Like I was saying....

Tag: innovate (Page 1 of 2)

Am I HIGH from Innovate 08?

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.

So thank you to Granger Community Church. Thanks to Mark, and Tim, and Rob, and Kem, and Mark. Thanks to Shawn and Steven and the guys. Thanks to Kathy and Jeff.

Video From Innovate 08

Here is just some random stuff. Video isn’t too bad. But the audio is pretty horrible. The little mic in my camera didn’t like the DEEP bass of the speakers.

Innovate 08 :: My Last Morning in Indiana

I wrote this while sitting in the airport Saturday morning. I had no wifi at the time. But here it is. Better late than ever [I still have to transcribe Beeson’s final session too.]

So after Innovate 08 was over most of everyone I was with traveled to Chicago. They had an early Saturday morning flight out of O’Hare. I had a mid morning flight out of South Bend. They dropped me off at the Residence Inn about a mile south of Notre Dame University. After checking into a very surprisingly nice hotel and catching up on some email and news I decided to walk to ND.

It was an easy walk, but getting dark. I wondered if it was the best part of town to walk through late at night (for the return trip). But it turned into a really nice area as I walked north on Notre Dame Avenue. Some of the houses looked awesome.

As I entered campus I headed over to the restaurant Legends of Notre Dame. Ordered the mozzarella stick and walked around looking at the history of Notre Dame plastered all over the walls. I’m no fan of Notre Dame, but not a hater either. And you gotta admit, they have some serious tradition there. While walking around I noticed that there was to be a few comedians performing later that night at the place.

I talked to my waiter, asking if there was a cover charge or if it was for students only or what? He ended up getting me placed on the guest list to where I could go for free and w/o a student ID. I had no idea if I’d do it or not, but the two guys performing had been on Last Comic Standing apparently. So it could be good.

I left the restaurant expecting to head to the bookstore. I’d been the night before to get a shirt, but there was a really nice photography section I wanted to spend a little time in. But while outside I could hear a crowd cheering and a man talking over a PA system. During supper I’d read the student news paper some about the ND Soccer teams. The women were #1 in the country while the men were #3. So I ran over to the field and watched the ND men play the team from #5 St. John’s University. It was in the 2nd OT. It ended scoreless. But the guys were a triple combo of speed, power, and precision. It was impressive to see.

A quick trip to the bookstore. But as I was walking there I saw an animal walking across the sidewalk a head of me. Guess what it was? It was a skunk. Yes, a SKUNK. Completely white with the double white stripe down it’s back. Just walking through campus! Is that common around ND? I paused, let it pass, and then kept my eye on it.

I made it to the bookstore. They closed at 10pm and I had 20 minutes there to look at photography books and then children’s clothing. But my girls don’t know what Notre Dame is. SO I wasn’t spending $20 on a shirt for them.

Then back to Legends of Notre Dame for some comedy. It was some funny stuff. But ended up digressing into foul jokes with foul language. Some of the kind you laugh at and think, “I shouldn’t’ be laughing at that.” and others that you just shake your head at. So after a little while I head back to the hotel.

I took my id and my debit card out of my wallet in case someone “asked” for my wallet I could still get home after handing it over. So the mile walk back took me through the nice and not as nice areas. I never felt in danger. But was on guard. Even had a car slow down and say, “Hey, baby…need a ride?” I politely declined.

So I made it back unscathed. Stayed up late. Set my alarm for a possible walk back to campus for daylight photos. I loved my hotel room. Even the bed smelled good. So good and comfortable that I pressed snooze through my alarms and didn’t make it back to campus.

I got to the South Bend airport, check in, and sat down at my gate a good 70 minutes before takeoff. I guess better early than late, huh? Now’ I’ll save some laptop battery and read, rest, or think.

But South BendNotre DameMichiana… Perhaps we’ll meet again. I think I like you.

