nobody wanted to miss anything - this is a good thing :)
Well done all around, you had a great crew and they pulled it off.
Cannot wait for 2011!

And there were these other highlights for me:

* Wesley Hill's courage in sharing his story as a gay Christian, reminding us we all can endure our daily trials thanks to the grace of Christ.
* Sons and Daughters' powerful music throughout the second day, including the epic performance of "All the Poor & Powerless" as the curtains opened to the city and we "s[a]ng it to the masses."
* Shauna Niequist: It's not just pastors who have the responsibility to share God's redemptive story. We all do.
* A conversation during the final STORY break with a small-town pastor
* Your encouraging words for my daughter on Thursday afternoon.

And all in Chicago, the perfect backdrop for the conference.

Well done, Ben and team. Can't wait for 2011, either!

Ben, if I could have been there... I would have. Looks like you put together an impressive event. No surprise here.

--Terrace Crawford

Ben -- So good to finally meet you!
David Wenzel was totally a highlight for me -- loved what he had to say, and his incredible story.
AND John Sowers vulnerability and broken heart for the fatherless.
STORY left me with so much to process. It was a truly refreshing experience. I thought it was executed with the excellence of a mega-event, and still had the intimacy of a community of friends.

ps. listening to Josh Garrels right now - thanks for exposing us to him!

Ben - You and your team created a better event than even the year before. Though I wasn't there as an attendee (we were a sponsor), it was hard not to experience it as one. The content was extremely rich.

Great run-down. I had imagined the mash-up as a sing-along, too. That happened with Kari's first song, as well. We all kind of sat there thinking, should I stand up and sing or just sit here and enjoy? I guess we all went with enjoy. : ) "He Loves" turned into such an artful piece; I really liked the end result. Is it posted somewhere?

Also, Sons and Daugthers? Yes.

I left thinking Klavan was my favorite (I bought Crime and Punishment downtown that first night), but the one I can't stop thinking about since returning home is Wesley Hill. So much to unpack.

Hope you get to enjoy a little break.

I have only heard amazing things Ben. Thanks for your deep investment into creatives!

And any team would be lucky to have Karly!

"thank you" seems too small, but... thank you.

Of all the conferences I have ever attended, this was my favorite. I have never been to a concert where I felt the heart behind the conference was so purely focused on serving. This started with an email you sent me early on when I emailed to ask for advice about which hotel to stay in and has continued through now. You can't manufacture, plan, or organize a servant heart. Thank you for your servant leadership. I have a feeling I speak for us all when I say we felt served.

The speakers were amazing. The content was so convicting and challenging at the same time it was encouraging and empowering. I hope you will release the conference either in audio or video format. There is so much I did not catch as I was processing the sentences that came before! I see notes by some online, but would definitely like to order the audio or video if available. I can't even say which was my favorite. Each brought something important for me.

The worship was among the best I have ever experienced and when those curtains opened - WOW! I'd never even speculated what was behind there because there was so much to focus on with the speakers and worship leaders. It took a few seconds for it to sink in what was happening! Fantastic. Stunning. Goosebump inducing!

So, thank you Ben. God, you, and your amazing volunteers created a conference to process for sometime and to remember for all time. Life changing. Thank you for letting God work through you to bless me and so many others.

Already thinking about next year even as I process this year!


Great event Ben!
I loved it ... as an attendee and a Dream Year Exhibitor.

Stunning God experience - five of us from Alabama + one from Virginia Beach were blessed by every single moment. I write a lot about "technology in worship" - you all nailed everything perfectly and seamlessly. I'd love to do a promo piece on next year's event and see what else I can do to expand Story. Incredible, y'all.

I was so moved by STORY. It was fantastic to sit in a room with people that not only shared in my art, but also my love for God. The speakers were so impactful, I loved everyone of them. It was great to see people of MY generation being stewards of the gifts they've been given. It was so encouraging to share what I am doing in Jacksonville with so many people and recieve encouragement and community that I have not experienced before from Christians in the arts. Thank you and I've already got a list of people to bring to 2011. Blessings to you and your team.

Ben, thanks to you and your team for a beautiful 2 days of experiences, content and community that will be woven into the next year and years to come. Aside from the amazing speakers and moments we're all still raving about I need to let you know that you all created an environment that allowed and encouraged us to talk to "strangers" and make new friends. That 50% was evident and not in a forceful way. Love the small details, i.e. The Goose Island Root Beers - a fantastic local touch, the fact that the volunteers served us the food/snacks & some of my fave music playing in the background during breaks. This definitely didn't go unnoticed.

thanks for the kind words! STORY was an incredibly complex event that was only made possible by God's amazing grace and a phenomenal team of 100 volunteers - all volunteers - who caught the vision for this experience. I pray for a tremendous community of creatives to emerge.

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