- Wow what an awesome day.
- We have such a great team that sacrifices each week to make sure people have a meaningful Experience with God.
- Today was one of those days where everything fell right into place, despite some out of the ordinary things we were doing.
- Set-up went smooth and I know the band was having fun covering the Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”.
- Bill was pulling off a pretty good Scottish accent…and having fun figuring out what “havering” means.
- Turns out it is nonsensical babbling.
- Guess that explains the one chorus.
- As a reminder, we do current secular songs and classic pop songs like this one in the hopes that a new association will be made in your mind.
- Instead of it just being a catchy tune my hope is that from now on you will think of the principles we’re learning in the “Just Walk Across the Room” series.
- Today’s main point was that the single greatest gift you can give someone else is the gift of Jesus.
- We talked about getting out of our Circles of Comfort and into the Zone of the Unknown….but only as the Spirit prompts us.
- I even shared a humorous example of how TV evangelists do their jobs so well sometimes that it intimidates us into thinking we could never do what they do.
- You can listen to all of today’s message here.
- I also showed a video of this summer’s baptisms, which pretty much sums up why we do what we do.
- The biggest highlight though was everyone getting an opportunity to write 5 names on the “Just Walk Across the Room” stage props of the people they are trying to lead to Jesus.
- The logistics of getting each 6X4 foot prop from the stage to the upper walkways and then getting everyone through the line in a timely manner was a massive undertaking but so worth it.
- Last week we talked about the 425000 people in our area who don’t currently know Jesus.
- Now we know about 1000 of their names.
- I will be personally praying for each one and there’s just something powerful about having those names written down and now visible throughout the rest of the series.
- If nothing else it will be a great visual reminder that our work is far from done and each of us has a personal stake in all of this.
- It was great to have Gayle’s parents and other friends from Chambersburg with us today.
- We had lunch with all of them down at Duke’s and caught up.
- Best line of the day came from Gayle’s dad who leads the Traditional service at Chambersburg. “I kept hearing my daughter singing and thinking, ‘A beautiful voice and all that talent wasted on music like this'”.
- Haha…just a reminder of one of our core values…”It takes all types of churches to reach all types of people”.
- Next week we’ll talk about 3 things to do once you walk across the room.
- Can’t wait to share with you how easy and non-threatening sharing your faith can be.
- Kicked off the new “God at the Box Office” series today.
- The day got off to a rough start when one of my contacts ripped on the way to the theater this morning.
- So I had to turn around and go back home…not a big deal but it did put me a bit behind.
- Set-up today went fairly smooth considering a new set needed to be assembled for the first time.
- Bill did an awesome job creating a film strip look that covered the entirety of the stage.
- Andy did a great job lighting it all up and creating some new effects we’ve never had before.
- I guess one of the limitations of being in a portable situation is the not being able to see if things will work until you actually get there.
- In my previous church when a series was finished, the set got torn down that Sunday afternoon and the framework of the new set was erected.
- That gave all week to work on getting it just right before Thursday night’s practice where the final bugs would be worked out in preparation for Sunday morning.
- Here there’s a lot more hoping and praying! 🙂
- All thing considered though the team does an awesome job with the limited amount of time we’ve got.
- Bill Hybels once said that “Excellence is doing the best you can with what you’ve got”.
- I think we’re doing that.
- Big thank to the Regal for donating popcorn for all 4 weeks of the series to us.
- Nothing like doing a movie series and being able to give away free movie popcorn!
- Attendance was way down today.
- I knew this going in because I had 12 of our adults who normally serve on a Sunday morning let me know they wouldn’t be there.
- Add in all their children and right there you’re missing 25-30 people even before you start.
- Most frustrating though was the lack of first time guests for the new series.
- We did heavy video promotion and provided everyone with a minimum of 5 invite cards.
- Hopefully it will pick up in future weeks.
- The band did a good job despite the lack of energy in the room.
- Here’s the video of their cover of “Iridescent” by Linkin Park which is the main song from the Transformers movie we talked about today.
- The video will also give you a chance to see what Bill created for the set.
- I was a bit windy today but it’s something every Christian should listen to and take seriously.
- Hoping people take the 5X5X5 challenge seriously.
- We recognized the 13 who got baptized last week with their custom made baptism certificates…everyone loved them and were telling me where they were going to put it.
- Hope the visual reminder impacts them for the rest of their lives.
- Love hanging out in the lobby afterward talking with people…we’ve got a great group of people that are building the foundation of what we’ll be for years to come.