Innovate 08 :: BreakOut #2 :: Tech Guy

Peterson :: Media @ Granger

  1. No matter your resources, use what you have well. Do your best w/ what you have. Mark Beeson’s personality is obvious all over the church. He’s an artist and photographer. He’s taught many of us his own skills. But the arts were very important to Mark so it is to the church.
  2. Start simple and finish it.
  3. Building a team. If you’re the only one doing it then you’re going to get burned out. Take the extra time to work with people. And you’ll end up being able to relax because of shared responsibilities.
  4. Shorter is better. No one will appreciate and enjoy a video as much as the people who made it. Leave them wanting more, not praying for less. Our goal is 30-45 seconds.
  5. Never ever put up unflattering or joking pictures. Our initial goal was for media to build community. We’ve had times where we canceled an entire project because we missed something [possibly inappropriate material]
  6. Bad video is better than bad audio. You can call bad video style. But bad audio is irritating. Get the best audio. Get it off your camera.
  7. Be prepared. Check all your equipment before going on your shoot. Maybe have a checklist.
  8. I like to use storyboards.
  9. Almost every single project takes longer than expected. Vols are important.
  10. Always have ONE director.

Innovate 08 :: Session 7 :: Stevin Furtick

At first I wasn’t sure how to receive Furtick. I mean, he’s an interesting guy. He’s got a style that’s all his own. And he is the pastor of a church that has exploded in members and attenders [meaning that the church is about two and a half years old..yet they had 4837 people attend their three location in ONE weekend last month! Holy-you-know-what!] And with that growth combined with his youth [and funky style] there are going to be haters. Right?

Let me just say that I was amazed. And I don’t say that much. And as I listened to him I was kicking myself for not going to his Breakout today on Vision. Here are my notes from him [that again might need to be cleaned up later.]

But as I listened you could hear his passion. I know that’s something that is said a lot. And I know I’ve said it on here before too. But you could almost tangibly feel his passion and commitment to the Gospel. It may sound lame of me, but he was causing the emotions to stir even.

Furtick –

He started out by saying he wasn’t a speaker. That a speaker is what you buy from Radio Shack. But that was going to preach from the word of God.

Had a vision from God as a 16 year old new Christian after reading Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire.
Sharing from a perspective of transparency because
1Sam 17:13 David was anointed king, but in the meantime he went back and forth between Saul’s court and tending sheep.
How many of you feel you’ve had a significant vision revealed from God but are stuck in the back.
Between the Promise and the Payoff there is a Process.
“We’re not going to be buried …”
Just trying to gently help them discover God’s will for their life.
So many of us forget the promise and forfeit the payoff because we faint at the process.
The promise is that you’re called by God.

David was the King elect and was asked to run cheese/bread to his brothers on the battlefield.
Maybe the reason you’re not getting what you need out of your workers is because you’re not challenging them.

If you want to reach lost people advertise it on the Xian radio station [not!] (said this after talking about advertising an egg drop they did for one Easter. They advertised on ‘secular’ radio. Had 2k show up)

Some of you have lost your audacious ability while looking at your budgets and staff and facility limitations and lost the audacity and are fainting at the process, but God’s promise is still true. Don’t forfeit the payoff of God’s vision by stopping. Keep taking the cheese pizza. Keep honoring God. Speak and pray and fast and don’t dare let go of the promise God has given you because the process is always painful.

It always starts small. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Boy’s lunch, little bit of oil, those were things that Jesus used. There’s no shortage of God’s supply in our ministry. There’s a shortage in our capacity.

The only reason David was there to fight Goliath is because he was being obedient to God in the mundane.

“even as stupid as I am I believe God likes me because I don’t tell him no”
Some of you have educated yourself so much that you don’t believe anything is possible with God anymore.”

The whole time I was going back and forth [the whole time you were going through aimless meeting, or ministering to the 15 senior adults, those were training ground.] I was tearing up lions and bears. it was a Mr. Miagi moment.

The Process is the point. God is preparing you in the process.

I was running a Mr. Potato Head ministry. Taking eyes, ears, etc from different ministries. But that didn’t work. I had to be who God called me to be. No pretending.

