Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Just Say “NO” to Church/Leadership Conferences!

After catching some flak from my last blog post – “Impotent Leaders & Impotent Churches” – I thought I would elaborate on what I meant when I said “DO NOT GO to 1 more conference this year!

I thought it was funny that this was the statement that bothered many people. Even some good friends of mine who host & speak at conferences let me hear about it. However, I’m sticking with that statement – but I will add 1 caveat — “FOR YOU!”  “DO NOT GO to 1 more conference this year – FOR YOU!” I just took 17 leaders from Eagle Pointe Church to the Velocity 2011/ChurchPlanters.com conference last month. This was a great environment for them to be challenged, grow as leaders, & have their passion for Jesus & ministry stoked! I’ll take a group of leaders from our church again next year.

I have to admit that for the last few years I have been burned out on church/leadership conferences. Having had the privilege of working with Dan Southerland & others on conferences at Flamingo Road Church & Saddleback Church – IT KILLS ME to see the number of pastors who come to these conferences looking for that magic pill that is going to revive them & their church & take them to the next level. Again, QUIT going & looking to other “people” for that next, new, exciting thing that you’re going to “Wow” your church with.

It’s SO frustrating to see the number of pastors who see how another church “is doing it” & then try to replicate/copy/transplant what works somewhere else into their setting. Guess what? What works in So. Fla. probably won’t work in Alabama. What works in So. Cal. probably won’t work in Illinois. And (I don’t know what Kool-aid they’re drinking in Charlotte – just kidding!) but what works at Elevation Church probably won’t work in YOUR setting! BTW: There’s only 1 Steven Furtick & you & I ain’t him.

Church/leadership conferences are great to learn “Principles” – but not for “copy & paste” approaches to church & ministry!

And QUIT going to the ridiculous number of conferences offered each year – carrying around your resume  & looking for greener pastures. ***QUESTION: If you won the lottery tonight – what would you do??? (Think about that for a moment before reading the next statement…) WHAT WOULD YOU DO???

If your answer is anything other than – to stay right where you are at & lead the people & church God had called you to lead – TURN IN YOUR LETTER OF RESIGNATION TODAY!!! You are an impotent leader – and your church & your people are suffering because of YOU!

I understand fatigue in ministry. I understand a season of being tired & wrestling with doubts about the call of God on your life or your location. But I’m talking about something deeper than that. I’m talking about letting things get to the point where your disillusionment & discontentment are a road block to what God wants to do in your — HIS church! Maybe it’s time for you to remove the obstacle from the picture – which is you.

OR – Why don’t you commit to spending this next year – avoiding conferences (ie. the temptation to compare, copy & paste, looking for greener pastures, etc…) & instead spend this next year praying & fasting & asking GOD to give you a fresh awareness of who HE is & what HE wants to do in your life & your HIS church??? Ask HIM to renew the passion & fire within you to get after HIS cause & HIS Kingdom with absolute reckless abandon! Ask HIM to give you a VISION of what HE wants to do in your church & community. And then —– DO IT!!!

BTW: I LOVE Rick Warren & what God is doing through Saddleback & I LOVE his book “Purpose Driven Church”. I believe every pastor/leader should read & memorize the book. But one day – when I have a lot more free time – I want to write a book called “Vision Driven Church” (Don’t you steal my book/title!!!)  I think the greatest challenge in the American church today is that pastors of all ages, especially younger pastors, have never learned/been taught to follow Moses’ lead to go up on a mountain top (for me a beach works best), get alone with God, & spend 40 days praying & fasting for an original/authentic VISION from GOD for your life & ministry!

Pastor/Leader – I challenge you to “Just Say “NO” to Church/Leadership Conferences!” for this next year & instead invest that time with the Father & let HIM speak to you. I am praying for God to do a NEW THING (HIS thing) in your life, family, & ministry!  (Isaiah 43:19)


2 responses

  1. Natalie Lagace


    March 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

  2. katie alexander

    Keep YOUR vision because I have not been motivated to be at church, bible class, reading and studying, talking with others. I am even thinking and praying about baptism. You really know how to be Real and touch everyday peoples lives.

    March 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm

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