- Got a really busy week including a conference that 8 of us from ECTV will be going to…hope we’re inspired to go to new levels for God personally and corporately.
Yesterday I shared with you my thoughts from Day 1 of Willow Creek’s annual Leadership Summit. I realized after I posted that I actually stopped too soon with the notes so here are the remaining two Day 1 speakers plus my Day 2 thoughts. Again these are not the full notes just some personal reflections on the speakers and what was said.
Dr. Peter Zhao Xiao- He is one of China’s leading economists and he recently became a follower of Christ! He shared through an interpreter the state of Christianity in China and how it’s only promising to get better!
Andy Stanley- Because the previous session went long because of the interpretation, Andy had to rush through his talk. Too bad, because as always he had a vast amount of wisdom to share. Basically he gave a talk on how as leaders we need to differentiate between problems to solve and tensions that need to be managed. As an example, there will always be debates in a church between evangelism and discipleship. Some will say we’re doing too much to win the lost and need to focus more on helping people grow and mature. Others would argue…we’re going to deep and the message has become inaccessible to those far from God. This is a tension to manage, not a problem to solve. Now that one may seem obvious, but there are other ones that aren’t as obvious and again Andy said that there are some problems that you never want to solve or you will create worse problems.
Jeff Manion- Another guy I had brief knowledge of but yet had never heard speak. His talk and newest book are entitled, The Land Between. Essentially he talked about Israel’s time wandering in the desert. Behind them was slavery in Egypt and in front of them was the Promised Land, but it was the land between where God did his greatest work in them. Jeff’s point was we will all go through the desert at points in our life which are ripe for complaints, meltdowns and God to discipline us…however it’s also a place where God provides and transformational growth in us best happens.
Terri Kelly- She is the CEO of W.L. Gore, most famous for their line of GORE-TEX products. She was interviewed by Jim Mellado, the President of the Willow Creek Association and quite frankly I could have listened to her being interviewed all day. Gore’s philosophy since it’s founding is to have situational hierarchy. In other words, whoever is best fit to lead for each project becomes the leader. They also as a company work in pods of people where you pitch your ideas to your teammates and then together you work on the best ideas. Basically you are free to work on whatever project you want that will expand the company and each year raises and bonuses are determined by your fellow peers. At Gore it’s all about team and they feel the more people who feel like they are in leadership the better they will be. Trust me, I’m not doing justice to their philosophy in this paragraph…research it for yourself and you’ll discover why year after year they get voted one of America’s top companies to work for.
Daniel Pink- He is a former White House speech writer and his new book, Drive is about what motivates us to do the things we do. This was another great talk on how companies and organizations have traditionally tried to motivate (reward/punishment: entice with carrot or beat with stick) versus how we should. The three key factors in proper motivation are offering autonomy, the chance to master their skill/craft (and get positive feedback) and having a sense of purpose (what I’m doing matters and it’s so much bigger than me).
Blake Mycoskie- First let’s get a couple things out of the way. One…this was the most emotional talk/interview…the room got a bit dusty at times. Two…this is a very good looking man. I’m secure enough in my manhood to say it…this guy is hot. Ok, we interrupt this creepy part to return you to your regular blog, already in progress. Blake was a contestant on the Amazing Race and later while on a trip to South America was heartbroken to see so many kids without shoes. Instead of saying, “Oh that’s too bad”, he instead came home and decided to do something about it. He started TOMS shoes which is a for profit shoe business that for every pair sold, will then donate a free pair to a child who is without. To date they have given over 850,000 pairs of shoes away! Blake said, “If you focus on giving, then people will always tell your story”. What a great lesson for churches…if we give, then our churches will always be full because people will tell the story of what we’re doing and will want to be a part.
Jack Welch- This guy is one of my business hero’s. For 41 years he worked for GE, culminating with him becoming CEO and turning them around when it looked like they were about to go out of business in the 80’s. If you hang out long enough with me, you will hear Jack Welch philosophies that I have applied to the church, life and ministry. It was funny watching Bill Hybels interview him and try to keep Jack from using bad language. Jack did a great job though of censoring himself…more on that later as to why that may be. Two things stood out from this excellent interview. First was Jack saying, “It’s not the loud mouths that are a problem, it’s the hallway whisperers. You’ve got to stop the meetings after the meetings where the whispers happen. These people should have had the courage to speak up in the meeting. If you don’t stop them they will poison your organization”. Second, was Bill talking live after the pre-recorded interview with Jack was done. He shared how Jack has begun attending a church and he believes is close to becoming a follower of Christ. Bill’s encouragement was to never give up on someone no matter how far from God it may seem they are.