Innovate 08 :: Session 4 :: Rob Wegner

Here are my raw notes from when Rob just finished speaking. I could listen to him for hours. Very energetic and passinate, but right on with his message.

ROB WEGNER: Where is the LOVE?

That’s what millions in the world are asking today. Where is the love of God? When so much bad stuff happens around the world.
1.5 million people don’t have health care. Not insurance, CARE. They might die today because of no vaccine and they’re asking, “Where is the love?”
What is God’s plan to show His love to the world? It is YOU. The local church. And it appears that there is’t another plan. You’re it. Jesus Christ gave local churches the invitation to make it believable that God is good.
So how do we release to the local community and global village that God is GOOD! how does that happen?
How do we create experiences and environment to share that. How do we penetrate society
Missional Moves.
God is up to something fresh in regards to global moves.

“What is the Gospel that Jesus preached? I’m confident that churches are filled w/ well meaning people who wouldn’t give the same answer that Jesus would give. There are tons of people who would say that the Gospel is getting out of trouble w/ God. We ask them, “where would you go if you died tonight” And they’re looking for minimal requirements to get into heaven. And Jesus never taught that.

Mark 1:14-15. Jesus came to bring the good news. The gospel. In one phrase what would did Jesus say the gospel was? It is The Kingdom Of God!
The Kingdom of God is where the power and presence of God breaks through into the world. Eternal life doesn’t start when I die, but right now. It’s not just eternal life, but it’s a way of life, a quality of life. Right now! Established on earth.

GCC has a mantra. The gospel is bring up there down here. What would it look like God really answered the request of “may your will be done on earth as in heaven”?
When we define the gospel as minimum requirements to get into heaven.
Missional Move: From Saved Souls to Saved Wholes
We are so for the verbal proclamation. But what about the other half? Bringing up there down here. Helping people in their life right where they are. I call it the demonstration proclamation. Combined w/ the verbal proclamation it becomes an unstoppable force that transforms lives and communities.
“Hold up Jesus, we’re just trying to get the verbal part right. We’ve got our hands full”  lame! If it’s only about the 4 spiritual laws, we can do that. But if it’s going into a community to transform it, you will HAVE to have the help of the Holy Spirit.

Missional Move: From “flashlight” to “laser focus.”
In a previous church was a huge map of the world with thumbtacks where missionaries were sent or support given.
I wonder if some churches are confusing the great commission with the great commotion. The reality is bigger isn’t better. But better is better.
Acts 1:8 Jesus gives 4 spheres of influence that churches need to focus on.
We sought to narrow our focus
We decided we’d rather be 30’ deep in 3 places than 3 inches deep in 30 places.

You gotta figure out who God uniquely determined you to be, and then pour yourself into it.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, the great commission is your life mission. No debate.
If you love kids well in a community it makes the parents happy. And your influence for the Kingdom grows.
Story of two ladies who went into the Southland Housing Project and met resistance at first because the other churches had contributed to the sense of abandonment to the kids. But the Kingdom revealed itself eventually.
Story of the food pantry at Monroe Circle.
Narrowing our focus dramatically increased our impact.
It also has dramatically increased shared ownership and motivation.
Missional Move: From professionals to full participation
A church can’t rely on staff only to do the mission. In’ Acts it was congregationally organized, and we need to mobilize people out of their seats and into God’s story.
The 2 barriers are fear and busyness.

Second Saturdays are not dead ends, but on ramps. They’re family friendly. It’s an onramp to see what’s it’s like to be on a team and get involved. Involved in bringing up there down here. To expand the Kingdom in our sphere of influence.

God hasn’t called the local church to sit inside the safety of our sanctuaries. But to go out and stand at the gates of hell. “LORD let Your Kingdom come and will be done. Lord, show us wher eyou want us to stand.” Our God reigns! Injustice will not have the final word.

Innovate 08 :: Day one is done!

Wow. That’s a fair recap. Wow.

