Both through our assigned coaches over the years, and those we sought out over meals and free time, CV gave us the chance to hook up with people we might not have otherwise spoken to, but who had been down the path we were looking at going, and had lots of excellent advice and encouragement for us.
We went to CV at various stages of our journey: single, dating, married; just exploring ministry, committed and ready to sign up to Bible college, etc. One great thing about CV is its flexibility, and the ability to tailor it to your individual needs. Some years we sought out every available person to talk to. Other years we needed more time to reflect on our own. But each time, CV provided the space we needed to think seriously about where we were headed, and the people to help us to plan accordingly.
One thing we didn’t expect from CV was the vulnerability of those teaching at electives, but that was a repeated part of our CV experience. They helped us to see that people ‘in ministry’ are ordinary Christians, and to think about how to persevere as sinful, and sinned-against people, by the grace of God. It was from a CV conference several years ago that we adopted the pattern of prayer that we still use today. The conference environment gives ministry leaders an opportunity to open up and share their lives in a unique way, and that helped us to think through the implications of ministry and prepare well.
In the busyness of life, it was timely to us to have the CV weekend set aside to have the conversations we might not otherwise get to, and with people we might otherwise not have had access to. Every year we went, it was time well spent!