Momentum 2017: The Review

Dear Christian Radio,

Matt Maher.
Tim Miles.
Harry Potter.

When asked about Momentum 2017, those are some of the words that come to mind. And as you can see, one word shows up repeatedly.

How to describe Momentum 2017?

Back in the summer, my Dad had surgery. A large non-cancerous tumor had grown down his chest. It was impacting his windpipe and started pressing on his heart. We talked to the surgeon who said we should come home. They would have to “crack” Dad’s chest open like they do for open heart patients in order to remove the tumor. The surgery carried many risks and it was recommended that we be there as support for Mom, should any potential scenarios occur.

Mrs. K and I flew to my parents a couple days early. Our lifelong friends, the Murrays—who are like family—visited while we were there. There would be roars of laughter. We’d tell stories from the past. Meals were shared; and in those moments, we’d forget about the very serious and impending surgery. But then…it would all come rushing back.

The worry…the gravity of the situation…

The mood in the room would change in an instant.

That’s what Momentum 2017 was like.

It was days full of worry and distraction with brief moments of normalcy.

Matt Maher sang a song. For a brief time, you’d be transported to the throne room and worship. You’d see hands up across the audience. As he ended, you’d see cell phone screens light up as people checked their Delta or American Airlines app to make sure their flights were still a go.

Conversations were not about fundraising, new songs, leadership, or digital media. They were filled with,

 “Are you leaving early?” 
“When is your flight?”
“Are you driving home?” 
 “Have you heard how long it is taking to get to Atlanta?”

I’ll say it again…it was days full of worry and distraction with brief moments of normalcy.

Michelle, Brittany, Jessica, Cari, and Andrea…this team lived out PAR’s #ENCW. This team of talented ladies proved that easy never changed the world. They soldiered on with smiles and positive attitudes. Between providing weather reports, navigating a new facility, shuffling an ever-changing schedule, rearranging artists because some decided not to show…the CMB team should be given a standing ovation.

For me personally, highlights included:

  • Tim Miles was by far the best speaker of the week. Moving, wise, inspirational, applicable and useful. It wasn’t just theory. He gave us something to take home and do.
  • Matt Maher had the best music set. He stacked the song set just right. He built the moment and took you to the feet of Jesus.  I didn’t see a single cellphone screen lit during his time on stage.
  • Minions were fun. Even if they do get a bit “handsy.” (Check out my personal Facebook page for that pic.)
  • A personal hero of mine is Jon Hull of KSBJ. I can’t count the number of hours I’ve listened to him fundraise, just trying to learn how to be better. I was able to hug his neck and thank him for his influence in my life.  #Moment
  • It drizzled the night we went to Universal. As we passed through the New York section of the park, Frank Sinatra was blaring over the speakers. I took Mrs. K by the hand and we danced in the rain.  That was a great memory.
  • The Universal park overall was… mehBut the section dedicated to Harry Potter makes you feel like a kid. It’s a total immersive experience. That’s worth the price of admission. Diagon Alley is a must-do.

The conference area of the hotel was good. It’s a convention center. If you’ve seen one – you’ve seen ‘em all.

Was there stress? Ha!

Tuesday night, before the conference began, I had to make the hard decision to tell half of PAR’s leadership team to NOT fly to Orlando. This left me and seven of our leaders in Orlando. As a leader, your mood and tone set the pace for everyone else.  On the inside, I was a wreck. On the outside, I was reassuring.

Three of our leaders left early and drove home. The rest of us caught flights out on Saturday morning. We had tried to move them to Friday, but we were unable to make the change.

I was asked why PAR sponsors Momentum? What was our motivation behind the #ENCW Project? What is the end game?

My answer:  “We want to inspire you.”

Christian radio is tough work. People get weary and worn. We want to remind all of you to not grow weary in doing good. Doing the hard stuff is worth it because easy never changed the world.

I will say this…

Momentum 2017 was a shared experience. It’s one you’ll look back on and say, “Were you there when…?” For those of us who were, you’ll laugh and tell war stories of trying to rearrange flights, spending 24 hours in a car or arguing with a booking agent for a hotel room.

If Hurricane Irma did anything for Christian Radio…she united us.

Will PAR return to Momentum next year? Yup.

We’ll be there…unless the 30-day long range model shows a historic storm aiming for Harry Potter’s house.

See ya next year!


Brian Sanders
Executive Vice President
Positive Alternative Radio


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