Innovate 2007!

Today the Innovate 2007 conference concluded and I must say – it was very, very good!  I was extremely impressed with the quality of the main sessions and the artistic elements they used. The quality of their creativity showed right from the start in the interesting way the conference workbook was put together. We were challenged to make a mark of greatness and to learn, to dream and to be inspired. Mission accomplished!

Day 1 – Thursday (Sept 28)
Guy Kawasaki was the keynote speaker and while he admitted to not being totally comfortable speaking at a church event, he did a wonderful job of sharing his learnings regarding The Art of Innovation from a career at Apple and in the world of business as a venture capitalist. He shared 11 key points with us, but my favorites – “Make mantra, not mission statements” and “Don’t let the Bozos get you down”.  I also loved how he shared his own bozo moment – turned down offer to interview for CEO of Yahoo!

Mark Beeson then shared with us his session on That is Going to Leave a Mark.  His use of the tablet pc to draw illustrations and having them projected live was very creative and I appreciated his perspective on first impressions very much. How enlightening to hear that even at Granger, people don’t always agree with everything they do, but they keep “walking on” because people matter. And people doing the ministry matter!

We had break outs in the afternoon followed by a session by Granger’s Executive Paster, Tim Stevensas he presented Weekend Series – Directors’ Commentary. I really appreciated the insights he offered and the importance of:

  1. Having a Relevant Topic
  2. Using a Cultural Theme
  3. Biblical Truth

Having a Big Idea that everyone on the staff is focused on and how they plan around it was a beautiful example of creating maximum impact to reach the culture.

 Day 2 – Friday (Sept 29)
Today started off with Rob Wegner’s session on Transferring Communication. A teacher pastor at Granger, Rob was full of wisdom, creativity and spark. I loved the message he shared about “What’s inside, comes out” and how the element of unexpectedness can make a message more “sticky”!  The importance of “stickiness” came out in this example of how people hear so many messages that they often can hear nothing. So how do we get our message heard and remembered?  Duct tape of course!  Churches should not be predicable and boring – but sadly many are.

The breakout I attended today was a session on Blogging by Kem Meyer. After having read her blog for over a year and listening to the Countdown2Innovate Podcast, it was great to finally meet her!

In the afternoon we heard powerful messages from Troy Gramling and Scott Hodge on Innovation in Leading Change followed by a very powerful and moving session from Mark Beeson on What’s Left When I’m Gone? which really helped to put the 2 days in perspective. What a privelege it was to hear him and what an honor it must be for the rest of the staff at GCC to work under him.

If churches can take away and implement even a fraction of what was presented here I’m sure our culture will be impacted very positively for the sake of Christ! Thanks GCC team for a great conference!!