I was able to meet a few people today. People I’ve talked with online through email or facebook or blogs or twitter. I was able to talk with Kem, Rob, and Lindsay. All were quite nice.

The day started with a quick tour of the facilities. The children’s areas were impressive. Nearly all of them you enter by way of a slide from upstairs. Nice! I know my kids would love that. And I would give it a try to if I could.

We didn’t have worship last night w/ the Bible study…because it was Bible study. But we’ve worshiped a few times today. We said close and on the side. And it was loud. I wondered if their weekend services are as loud. Dunno. I’d like it, but not sure everyone would.

I actually grabbed a few video clips from worship, but I didn’t pack my cord to post them, so that will have to be post conference unless I find one tomorrow.

Mark Beeson is a very energetic guy. But it didn’t come across as cheesy, which is good.
Shawn Wood impressed more than I expected. Not that I didn’t expect him to be good. I want to buy his book. But I have a lot of other books I need to start/finish before I buy another. And Tim Steven’s book Pop Goes The Church was some nice swag too.

The snack tent had lots of goodies, plus video games set up. They were played at first, but then not so much. But I did eat/snack a lot. And they had Famous Amos cookies. I mean, how awesome is that?

The Granger Film Fest was great.

Breakfast at the hotel, lunch at Moe’s, supper at Hullihans, and then a late night stop by the Notre Dame bookstore for a new ND shirt. I had too. Just like the Georgetown one I got last year while in DC from the Georgetown bookstore.

My big takeaways from today. There was lots to learn and process so this is the barebones of it:

  1. It’s okay to talk about doing something, but there comes a time when as churches we have to stop talking and start putting action to our words.
  2. It’s okay to put some effort into presenting yourself (as a church) well, but don’t worship your church’s brand or image. Make sure that Jesus is your first and primary motivation in EVERYTHING your church does. Connect people to Him. Not your cool church. As a church, be who God created you to be.
  3. Groups don’t change people. God changes people. People matter to God. It’s about them. And that’s who we focus on.
  4. Sometimes leverging culture is needed to break into the lives of people. And it can open a doorway into relationship and conversation with them to were they can eventually experience life change w/ God.

Innovate 08 :: Session 3 :: Tim Stevens

I’ve heard Tim talk a few times before on two different podcasts and seen clips of his teaching online. But I enjoyed his teaching today. He used TONS of clips. Some from media. Some from examples of dramas, clips, and promos that GCC has used. He did a great job at communicating that we leverage the media and culture around us to communicate life changing truths of Jesus Christ. And as a result, those people can in turn love God by serving Him and the community around us.

Here are my notes, but they are a little more scattered.

Tim Stevens :: Pop Goes The Church.

I lead a really sheltered life early on in relation to pop culture. Grew up with the idea that going to a movie was a sin. First movie I went to was at age 26.
But he ended up experiencing God moving throuht some pop culture.
Eyes Wide Open
Clip(s) from Desperate Housewives
There are people all across our communities who are on a journey. They’re exploring God. But they’re not using the church.

Reality #1. Most churches aren’t impacting their communities. Most churches are not getting the job done.
Reality #2 – Spiritual interest in increasing in America.

UnChristian – Gabe Lyons.
Church :: UnChuched :: DeChurched. Everyone falls into one of these 3 groups. And the church isn’t doing well with the 2nd two groups. And they drive by our churches each day w/o much thought.
As church attendance is going down in our culture, spiritual interest is growing.
People don’t see the church as able to meet their needs.
Christ ‘became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood’ John 1:14 [msg]
Acts 17 Paul preached and got run out of town. Then he goes to Athens.
Paul saw that they were searching for answers, but looking in the wrong place.
Sometimes in churches we don’t ask questions.

Use pop culture to package a topic or series. We made an intentional decision a while back to limit series that are using pop culture to package it. Because there are still so many that are not into it.
Use it to get people thinking or laughing. Usually people are defensive or skeptical. Sometimes it can loosen them up a little to where they’re more likely to receive the msg.
Provide a new interpretation for a popular cultural element. Some people outside of GCC really reacted negatively to the Beatles Christmas series because of some of the quotes/stances/beliefs of the Beatles. But GCC provided a new interpretation on some of the songs.
To encourage those who serve.

