Since I was here already, I figured I’d like to check out the GCC experience apart from the Innovate Conference. Since I won’t be here during a weekend service I wanted to check out one of the midweek Bible Classes. The guy who was working the front desk when I checked in [his name was Kyle] told me I should try Dr. Bob‘s class. He said Bob was a prof at Bethel College and a great teacher.
After I got in there, looked at his name again, it dawned on me: I know this guy! I mean, not personally, but I heard him teach at a youth weekend after my sophomore year in high school down in Mississippi. Small world, huh? I liked him then and I liked him now.
He taught on The Radical Jesus. And about how Jesus had radical grace. And He always chose grace over law. Here are a few points that were really good:
You love God exactly as much as you love the person you love the least. Meaning, who ever you love the least…that amount of love is how much you truly love God.
Jesus always chose people over policies.
We all exist in The Impossibility of Performance. Meaning we can never follow the rules well enough to always get it right. That’s why we need grace.
“Beware the anger of a patient man”
The Pharisees allowed the law to become their God.
Why is it easier to live by the law instead of by grace? Because it’s the safer choice. You don’t have to think. And it gives you a type of power (because you can look down on people who don’t follow the law well)
Gal 3:10 – “All who RELY on observing the law are under a curse.”
I’m sitting in the lobby of the hotel. I can’t get in just yet. The guy behind the counter says he sees the rooms blocked out for us, but can’t view the individual reservations. Merissa who made the reservations isn’t here yet, but I called her and she won’t have any different info for him because she doesn’t have the confirmation number. So, I’m sitting in the lobby. Wondering if I should try to walk over to Notre Dame vs paying $12 for a taxi ride there.
Granger Community Church is just about a half mile down the road, so I could walk down there and check it out. There are actually some going on tonight. I might give one of those a go to check out some of the changes that GCC is undergoing. Or I might go to bed early since I probably got 3 hours of sleep and have been on planes or rushing to them all day.
I got up at 4. Showered. Ate a muffin. Left for Tupelo. Flew to Memphis for a 37 minute layover. That means I rushed around to my next gate. Then I flew to Detroit. There I had another 37 minute layover. Interesting. But then I flew to South Bend and got a taxi to this hotel. So I could use some time on a bed infront of ESPN or something like that. And you can’t beat this wifi either.
But I know I won’t do that. I’m travelling, baby! Can’t be still for too long.
OH, and if things look different now and then, it’s because I’m trying out some new themes around the ole blog.
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!