ChurchPlanters.com Conference Day 2

Day two was pretty stinking good as well.

The first session on day two was Dave Ferguson (my new best friend) and his session was entitled “respond”. Here are the highlights for me:

  • Quote from Alexander the Great – “Mediocre armies stay in known territories; great armies march off the map.”
  • We have got to be people leading spirit led churches.
  • God speaks we step, God speaks we step, God speaks we step.
  • God wants it worse than us.
  • God wants us to be risk takers, to trade our life for the cause.
  • When was the last time you took a risk on God?
  • What do faith feel like? It feels scary, It feels risky.
  • You have to risk it over and over again (are you telling old war stories or are you risking it over and over?)
  • Failure or fear of it will keep you from risking it all (it shouldn’t)
  • You should take risk on: Emerging Leaders, Emerging Artist, God.
  • You have to reproduce everything, everywhere.

Next session was Matt Carter. I had not heard of Matt before this conference or at-least not heard any of his messages. He session felt a lot like a Louie Giglio session. When it’s over you want to enroll in whatever he ask you to and you also want to just sit there and soak it in. There is no way I can do this one justice so get the CD from churchplanters.com but I will put a few of my notes.

  •  It’s not so much our resolve to fulfill God’s vision as it is God’s resolve to fulfill his vision for you.
  • You can’t put a mask on Jesus to draw people in. You will eventually have to take the mask off.
  • Suffering is a beautiful hermeneutic
  • God is absolutely resolved that you be a pastor of unction (holy urgency).
  • If you live with urgency sin will lose it’s grip.
  • If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do? It would not be sin. Sin is a waste of time.
  • God has resolved to bring you to a point of trust.
  • Sometimes trusting him means you don’t get to get off of the cross (look at Jesus)
  • Men of unction trust God (when things are good or not)
  • God will complete his good work in you.

We had to leave before the last main session to catch a flight but you can read the highlights here

ChurchPlanters.com Conference Day 1

This is my first time at this conference and I have not been disappointed. The first day had two main sessions and one breakout and each had some good application points.

Shawn Lovejoy opened things up and the takeaway for me was to relentlessly protect and champion the vision of your church. Don’t be afraid to run off or offend people with the vision that God has give you.

There were lots of breakout options and I choose Dan Reiland’s – Staffing for Growth . I am a big Dan Reiland fan (Pastor’s Coach, Shoulder to Shoulder, etc.). His breakout was slamming. I am all about content being useful and helpful and his info on how to staff, who to staff and how to develop and nurture staff was all of the above. It was to much info to share it all here but here are some highlights.

  • Hire Well – Hire Growth Engines (fight hiring administrative and support positions as long as possible. These spots are important but hiring growth engines should be the priority)
  • Nurture Authentically (Nurturing isn’t always warm and fuzzy)
  • Develop Intentionally (This is one of the most important things we tend to overlook it)
  • Demand High Standards & Consistent Results
  • Play Hard – You have to have fun with your staff
  • Reward Generously

The last session was Ed Setzer and it was good as well. The take away for me from this session was that everything we do has to clearly point to the cross of Calvary. That it doesn’t matter how creative or relevant we are if our message doesn’t clearly point to Christ. I we aren’t clear about Christ we are just building a monument to ourselves.

More tomorrow.

Fight Dancing & Screaming Music

One of our friends from Clayton is in a band and they were playing at a bar right by the house last night. A few of us decided to go support them and hangout a little. I pass this place everyday but have never been inside and definitely did not know what to expect. It was the typical bar scene that I remember until the band got going then things started to become very different for me. I think my uncommon sense definitely hindered my experience. Common sense says to me that dancing shouldn’t involve fist flying and kickboxing moves. That getting knocked down or knocked out should be reserved for an actual fight. Common sense also tells me that songs have lyrics to give them meaning and that you should be able to understand maybe just one of them to be able to track with it. I am not trying to dis this style, I am just admitting that I don’t get it at all.

I actually left as soon as our friends band had played because I really didn’t think I could handle it well if I was hit, kicked or knocked down. I don’t think it would go over well if your Executive Pastor got in a brawl at the local pub with half of his youth small group on-site. It is definitely a different scene than I remember and I know God has made someone to reach out to this crowd.

Words really can’t discribe it if you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a taste via video.

Simple Growth Stategy

Are you looking to grow something? Your marriage, your relationship with Jesus, your church, your business, your anything. Good news, there is a simple growth strategy that works for all of these things check out this passage of scripture: (John 15:5-8)

5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Don’t know if you caught it because it is so simple. If you want to bear fruit (grow), then you must remain connected to the vine. I know, that’s common sense but really, think about it. Jesus says “I am the vine” (check), “you are the branches” (check). He goes on to say (my loose paraphrase) “if you stay connected to me (the vine) then you will bear much fruit but apart from you can do nothing (nothing translates to……nothing, zero, notta, no growth)”.

