A few weeks ago, I won free tickets to take our staff to the InnovateChurch conference in Lynchburg, VA, so Monday we loaded up and headed north. It was an incredible three days. I can’t possibly share everything we learned, but here are a few bullet points that I brought home.
• Don’t Get Distracted. Eric Geiger taught that churches tend to drift toward complexity and away from their core message and mission.
• Don’t Sell Out To Sell Your Book. It’s okay to plug your book at a conference. Unfortunately, one of the speakers (who I won’t mention) was so busy shilling for his book it distracted from his presentation. And no, it wasn’t Francis Chan.
• Don’t Forget the Bible. Francis Chan, was, as always, amazing. Frankly, there’s no way to sum up what he said, so you’ll just have to go to the link below and listen for yourself.
• Don’t Be Colorblind. Mark DeYmaz challenged us to look around at the racial and cultural makeup of our church, and become more intentional about embracing diversity.
• Don’t Take Prisoners. Perry Noble never pulls his punches. And he hit us between the eyes with three questions our churches need to ask:
o What is it that God wants to do in my church?
o What are the barriers that stand in our way?
o What do we want to celebrate? (We celebrate changed lives.)
This is the message to listen to right after Francis Chan. But make sure you get your testosterone booster shot first.
• Don’t Get Off Base (But Do Get Off the Pot). Greg Surratt told us “It’s okay to sit on the pity potty, just as long as you don’t stay until you have ring around the hiney.” He also reminded us to 1) base your preaching on the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 2) base your confidence on the fact that God has chosen you, and 3) base your hope on the fact that you are on the winning team.
If you’d like to hear any of this messages (and you really should), they are all online and free at www.innovatechurch.us. (You can fast forward past the introductions if you’re in a hurry.)
By the way, some of the guys at the conference are well worth a Twitter follow, including Perry Noble, Greg Surratt, Ed Stetzer, Matt Fry, and Jonathan Falwell. (And don’t forget to follow me, too.)