The question all of this begs is WHY? Why the research and time and $$ spent to research, prepare, and present w/ Pop culture in mind? why drive so close to the line? wouldn’t just preaching a msg be easier. Isn’t there enough of God in the Bible w/o using culture? What’s so wrong w/ that?
Or do we just want to be labeled as hip and cool?

…the man who is losing his family can keep his job
…the single mom can
…so the elderly woman who’s husband has died can find a reason to live and find purpose in serving others
…so that the sexually abused teen can be surrounded by men of God can help him
so the couple that is struggling in their marriage
so the woman who has never experienced intimacy out side of a 1 night stand
so the mane who has been steeped in legalism
the woman who has been to mass every day of her life can see that it’s so much more than duty

So that all these people can experience God and grow closer to HIm and begin to grow in their relationship w/ him and then begin to serve more pray more and value others more and give more.
In the church, but also in their work/schools/streets/prisons/communities

Breakout #1 :: Kathy Guy :: GROUPS

Breakout One :: Kathy Guy

I wanted to make sure to go to this one since it is my primary area of responsibility at The Orchard.

  • Groups come in every shape and size. and we get flipped out on what is “The Right Way” to do groups.
  • But it seems that there isn’t one right answer. It’s messy. Relationships are messy.
  • So Granger has pulled back and said that relationships are primary and all the other stuff is 2ndary.
  • Of or With? GCC is a church with small groups. Not all their teaching tries to funnel people into groups.
  • GCC has realized that not everyone that comes to church wants to be in a group.
  • If you try to push people into a group, they’ll often times resist.
  • “How bout if we give that up and just tell people that this is one way you can connect”
  • Groups don’t change people. God changes people. People matter to God. It’s about them. And that’s who we focus on. That’s why GCC is a church WITH small groups.
  • We try to channel people into relationships and it might be through groups. But it might be through serving, volunteering, or groups. Giving them opportunities to be in relationship. And the people might not realize it, but they’re forming a group
  • Church is one of the few places that people show up and expect the church to find them a friend.
  • Would people go into a bar, and tell the bartender that he should find them a friend there? Yet people expect that at churches.
  • But we create the spaces, but help people create the opportunities and take ownership to create relationships in the spaces we provide
  • We’re not trying to force you anywhere, but if you become a grown up and step up and initiate on your own, you can form relationships
  • We want people to step in and discover love and discover that they’re cared for…it is huge.
  • How do we do that?
  • Starting Point: “I want to meet some people and start some relationships” We tell people “come to this meeting and you can find one there” What’s the reason people are coming?  Starting Point is for people looking for friendships [Not the Northpoint Model]
  • Turning Point: “I want to change the not so helpful patterns in my life and meet some others who are in a similar place.” It’s a support group.
  • Both of these are consistent:
  • A recognizable brand
  • Easy Entrance
  • Easy Exit
  • Safe Experience
  • How do we provide acceptance vs. tolerance of one another?
  • We are going to err on the side of Grace. And once people realize they matter to God…
  • Starting point:
  • Launching vehicle 8x a year
  • 6 Meeting experience
  • Focus on getting to know each other
  • Easy entrance/easy exit

How do we find leaders?