Things that are alive grow and things that are alive are connected to the vine. Sounds so simple, but for all the things I listed at the start of this email, the growth strategy is simply stay connected to the vine (stay close to Jesus).

Fight for your daily time in prayer, fight for your daily time in God’s Word and see the miracle growth start to occur!

About To Bust

I can’t explain the feeling that I am feeling right now other than to say I feel like I am about to bust. I feel so a live and feel like God is about to do something so BIG. This is exactly how it felt just before the launch of Lifepoint and just before we went to two services last fall.

We had staff meeting last night and here is the reason for the excitement. The next twelve weeks could be the most strategic and the most exciting that we have had here a Lifepoint. It starts this weekend with a three week series on what our (you and me) mission is. That series is going to end with a baptism service and a huge message on reaching our friends. The next series will be the best series we have ever done and has the potential to Unleash everyone involved to live life the way they were designed. We are sending 20,001 mailers inviting people to this series. This one will end with a powerful service explaining what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. If that’s not enough, the next week we will have Exodus leading worship and we will start another life changing series.

Buckle Up Wilmington!

Productivity Week – Post 5 To Don’t List

My goal with these productivity post is to be helpful no necessarily original. This post is inspired by four different things that were inputs into my life this week and they all pointed back to the same thing – You have to have a “To Don’t List”.

Here are the four things and then I will explain:

  1. Craig Groeschel’s Blog (this one and this one)
  2. Perry Noble’s Blog (this one)
  3. Marcus Buckingham’s Leadership Training
  4. Lifepoint Last Sunday

All four of these things pointed me back to doing what only you can do. That means that not only should there be a “To Don’t List” but you have to keep a handle on this frequently and again relentlessly (my new favorite word).

In the first two blogs I was reminded that you have to stay focused on the main things and that means saying no to a lot of other good things.

I the Buckingham Training (Trombone Player Wanted) – We saw the same theme, play to your strengths and try to stay away from your weaknesses or if they are things you have to do, narrow the amount of time you spend there (like 25% of your day).

And at Lifepoint last weekend, I found myself doing task that I had no business doing and by me doing them it weakened Lifepoint, Me and kept someone else with that skill set from serving in ministry.

What is it that you need to quit doing? Start today.. I mean stop today!

Productivity Week – Post 4 Big Rocks

This is without a doubt the most important (in my opinion) aspect of productivity and fulfillment. For many of you the term Big Rocks is not a new one and you may even live by it. If so, Rock On! You have grabbed the bull by the horns.

Big Rocks are those things that mean the most to you in life and are the roles that are unique to only you. In order to know what things you should give your time to, you have to first identify the things that only you can do, the things that get the best results for you, and the things you value most.

Here are some examples of Big Rocks:

  • Follower of Christ
  • Husband
  • Father
  • Worker
  • Son
  • Leader

Your list will be different and I suggest that you don’t have more than 6 or 7 things. If you have more than 7, you are being to specific.

This is the most important thing that I have posted this week. Now that you have your list of Big Rocks you can now start to schedule your week. Usually we just put our to-do’s on our weekly list. This is a mistake. This will keep us running in survival mode. The things on your to-do list are usually the things that appear to be urgent yet there are so many important things that get over looked because there is no red flag waving (like taking your wife out, spending time with each of your kids, reading a book that will help you be a better worker or leader).

Here is the difference maker. Look at your Big Rock list at the beginning of each week and say what is the most important thing that I can do in this role this week and schedule it BEFORE any of your to-do’s. This will allow you to do the important things and the things that will bear fruit in your life and you will begin to see that when the Big Rocks go in first, all of the other stuff will fit in as well.

Lastly (I learned this one from Franklin Covey and yes I know he is a Mormon) . One of your Big Rocks has to be a thing called Sharpen The Saw. Many of us spend most of our time swinging a dull ax. Sharpen The Saw is about personal renewal and improvement. There are several aspects for Sharpening The Saw and here they are.

  1. Mental – What makes you fresh mentally? (reading, a quite place)
  2. Physical – You have to make time for you health, so set some goals
  3. Social – You were not made to do life alone. Other people make us stronger.
  4. Spiritual – If this isn’t a priority everything else will be useless.

This sounds simple but making a plan and following it are to different things. You have to make your plan on Monday and you have to fight for it daily. There will be emergencies and other things that sidetrack you but you have to fight relentlessly to stay on track. The daily discipline of making a plan happen is what will set you apart and help you to be successful in the most important areas of your life.