Initial Thoughts From Exponential

Beginning tomorrow I will post a day-by-day summary from last week’s Exponential Conference in Orlando. It was crazy hectic the entire time and I never really had a chance to blog about much of it…or reflect on what I learned. Roughly four days have passed since I was there and only now am I starting to process everything…here are my initial thoughts:

1. I can love a man…and learn from a man…that does not share my doctrine.

2. America is more interested in church growth than church planting…I’m not sure how I feel about that?!?!

3. Twitter may be the only true social networking tool on the Internet.

4. God uses diverse styles, structures and leadership for His kingdom…there is no one right way to plant churches.

5. Urban church planters care way more than rural church planters about cultural relevance…probably because they need to.

6. The are a bunch of mixed up, running-into-walls, making mistakes, passionate young church leaders out there…that are going to set the world on fire for God!!!

7. Never judge a book by it’s cover…or the man that wrote it.

8. It is much easier to say stuff…blog stuff…or write stuff…when you are not in the same room with the person.

9. Cool “church” words are becoming dying fads…people just look like idiots when they try to use them.

10. The church has “emerged”…those still clinging to that term no longer sit at the “cool kids table”.

11. Those not in the game…are not relevant…ignore their banter.

12. Don’t get comfortable…or God will stop using you.

13. Life is too short to hold a grudge over something so stupid as the way in which we need to go about reaching people for Christ in the 21st Century.

14. A good video, cranking worship and relevant marketing…can’t take the place of one older gentleman speaking truth from the Word of God.

15. You don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid to be friends with someone.

16. The smallest voices seem to be making the biggest noise…and impact…these days.

17. We’ve lost ground in the cause for Christ…the world is becoming less “churched”.

18. Only other pastors understand what it’s like…to be a pastor.

19. The biggest names in Christian leadership…wrestle with the same things that the smallest names in Christian leadership do.

20. There is still much work to do for God’s Kingdom…and we’re wasting time!!!

Initial Thoughts From Exponential

11 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts From Exponential

  1. 1. More people need to realize this
    2. Hmmm, doesn’t the planting lead to the growing?
    3. AMEN!
    4. As a church-planting hopeful, this is good to know
    5. Perhaps culture dominates a greater percentage of the lives of their congregation
    6. I’m 29…do I still qualify?
    7. Same as #1
    8. Maybe more bloggers would realize this if they weren’t in their parent’s basement in their PJs…
    9. So right. Visited a site this weekend, had a ton of copy on it, I have no idea what they do
    10. Great insight. Terms will continue to change, we need to cling to God and not vocabulary
    11. See #8
    12. As I’m writing this in between packing to move, I say amen
    13. Same body, different parts…
    14. I’ll take Tim Keller any day and twice on Sunday
    15. I prefer a nice lager between friends, not fruit juice
    16. In a positive or negative way?
    17. Does this make it easier to differentiate between those following Christ and those playing Christian?
    18. I’ll have to trust you
    19. Not sure if this is encouraging or discouraging. At least it’s realistic to know things won’t just get better when you get “there”
    20. Oh…perhaps I should have read the time wasting thing before my longest blog comment EVER…

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  2. Chris,

    You don’t know me but I have been following your blog and Twitter sites for a little while. I am in the process of planting in the Charleston, SC area and appreciate your insight for many reasons. I came from pastoring a rural SBC church where I have never been so frustrated at the “stiff necks” and closed minds of so many people. You are so very correct when you said “we are wasting time”.

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  3. joey says:

    Hey what’s going on over there in Lakeland?

    Word is getting out that revival is breaking out.

    Is that true? Have you heard of Ignition Church, Chris?

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  4. Thanks for doing your blogging 101 talk, it was helpful! I’m amused to find a further connection/mutual friend that we have, Chris Dixon in St. Petersburg. Funny how small the world is. I love your 6th point… cause funny I am one of those people. And 12… wouldn’t be speaking of Keller would you? What a fantastic talk he offered to young passionate, on fire pastors like myself.
    Looking forward to seeing what else you have to offer as insight to the conference.

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  5. Thanks for the list. I agree with almost all of them…

    Number 5 though is WAY off. What a slap in the face to rural pastors! Whoever said it needs to read your point #8. I’ll hazard a guess that whoever said it simply doesn’t understand the rural culture or thinks that urban ministry is the only “true” way to do ministry. I have pastored in rural settings for five years, and I now live and minister in an urban setting (3 years now). I can say with full confidence that it is just as important to be a student of culture in a rural setting as it is in an urban setting, and that effective rural ministry demands that the pastor care about rural culture just as much as effective urban ministry.

    In fact, having seen both sides, I think that it is MORE important to be a student of culture in a rural setting, but I won’t try to argue that here…. maybe on my own blog.

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  6. joey says:

    Why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

    The apostles were often wary of revival (Cornelius, Samaria, Antioch, ect) so the
    Holy Spirit had to set them straight.

    I trust the Holy Spirit will give you wisdom and insight.

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  7. I thought Patrick’s words were great, of all of the various sessions i was at pre-post and didn’t miss a session in the track i was in, He was the one of the only pastors or church planters who used the Bible, here we are talking about church planting for the whole week and barely a reference to the bible an prayer. I get it shop talk is great and interesting to see various methods used. Those methods mean nothing if we are not plugged into the source of Living life who provides us till the right methods for our areas. Patrick was plugged in.

    Great times of fellowship with people from various backgrounds and it was wonderful to see the young people involved. The above list of points i
    was what I was thinking i would be careful about the urban rural thing. god is moving in the urban definitely and also in the rural.

    I was very impressed by Rick Warren who, has not been a favorite of mine. After seeing him use the word of God and just love and care for Church planters i could never again hear a negative word about that guy without standing up for him . Keller was great also. i love how he defined the definition about self-salvation. we need to repent for our sin and goodness also was great.

    I went to the conference for numerous reason besides church planting and God touched me more deeply in my hotel room in the Word of God than most of the time at the conference. I want to still go again because it gives me burden and causes me to look inwardly.

    If we are not praying or even talking about the Word of God at church planting conferences do we really expect God to even show up at all during the time. I am sure God did show up is sessions and places i was not at most of the time.

    just a few thoughts, I do not mean to sound critical, old fashioned because i am not I am a 34 year old guy who is on fire on the mission-field here in America , who is no a bible thumping fighting fundi. I just can’t believe it, I went to this church that has been planted for about a year in my area for about 5 months, they are in the services turning in the book of desire to page…. Waiting for the pastor to correct himself he didn’t he began to speak about the journey of desire a new book. No bible reference the whole time just this book. then i go cheerfully to a church a church planting conference passionately looking for the presence of God and see this is a systemic problem that is not just in this particular new church plant it is wide spread in the church planting movement, the use of non-participatory music that does not lead into preparing heart to hear the Words of God, stories, books, movies, tv themes, soap operas, and every thing but the Word of Almighty God who is the head of the churches we are planting. I do not mean to hurt anyone or not be kind at all I am more broken hearted than anything else. Thanks for letting me just talk.

    In His grace Forever,
    Teddy
    Church planter
    “Being a missionary everywhere, to everyone”

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