I rarely attend church planting or leadership conferences. They are always way too Amway pep rally feeling for me. It’s always the same speakers, bragging about how great their church is and giving you just a tidbit of information in hopes you’ll buy forty copies of their worthless book to get the rest. Other times the speaker just rehashes the same old crap that was in their book so you feel hosed for paying twice for the same information. I’m just too freakin’ old, experienced and cynical to go through all of that "rah-rah" cheerleader garbage.
I made a vow after blowing Compass Point’s hard-earned money on an extremely large…but useless…church plant conference in Orlando, that I was through doing church plant/leadership conferences. Except for leadership stuff done by Mosaic (which is unlike any church leadership conference I’ve ever attended), I’ve only been going to Bible-feeding and theological/doctrinal conferences on occasion. That is all about to change.
I’m pretty pumped up to be going to the ChurchPlanters.com conference in Atlanta later this month. Not only is it an early birthday gift (I hit the big four one on February 28th), but I get to meet some folks in person that I’ve only talked to online. While most of the speakers at the conference are pretty well known in my circle of blogger friends, they are not in the upper realms of Christian "super pastor" stardom of say…Bill Hybels, Ed Young, Jr., or Rick Warren. I like seeing some of the newer voices in church planting being used.
What I’m most pumped about is the breakout sessions. With guys like Gary Lamb and Perry Noble leading, you know you are going to get truthful stuff in a fairly "let’s cut the crap" kind of way. I’m really looking forward to it.
My only concern is the addition of Ed Stetzer to the speaking roster talking about "Relate". I love the guy and totally dig where he is coming from, but…most of us guys attending the conference are already in the missional camp. Ed – if you actually ever read this blog – do us a favor…give us something more than you did in "Breaking The Missional Code". Most of us have read the book, heard the sales pitch, bought into the idea and purchased the t-shirt. Give us something about what the future of the missional church looks like…where it’s going…how we can take it to the next level…something beyond what we’ve already read in the book!
I guess what I’m most excited about however, is hearing how God is working in the lives and flocks of other church planters. That stuff always gets my spiritual and creative juices flowing. I’m also hoping to meet some new people…and avoid the ones I’ve pissed off with some of my blog postings. 🙂
If you are going to be in attendance at the conference, drop me an email. I’d love to hook up. If you can’t stand me or my blog and don’t want to be around me…send an email anyway. I’ll send you my itinerary for the three days…that way you can avoid me with pinpoint accuracy. 🙂