We just got back from our annual pastor’s conference. It ended up being a great time and my only problem is there were just too many people that we would have liked to have talked to, but time ran short! Here are things I took away from the weekend:
1. In light of our recent leadership load adjustment, we went in with an agenda: Find great leaders and ask them what they would do in our situation. So we did, and boy, were we blessed! We had some amazing leaders pour into our lives and take moments away from their own stuff to make North Creek the best church it can be. Highlights: Wes Davis helping us understand having key leaders at multiple campuses, Terry Gurno helping us understand the pain we experience personally when we hit a leadership lid, and Troy & Jana Jones lending us nearly all of their staff expertise to nail out the various details we now face. It was a year’s worth of leadership development poured into a couple of days!
2. One of the speakers told about how they took a church in Florida that needed a turnaround. One of the leaders there was angry with the new changes and put out a hit list of people he was going to kill. Long story short, he decapitated one of the leaders in the church and put his head at the front door of the church. Gotta tell you…we’ve got small problems in our life compared to that! Thanks to everyone at Battle Ground for not decapitating us in this transition. We really appreciate it!
3. We went to a workshop with Don Ross. He took a church that was declining and turned it around. Honestly, that was some of the best information I’ve ever heard! It applied to every scenario of how to grow a church in the midst of anything that you may face along the way. The bottom line: work harder than you can imagine working and be willing to die for your church. OK.
4. Mark spoke at a workshop with 3 other church planters. It was great! They were all funny, gracious, and real about the life of a church planter. We were the oldest church in the bunch and living proof that this journey is a lot of fun and you can succeed!
5. A pastor came up to me at conference and told me his 15 year old son (who was there) has felt like he wanted to start a Coffee Church in Greece since he was 7 years old. There was a highlight video about our church in one of the sessions, so he asked about interning with us. Sure, come drink the coffee, but we want to visit the Greece campus regularly!
6. I am REALLY excited to watch how God molds and shapes our church over the next 10 years. I love this crazy journey and I’m not getting off this ride for anything! Let’s change our community!
I thought nothing would surprise me about angry church leadership, but I definitely didn’t see a decapitated head coming! I told Kris Gray we should go international. Josiah and I will start Congo Coffee Church!