Just came back from National New Church Conference. Aric (New City's intern pastor) and I spent three days in Orlando, Florida for the conference.
I had a great time. I met a lot of great people.
The highlight was the Stadia church planters' dinner. There were about 200 people there. A lot of energy. I received a lot of encouragement. I saw a lot of guys I met at the assessment in Tennessee and at the bootcamp in Seattle. A great group of people.
I also hooked up with MosaiX network, a network of pastors who are leading or planting multi-ethnic churches. It was awesome to meet and hookup with George Yancey who wrote Divided by Faith and Mark DeYmaz who wrote Building Healthy Multi-Ethnic Churches. Great guys!
George Yancy's session on the racially divided America was compelling. According to research, there is more racial division among people who go to church than people who do not go to church. Why is Christian America so divided?
Mark DeYmaz's session on the biblical basis for a multi-ethnic church was powerful. I just started to cry at the end of the session. I could not help it. He argued against the homogenous principle--that churches grow faster when like-kinds of people gather together. He argued that such approach is not supported by the Bible. We shouldn't just plant growing churches, we should plant biblical churches. He argued that biblical churches were multi-ethnic churches where Jews and Gentiles came together. Heaven is going to be multi-ethnic; so, we need to be multi-ethnic as well. There was a lot more insight--John 17, Antioch church in Acts, Ephesian exogesis. Great stuff. Read his book.
Andy Stanley was good. Pretty staight forward from his book: Visioneering. Nothing new. Just some stories.
Tim Keller was great on his exposition of the DNA of a revival. His discussion of the gospel was also refreshing. A guy who sat next to me said that the talk changed his paradigm of the gospel. Tim focused on the three aspects of the gospel: incarnation (Kingdom of God), subtitutionary atonement (the cross), and restoration(eternal life, second coming), and said that different parts of the Bible focus on different aspects of the gospel. We need to share all three. It was very well laid out. I also heard that there was a Q&A breakfast with him in the morning and I heard that that was very good. I am glad that the leadership of the conference brought Tim into the picture of church planters.
Rick Warren was staight forward and personal. He led the commitment time. It was a powerful time. I need to learn how to lead people into commitment. It was great!