  • The hesitant but willing person is who we look for. The confident and cocky people don’t work out. Look for friendly people who are warm/welcoming. Committed member of the church. “Have you ever had any interest in helping people connect in community?”
  • They need to be relationally intelligent
  • A lead learner. taking steps themselves to grow in knowledge.
  • Cares about people
  • Don’t just take the warm body. You’ll be sorry.
  • We have a very difficult time placing people w/ teaching gifts. People don’t want to be taught to, but cared for. “People don’t care how much you know, but want to know how much you care.” When people are cared for first, then they can much better learn.
  • We use the word “facilitate” more than “lead”.
  • At starting point, people get 4 rounds of random questions “where do you live, what do you like?” to help people group.
  • Most people use the Granger Notes [notes from the sermon], but some choose book studies or Nooma or other stuff.
  • GCC doesn’t have affinity ministries. No men’s, women’s, couples, etc. We group by marital status. Mixed groups sometimes work, but the drop-off is higher in those mixed groups. Esp singles.
  • How do we measure a win? It’s not if the group stays together. It’s if someone shows up and formed relationship with 8 or so others. In a large church, it helps the larger church become smaller.
  • Have a friend. Be a friend.
  • Discipleship. Control or Trust? It takes way too much energy to approve every single group’s study material and manage the inner goings on in each group. You have to release trust to your groups.
  • Not everyone is cut out to be a group facilitator. Model trust. Treat people like they’re trust worthy.
  • Measuring the win. We use Fellowship One as our database. Approx 27% of our people are in groups. But about 50% have touched a group experience and experienced our relational culture.
  • The soft measurement is the stories that come out of group experiences.
  • It is up to each group to decide their own child care solution.
  • We only offer childcare at our weekend experiences and our midweek experiences [at church]. So it’s in the culture already that child care isn’t offered unless it is a total church experience.

Innovate 08 :: Session 2 :: Shawn Wood

Here are my raw notes from Shawn Wood, Experience Pastor at Seacoast church. He was really good. Started funny. Nice, quick slides to go with his talk. Really engaging. Then turned the corner and brought the heat. I’ll have to clean these up tonight probably.

  • We get lots of questions about how we do stuff
  • stuff= how we tell the story through spoken or sung word or digital, web, print media etc.
  • telling a fictional ‘but true’ story about Michael, a new pastor at SCC, Scranton Community Church. Telling how church gets so full of “STUFF” that it bogs the pastor down.
  • Often times we let the stuff become the object of our attention. When the only reason the stuff is important is because it helps communicate Jesus.
  • Stuff will never change a life. Stuff will, by itself, make a difference. We have brand schizophrenia. Our brand should be JESUS. Not the “stuff”
  • Stuff can be good. It helps is communicate Jesus. But don’t worship the stuff.
  • Don’t copy other churches and try to be who they are. Be who God created YOU to be.
  • If we begin to manage our “brand” as a church, there’s a danger of forgetting that Jesus is our reason and goal.
  • Not only do we manage brand but we perfect brand. We chase excellence and drives what we do. We pursue better art, and videos, and tech, and programs.
  • If it’s just about the stuff, why not go work in the marketplace. Make lots of money. WHy would you waste your time w/ a hobby such as church. That’s a lame hobby. But if you are doing it for and because of Jesus, then your stuff has value.
  • Brand no equals stuff. [new logo, slick look, etc] Brand is much more. A deep gut feeling of who we are.
  • Brand = the aftertaste left by an emotional experience.
  • That can be w/ an encounter with your website, your service, your greeters, a conversation w/ a member, etc.
  • Having a new logo, or a slick look,or whatever isn’t the answer
  • Find out who you are, and who God created you to be. And do good things in that.
  • If God didn’t call you to be something, why would you do it? I would call that sin.
  • “Don’t touch the poop.” So often I see all these thigns around me I want to do or take on, and God’s saying, “I didn’t’ create you for that” But we want to touch it. But if it’s not what He made us for….would you call that sin?
  • What is the Seacoast Experience? Spirit Filled. Practical [not talk w/o doing. non spooky.] yet kind of mystical. experience in multiple locations. on the cheap.
  • We measure everything through that.
  • Know where you’re going as a church.
  • The challenge is to not try to be someone else. Either as in individual or a church. Don’t chase after excellence just for the sake of excellence. Find out who you are as a church. And start doing something with it so that people can have an aftertaste that changes their lives.
  • Eph 1:18 I ask God to make your eyes focused adn clear, so you can see exactly what it is God is calling you to do.
  • We need to be laser focused on who God created us to be, instead of trying to be everything we think is cool.
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