It has been a whirlwind the past 4 days. I got up at 4 AM on Monday to fly to Atlanta and haven't slept much since then. I had half a day in the office on Wednesday (just enough time to prepare for the Advisory Council meeting) before spending all day today at another conference, this one at MidAmerica Nazarene University.
The Evolve Conference in Atlanta was incredible! I got a spiritual and professional jolt. I took a ton of notes but I'm going to try to narrow it down to some highlights from each session.
If you want some more insights, check out the blog of the friend I hung out with at the conference.
Shawn Lovejoy - The Healthy Leader
A great leaders is a healthy leader
Discipline is the path to getting healthy
Discipline is leading and managing myself
Leaders are to be disciplined physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally and relationally
Over time, our churches will begin to reflect our health and/or our dysfunction
My goal is not to hand Jesus the biggest church I can but the healthiest I can
Steven Furtick The Courageous Leader
He preached from Joshua 10, story of the sun standing still
"I despaired that life might pass me by without God moving on my behalf." - from page 23 of Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
From the promise to the payoff, there's always a costly process
If you pray that God have the sun stand still, you'd better be prepared to march all night
Darrin Patrick The Spiritual Leader
Jesus doesn't want us to lose our souls for the sake of the ministry
Sin is worshipping something in the place of God, getting your identity from something other than God
To know your 'god', ask "what do I daydream about? When I get _____ then I'll be somebody"
We're scared to repent because we think if we get honest before Jesus, he won't love us anymore
Your people will become what you are. They will imitate you! You're photocopying your life and passing it out.
I don't want to be the guy who wakes up on Monday morning with his identity being defined by the size of the crowd or amount of the offering
Mark Batterson The Secure Leader
The favor of God is God doing things in my life I can't take credit for
My insecurity will shorten and undercut my ministry
Mark compared King Saul's insecurity to King David's security in 1st Samuel 14
1) Don't play the comparison game
2) Success isn't numbers
Be faithful where you're at
3) Celebrate your failures
Falling flat on your face may be the best thing that could happen to you
4) Don't panic
Don't let people leaving shake your confidence
5) Don't get defensive
with out courage you'll be a wimpy preacher leading an immature church
Listen to your wife!
6) Surround yourself with the right people
David was Saul's best asset but Saul was too insecure
7) Keep building altars to God
Ask, "Am I building altars to God or setting up monuments to myself?"
We can't fail if we build altars
Bil Cornelius The Resilient Leader
What resiliency looks like
1) A resilient leaders sees in every difficulty an equal and opposite opportunity
Everyone should have a failure early in life, that failure shapes your core values and hardens your commitment to living out those core values
Adversity is your friend
Churches stall out because leaders stall out
My misery becomes my ministry
I love our members, I just love those who aren't yet members yet even more
People will leave, the great thing about people is that God keeps making more of them
It's a disservice to those who stay to focus on those who left
You don't know someone's heart until you've really disappointed them
Out last your critics
2) A resilient leader understands the need to be faithful and applies diligence to that end
Pray diligently Bil gave me the idea last spring to pray for 100 hours, God really shaped me during that time
Think diligently - Lust is preoccupying
What you think about regularly over time becomes manifest
Be diligent in actions - whatever you want to achieve in life, if you try enough times in a row it almost virtually eventually happen
Become a terrible quitter
God does not bless your intentions, he blesses your actions
3) A resilient leader creates a culture of loyalty
Keep short accounts w/staff members
As leaders, we're called to protect the church from bad sheep
The difference between an amateur and a pro is a pro plays hurt
4) A resilient leader finds confidence in their calling and their identity in Christ
You know you're on the holy ground of a calling if when you leave that town, the burden for the town goes with you
Devin Hudson - Doing Ministry in a Modern Corinth: Taking the gospel to a post-Christian culture
This guy planted in Vegas, said Sin City is everything you've heard and more
I'm not a control freak, I just know what's best for everyone else (all church planters are control freaks)
Do we trust the power of the gospel?
1) Is the gospel transforming me?
2) Do I trust the gospel to transform my people?
3) Do I trust the gospel in my culture
Always fall toward grace. If I blow it on the legalistic side, I create a lot more barriers.
Can I serve others with no agenda (no bottle of water and an invite card to church)
I love Jesus, but sometimes his bride is a real b----
Bil Cornelius Preaching to the disconnected
Allocate 10% of your annual budget toward marketing
(said of Rob Bell's insightful preaching) - Do you meet God on a hill like Moses?
Christmas Eve is the new Easter (for outreach potential)
If you get criticized for a preaching topic or style, keep doing it - that's your unique/ prophetic voice
1) Be positive
2) Assume everyone has never opened a Bible before
3) Make it attractive through stories, props, sets and designs
4) use as much natural humor as you can
5) Be willing to talk about subjects that you know the average person is discussing (sex, etc.)
6) Preach topically
7) Preach a balanced diet of message for pre and older Christians
Gary Lamb - Eliminating Portability as an Excuse This was my favorite session!
If you can't build a church in a portable situation you can't build in a permanent situation
I refuse to stand before God and say "I couldn't reach my community because I didn't have a building."
Lost people don't give a crap about where you meet
Steps to eliminating the excuse
1) If you have portability issues you have vision issues
2) Eliminating excuses starts with YOU
3) Keep it Simple Stupid
If you meet in a school, don't try to hide that it's a school
4) Spend money to be portable
Over the years, we've constantly upgraded our portable facilities. This shows our people that we value them.
5) Learn from others how to be portable
send leaders to visit churches that are portable to gather new ideas
6) Staff for portability
Every staff member has a set-up responsibility
7) Get creative
8) Look for opportunities to teach about being portable
When they show video testimonies of new Christians, they ask "what did you think when you drove up to the movie theater"?
Average church in America pays 30% of it's budget to facilities but we choose not to pour millions into a building we use once a week
9) Plan for problems
Have back-ups of everything (as you're able)
Have cash on hand for the last minute emergencies like batteries
10) Enjoy it!
Buildings cause problems
Thanks for reading all of this. If you'd like to hear any of these sessions, I can burn you a CD.