For the second year in a row, I’m down at the Exponential Conference and its just awesome! My soul is being refreshed and I’m more excited than ever about what God is doing in my local church and the capital ‘C’ Church!
If you’re interested in church planting or wondering if God’s called you to plant a church, you have to get to Exponential. Its just that simple.
Ok, my time here is flying by, but I wanted to take a quick second and post about some of my highlights and learnings from day one.
1. Tracie (my wife) being able to come. Over the last 20 years of ministry together, we really haven’t been able to attend all that many conferences together. I have traveled a ton for my speaking and the majority of the time, she’s had to stay home with the kids. But, she’s here and it’s AWESOME! So thankful for my parents and them taking care of our kids this week!
2. Part of our Thrive church staff team was able to come. I’m bummed we couldn’t bring everyone, but I am so excited we could bring part of our team and its awesome to experience it together. Its awesome to be inspired and encouraged and already we have had so many conversations about the dreams that God is putting on our hearts.
3. Leading a Stadia training on communication & preaching. Yesterday morning I had the blessing of leading a training on communication and preaching to a great group of new Stadia planters. It was a privilege and I loved being able to share what I’ve learned in my short time as a Pastor and a Church Planter.
4. Being reminded that the LOCAL CHURCH is ALIVE and WELL! I get so frustrated sometimes reading all the negative that’s written about the church. Being at Exponential is so good for my soul and every where I turn, there are constant reminders that because of Jesus, the Church is the hope of the world. And yes, I do know that many churches are in trouble and closing and that breaks my heart. But, so many are growing and planting new churches!
5. Gathering with our Stadia family. Last night was the annual Stadia banquet and it was so GOOD! To be in a room with hundreds of church planters and leaders is just awesome! I loved hearing all the stories of what God is doing across Stadia churches and it’s honor to be a part of the Stadia family! Plus, last night, we raised enough money to plant 12 Hispanic Churches across the country! So exciting!
6. ‘Let them see you bleed. Lead like Jesus’ ~Danielle Strickland. I just can’t stop thinking about Danielle’s talk yesterday. She was challenging, encouraging and it was so powerful!
7. Seeing so many friends! It’s a blast coming to conferences like this because I run into and I’m able to catch up with ministry friends from all over the country!
8. Hanging out with my boys from Journey Church! Last night was awesome! I actually stayed awake past 10 and hung out with the staff and our friends from Journey Church! I love those guys. Journey’s pastor, Jeremy Brown, has been my Stadia Coach for the last year and I wouldn’t have been able to lead my church without him! Brice, their worship leader has become a good friend and has been a constant source of encouragement. Chuck, their next gen pastor is an all around amazing guy and he helped me write our next gen pastor job description and I loved getting to know him as well.
It’s just awesome to have a partnership with their Church and to know we’re not alone! I love those guys and I know they have no idea how encouraging they are to me and my Church!
Day one was great! Day two has started and I can’t wait for what God has in store.
I miss my kids. I miss sleeping in my bed. I miss studying at my desk. I miss Mt Pleasant.
I can’t wait to be at Thrive Church this Sunday.