I’m still jazzed up a little for the experiences of Innovate 08. It was really (really) good.
But I’ve realized I need to guard against something.
From my many years as a student minister I have taken kids on lots of different trips. Weekend trips, mission trips, beach camps, fall retreats, ski trips, etc., etc. And in doing so, I usually see kids end the week with a “camp high”. You know, where by the end of the event Jesus is their best friend for life! And how they’re going to go back home and be working to change their town, their school, their church, their WORLD! They are fired up! They sing the lyrics to praise songs all the time, and they’re just waiting to hear someone say, “I love Jesus! Yes I do! I love Jesus! How ’bout you?!?” so they can scream back their own affirmation of love for their new best friend and Savior.
But in most cases, it takes roughly two weeks before that students are “back to normal“. Back to how things were before they left for camp. The passion dries up. The enthusiasm wanes. And their purpose in life shifts back to being popular or making good grades or not getting in trouble.
And I can see how the same can be said for adults. I mean, people left Innovate 08 with a drive and a passion for God’s Kingdom. Just like they’ll leave Catalyst next month and any and all other church leadership events you can think of. And they’ll be chock full of ideas and purpose and passion and motivation. I’m right there with them. But I don’t’ want to see any of us come back to “normal” like it was before the event.
I want to soak in what God taught me at Innovate. And to let Him show me what it all means for me and my calling specifically. Not to copy a program or idea or manner of any other church/ministry. But to see what God is calling US to do specifically. And to apply it humbly and faithfully.
I had a friend that went last year and raved about it. And I read a few blogs of folks who had attended, and they said it was exceptional. My friend actually said, “It’s better than anything I’ve been to at Northpoint…” Those were some big words there.
So what am I looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to hearing Mark Beeson teach. He’s a gifted communicator and has pushed his church in so many creative ways. [I still find it interesting that he’s in a very “innovative” church, yet still preaches with a coat and tie each week. But hey, seems to be working for him!]
I’m looking forward to hearing Shawn Wood talk of their creative process of finding the sweet spot of who God created his church to be and who they are not. That way they are not trying to be a huge buffet of ministries, but being dang good at what they’re created to do.
Getting to hear Tim Stevens speak about recognizing and using culture to communicate the life changing truths of Jesus.
Attending the Granger Film Festival where churches bring their best vids from the last year or so for a competition.
Hearing Rob Wegner speak his heart about missions and how to impact the local community for The Kingdom.
To be able to hear Kathy Guy speak on the small group strategies of GCC and how it makes a difference in their people. Might even get to grab lunch w/ her at some point.
Steven Furtick will tell the stories of how his church has had a wild growth as it’s barely 2 years old. And the struggles and processes they’ve gone trough. And I want to see his weird hair in person.
Plus, I hope to be able to walk around the campus of Notre Dame while I’m there too.
And there will be some good companions from The Orchard in Tupelo to be with.
I will have frequent updates and maybe some pics/video of stuff while I’m there. I’ll “take you along” so to speak.
Last year a friend went to a conference in Granger, Indiana. Yeah, Granger. Never heard of it?
Anyhow, It was called Innovate and was at Granger Community Church. I’d kept up with the church for a little while because I read the blogs of some of the staffmembers. It’s a great church. Very creative. Very missional. And making a big impact on their communities.
Last night I came across it again. Innovate08. I knew it was coming soon. But it had slipped my mind. And if I was to go to a conference I’d like for it to have something specifically related to my area of ministry. But when looking at Tim’s blog he mentioned how it’s possible to grab lunch w/ key staff members to pique their minds about things, and when I saw that there was a BreakOut session specifically about Small Groups…I began to really think about it.
Turns out that there’s already a group of people I know from The Orchard in Tupelo heading up there! How crazy is that? So, I’m looking through details, but I’m really hoping to make it!