Apr 242009

This week has been an extremely full week of Christian/ church leadership conferences: Exponential Conference in Orlando, Gospel Coalition in Chicago, and Catalyst West Coast in Irvine, California. All of that adds up to many hours of inspirational and motivational speeches.

I attended my first Catalyst conference, which ended a few hours earlier, and undoubtedly the most highly-charged energetic kind of Christian leadership event I’ve ever attended. I do love going to these events to meetup with people in person and not so much to attend the sessions — I buy the recordings for the content. I can always get the content plus have the ability to rewind and review, whereas being able to talk with people face-to-face is irreplaceable.

I did hear several of the messages, and sure it moves me to do something. Everything grabs my attention. Everything is urgent. Everything is so compelling. Everything is so good.

Kinda feels like being drawn and quartered. It’s a tough call to choose the one that God has for me, and that is not everything. I can’t do it all.

Plus, It’s less easy for me because I don’t think of myself as a natural born leader, or an organizational leader type. It seems to me that most, if not all, of these platformed Christian leaders are driven Type-A goal-oriented entrepreneurs who have launched their own organizations. So when I hear them, it takes an enormous effort for me to translate all of that into something that could work for me.

Sure, God can do it all. And I could take a flying leap of faith and “trust God” blindly. The impulsive and spontaneous me would love to sell all and follow Jesus, to jump into a new endeavor with full abandon and see the hand of God move. But, that naive leap would hurt me badly. Been there. Done that.

I confess I haven’t figured it out. And I have to keep leaning into God to walk by faith and not by sight. No leaping. Just walking.

Aside: the audios and videos from The Gospel Coalition 2009 are online already and free to listen and watch! One of my favorites is Tim Keller’s The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry.

Apr 152009

Today is that big deadline day for filing income taxes in the United States. Not the most exciting day, unless you’re getting a refund.

Here’s something much more exciting: win 2 free tickets to Exponential Conference 2009: Art of Movements (aka 2009 National New Church Conference). Love the interviews they’ve posted in their podcast [rss or iTunes], with leaders like Tim Keller, Erwin McManus, Dave Ferguson, Perry Noble, and Francis Chan.

2009 National New Church Conference
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Apr 112009

You’re invited to the celebrate Easter with me and 1,000s of others tomorrow — there’s a huge Easter Celebration tomorrow (Sun 4/12) at the Pacific Amphitheater (OC Fair & Event Center) in Costa Mesa, California. 9:00am and 11:15am. It’s a big deal — the amphitheater has 8,500 seats! Of course the event is free, and hospitality will overflow with donuts, coffee, and bottled water.


The incognito church is Rock Harbor. The church has estimated weekend attendance of around 5,000 (according to Wikipedia). This un-branding approach does fit their value for “giving ourselves away.”

It is common practice for churches (or any other organization) to host a community event as a way of attracting and inviting people to their church (or organization). At this Easter Celebration, the event website lists more than a dozen churches in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Yet, far as I know, only this one church is (primarily?) running the event.

Do you know of any other (large-ish) churches that would do a large-ish event, yet without advertising their church?

I’d be curious what Dawn Nicole Baldwin thinks of this.

[disclosure: Rock Harbor is my home church.]

Apr 062009

Great event in 2 weeks with some friends over at Catalyst and the church leadership sub-culture. It’s the Catalyst launch event on the West Coast, dates are April 22-24, 2009, in Irvine, California at Mariners Church.

This will be my first time I’ve ever attended a Catalyst experience. I’m glad it’s not 12,000+ people, and more like 3,000 people. And I kinda don’t want to go alone.

So I’ve got a free ticket. Add a comment here for why I should let you have it. On April 10th after 2:00pm Pacific, I’ll pick one out of the thread to give the free ticket. This is totally subjective and not a random drawing. [contest rules: I made up these rules; my decision will be final; any comments after Fri 4/10 2pm Pacific will not qualify.] [update 4/11] The winner of the free ticket to Catalyst West is Brett Crimmel! Congratulations!

You can still register at: www.catalystwestcoast.com or by phone at 888-334-6569. Mention Rate Code BLG and you can save an extra 10% on the ticket price.

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Apr 032009

I’ve heard through the electronic grapevine about a software under development, specifically to provide administrative support that are unique to a smaller church context. Someone on the development team described it this way:

My group is currently developing an accounting and database software for small churches (less than 200). It is cross platform and based on Flash GUI [user interface]. The goal behind it is to come up with a software that is written in the current decade that is so simple to use, anyone could do it. It is going to leverage off of the current technology to have the needed flexibility and it is going to be very affordable.

The software will soon be available for beta testing. We believe the product will speak for itself and not only be the cheapest quality product on the market, but also the easiest to use, so these church planters can focus on the ministry and not the administration.

What do you think? Do you know someone who could use software like this? I’d be happy to connect you with the developers to get you an opportunity to provide feedback that could make the software even more useful for you. Add a comment and I’ll make the connection offline.

Apr 012009

Question: I was wondering if you knew where I could find a great list of books dealing with forgiveness and anger? I ask, simply because you seem so resourceful and hit all the good conferences and info spots out there. If you know, I’d appreciate it or being pointed in the right direction.

djchuang >> I don’t readily know of books on forgiveness or anger, not that I don’t need help in those areas, but that I haven’t read books specific on this. Like other mortals, I’d search through the amazon.com catalog and see what looks good.

Based on reputation, Total Forgiveness by R. T. Kendall, looks to be a thoughtful treatment on forgiveness. And, if you have theological latitude, The Shack by William P. Young is a great perspective on dealing with the unideals of life. The best sermons I’ve heard about forgiveness are by Tim Keller, my bias noted. Here’s a handful of sermons from the Redeemer Store about forgiveness.

Anything you would add? Know of any good books on anger and/or forgiveness?