I had the opportunity on Monday to road trip with about 30 others from Fellowship to up-state New York (Albany) to attend to the regional 1-day C3 conference which was being hosted by Northway Church. Ed Young (Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church in Texas), was the speaker and he took us through 3 very passionate, amuzing, and rhyme-filled sessions plus a Q&A session at the end that also included his wife, Lisa as well at the campus pastor of their Miami, Florida location.
I also got to meet a couple other Northeast Leaders, who are not far away from Wilmington, DE, Mike Silliman (Elk Creek Church in Oxford) and Ed Trinkle (First Baptist in Aston). I’m looking forward to getting to know these guys more in the future!
There was so much good stuff presented by Ed, I am going to try to break it out into 3 blog posts. Some of the material I have heard before from his podcasts or blogs and some was new, but all of it was great and a must for church leaders. So, my take-a-ways from the first session:
- Ministry is Brutaful – This was Ed’s way of saying that working in a ministry is both beautiful and brutal at the same time. If you do ministry long enough you will discover this. Don’t be discouraged, it is just a fact.
- The Church should be the most creative place on the planet. We often fall very short of this but Rom 12:1-2 is a great reminder that we are to be transformed and renewed for the glory of God.
- The question for us as a church and as individuals is not, “How do I become creative?”, but rather, “What are the blockades that stop me from being creative?”
- Being creative requires that you keep learning and keep asking questions! As Ed likes to call it, we need to learn how to take what we do, “to a ‘hole nuther level”! (H.N.L) It is not as hard as we sometimes try to make it.
- Don’t be afraid to learn from other leaders, even if you don’t agree with everything they say. As Ed says, we just need to learn how to “eat the fish and spit out the bones”. Take the nourishing part and spit out the bad. Learn from them, but never stop being yourself!
- The church is like a restaurant that is serving up the Bread of Life – and this should be done in a creative and innovate way. Who likes their food served in a boring an unimaginative way? Creativity = coming up with new ideas | Innovation = application of those ideas.
- Too many churches are spiritually obese! Feeding and stuffing themselves but not doing anything with it.
- We need to learn to plan our church for the people who aren’t even there yet. Ed shared a very powerful story of his opportunity to be face to face with an adult film star (you can hear and watch the whole story from Ed – it is very powerful).
- The empty chair needs to be our focus. “Be aware of the chair!”
- Don’t worry if there are a lot of spiritual babies in your church – that is a good thing and a sign of maturity! Maturity in believers should result in reproduction! Reproduction means babies!
More from sessions 2 & 3 coming, so stay tuned!