Andy Stanley // Lead Pastor, North Point Community Church & Author, The Principle of the Path
The theme of this years conference was “Unusual Tomorrow” and Andy begins the morning off by telling 3500 leaders that we are constantly dealing with tomorrow. We are always leading people into tomorrow. He said that if we focus too much on today and the realities that it brings it can crush our dreams for tomorrow. He focused a lot on an illustration of a trip he took to Rome a while back. He said he was so excited to go and see everything, but when they went to the Roman Coliseum, he was completely in awe of one thing he saw and how much it has influenced how Christianity made it to tomorrow. The Roman Coliseum was a terrible place during the time of the gladiator games, death and destruction and a lot of those were the early Christians. Because of that there is no easy way to explain how Christianity survived, except for at the Emperor’s gate and the Gladiator’s gate now hang a cross, put there by a later Roman emperor. It is because of the supernatural and the work the Christ did on the cross and the resurrection that took place three days later, that Christianity has made it to tomorrow. We as leaders today need the supernatural. The resurrection, an actual event that took place in history, is the foundation of our faith and we can accomplish much if we remember that in our life and our leadership.
Eugene Cho // Lead Pastor, Quest Church & Founder, One Day’s Wages
Eugene is a pastor but also the started of an organization called One Day’s Wages. This is an organization built around people giving up one day’s wage to help fight poverty. It’s all about generosity, but he told us that generosity is not just for blessing others, but also to rescue us from our own greed. He also told us that they started with very few people but have ended up having a huge impact, so we don’t need a large team to have a lot of influence, this can be accomplished even with a small team.
Charlene Li // Co-Founder, The Altimeter Group & Co-Author, Groundswell & Open Leadership
Charlene is an expert when it comes to social media. Social media is changing the way our culture connects and responds. There’s not a stigma anymore that having relationships via social media platforms are shallow and dull, though it can be if these are the only relationships you have, but that having a relationship with someone over social media can lead to great relationships with people that you may have never met before. This conference is a great example as there were a lot of people, including myself, that finally met people we’ve only known over social media platforms to this point. We as leaders can also use social media to our advantage where we can put our group out there to enhance and share our mission. She said we can achieve this by using these three things; 1) focus on relationships, 2) have a plan and a strategy, and 3) think about how you will fail (because you will, so you need to know how you will respond and how you will fix it).
Dino Rizzo // Lead Pastor, Healing Place Church
Dino was a part of a short interview sharing his passion of serving. He said that the motivation to serve is the Gospel. His church is in Baton Rouge, so they had to deal with the massive destruction from Hurricane Katrina and he said that even with all the relief effort from all kinds of other organizations, he said the force behind it all was the church. They were the first to respond. The church is called to serve, and we must follow after Jesus who even said He came not to be served, but to serve. He has a new book out called Servolution.
Mark Driscoll // Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Church & Author, Doctrine
What an inspiring message from Mark. He began by saying that the most important day for us as leaders should be the “last day” of our ministry, where do we want to end up, we can’t focus everything on today. He said ministry is not what we do for God, but what God does in us and through us for others. He reassured us that God is with us. He gave us the passion and the call to lead, and Mark gave us 11 things that God does for us as leaders.
1) Jesus is the Sr. Pastor of the church. He will always be there no matter what the situation.Ultimately we need to remember that the Church belongs to God, not us. (you can find Mark's notes here at theresurgence.com)
2) The Holy Spirit is the one that has chosen and made the leaders for the church, we just have to recognize the ones that are chosen.
3) God has already gifted the leaders in the church, but we as young leaders need to figure out who we are and we we’re not.
4) God has empowered the leaders for the church. The difference between our ability and calling is the grace of God. It’s His grace that empowers us to live the new life He has called us into.
5) God encourages the leaders in the church. We find our hope in the mercy of God.
6) The Holy Spirit speaks to the leaders in the church. If God’s not speaking then we’re in trouble and we need to worship, pray, fast, and listen to the Lord.
7) God gives wisdom to the leaders in the church. We need to hold fast to the Word of God; read, study and pray. We need to be reading the Word to be a Christian, not just a Christian leader, and we need to read the Bible to hear from Him, not just to speak for Him.
8) Jesus joins leaders as they discipline in the church.
9) God answers prayers that leaders make for the church, so we need to be actively praying.
10) The Holy Spirit falls when the Word is being preached. The power is found in the Gospel, so focus there and let everything else stem from that.
11) The Holy Spirit says no to the leaders of the church. He says no because He loves us. He knows better than we do and if we don’t know why he’s said no, it’s because the situation may not be a good one, so we need to worship and thank Him for that answer.
Dallas Willard // Professor, University of Southern California & Author, The Divine Conspiracy
John Ortberg // Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church & Author, The Me I Want To Be
Wow, what a session, and if I ever understand even a 10th of what Dallas was talking about as he was being interviewed by John, I feel like I’ve done quite well. Dallas is big on the spiritual disciplines. We can take these disciplines, which are actually meant to enable us to do things that are good and not punishments, and along with the grace of God, accomplish things that we cannot do on our own. He said that the purpose of the disciplines is to redirect the natural responses we have and to change our inner nature. We use these disciplines to train ourselves and he says that there is a big difference between training to do something and trying to do something, but we tend to focus too much on the trying. He also said that as we learn and try to master the disciplines, they are not deeds of righteousness but wisdom.
Reggie Joiner // Founder, The reThink Group & Author, Think Orange
Reggie was talking about how we can influence those around us, especially sinners or prodigals. He said our strategy isn’t it, our message isn’t it, our relationships aren’t it, and it’s not even our leadership. Our influence is in our approach, and there’s two ways we can go about it, 1) Jesus’ way, or 2) the Pharisee’s way. He used the Parable of the Prodigal son in Luke 15 as the example. To contrast the two approaches, it’s the father’s way and the older brother’s way. We need to be like the father, and not the older brother. The loving father is preoccupied with whoever is missing, but the older brother is only preoccupied with himself. The loving father approaches from a context of forgiveness, but the older brother operates from a context of shame. Finally, loving fathers throw parties, but older brothers throw fits. We need to approach prodigals from a context of forgiveness.
Louie Giglio // Senior Pastor, Passion City Church & Visionary Architect and Director, Passion Conferences
Louie brought an inspiring message from Acts 2. So often we look at the church found in Acts 2 and only see how strong they were. But as we seek to model after others, do we want to only do what they’re doing or do we want to base our model off of what they did to get where they are. The Acts 2 church is strong, but they only had a few things to get there; 1) they had the teachings of Jesus Christ, 2) they were witnesses to the resurrection, and 3) they had the power of the Holy Spirit. We have no idea what tomorrow holds for us, but the Acts 2 church became strong because they had hope in these three things, and guess what, we have those three things with us as well, so we can have hope that we will make it through whatever as well. We need to be confident in the Word of God, lead with confidence. We need to ground ourselves in the Word of God and by the power of the Word we will be able to truly lead by faith and not by sight. We also need to share the resurrection. We so often only preach the message of the cross, which is great, but with just the cross, we are still left in the grave. It’s only through the power of the resurrection are we raised in new life with Him. And we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. They preached second, only after the Holy Spirit came upon them. Preach and lead through that power and people will come to faith.