Bill Hybels- Bill then gave some parting thoughts before introducing the final speaker. First, read as a discipline…you may not always want to, but you’ve got to. Second, get around other leaders who are better than you and learn all that you can. Next, make sure you intentionally place yourself in places where leadership is taught. Finally, keep leading strong no matter what the cost.
TD Jakes- If you’ve ever heard TD Jakes in his element, you know he is a master communicator. On this day though I think he had two things going against him. First, he seemed to not be feeling well. Second, the crowd was too white. He feeds off the emotion/energy/talk-back that African American’s are more known for in encouraging a pastor. With that said though…even on an off day, TD Jakes can preach better than 99.9% of today’s pastors, yours truly included. He had lots of great tidbits but my favorite was this, “If you only bring people on your team who are like you, they will COMPETE with you, not COMPLETE you.
I’m way behind on stuff but still wanted to post a couple of thoughts from last week’s Global Leadership Summit that Willow Creek hosts each year. I don’t have time to post my full notes so I’ll just give a highlight or two from each speaker. Today I’ll give you the day 1 line-up and then tomorrow I’ll give you the day 2 notes:
Bill Hybels- I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for him. From the first time I heard him speak to even today, he makes me cry when he talks. There is just something that deeply resonates within me as he talks about lost people and how the local church is the hope of the world. Bill’s talk at the Summit was about a recent time in his life when he was struggling to lead and went back and reminded himself of what he’s learned in 30+ years of leadership. Again I won’t go into each of them, but the thought that struck me most was this…Leaders move people from “here” to “there”. Often times though the mistake is spending too much time talking about the “there” (vision) before you’ve adequately made built the case for why it’s unacceptable to stay “here”.
Jim Collins- To be honest since my first degree was in business and marketing, I probably read as many “secular” business books per year as I do Christian ones. Jim Collins wrote a classic a few years back called, Good to Great. He has gone on to write other books including a new one he just released on why successful businesses sometimes fail. What was interesting in his talk was that in the first 3 stages of decline (of 5 total), the company or organization is still growing and looks good on the outside. Once you hit step 4 then it’s the real wake-up call where everyone finally admits what was obvious but ignored because of the apparent look of continued success. It’s here that either you make the necessary changes or you go on to Step 5 which is “Irrelevance or death” of the business or organization.
Christine Caine- I’ve been hearing about her a lot recently but hadn’t had the opportunity to hear her or read any of her writings. My bad! She is a huge bundle of energy packed into a tiny body. She’s a part of Hillsong Church (one of my favorites). She heads up many organizations, including one that cares for and helps heal those that have been victims of human trafficking. My big take away from her was actually one of those Holy Spirit moments where she said something that then led my mind down a similar path so that God could speak to me exactly what it was that He wanted. Here it is…”Don’t shy away from the darkness. Run to it, because that’s what I’ve called you to do.”
Tony Dungy- Tony of course lead the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl a few years back. I knew he was a Christian, but how differently he coached the team as a result was amazing. He refused to coach like all the other coaches and insisted his assistants coach the same way. I love one of the things he said, “Hours worked doesn’t equal productivity”. What he was getting at was how some coaches stay until 2-3 am working on game plans thinking that more hours will mean more success. I see this (and at times have done myself) in pastors all the time. Instead of sticking to a set schedule, they instead allow the urgent to crowd out the important, but then since the important still needs to be done, they end up working way too many hours. I told one of my staff the other day…and I’m paraphrasing Jesus, “What does it profit a man if he has the world’s best ministry but sacrifices his marriage”. Tony got this when it came to coaching and I pray other coaches, business leaders, pastors and myself would keep this in mind.
Adam Hamilton- I had never heard of him before the Summit but the topic he talked about was one that many need to hear. He was asked to speak because recently two of the staff in his mega-church were caught having an affair with one another. Adam talked about how to navigate through these difficult times. Unfortunately you hear more and more about this in churches all the time. I remember John Bradford’s famous words, “But for the grace of God go I”. In other words, all (especially males) are capable of this very deadly sin. That’s one of the reasons I have always had such stringent guidelines for myself when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. In fact I’ve had others, including fellow staff members, laugh at me because some of them seem ridiculous, but that’s how seriously I take this. Something Adam said will be one more tool for tool belt to help me and others. “You’ve got to recognize the Moment of the Maybe. That’s when in your mind you start to rationalize, ‘What if’ and fail to imagine the consequences”.