Aug 202012
 

Conferences are kinda of a big deal, even in the 21st century where the internet can deliver content nearly instantly globally and hundreds of digital platforms for online meetings are available, but not yet the norm in most circles. And, it’s big business: RCMA (Religious Conference Management Association) member meetings drew more than 5.3 million attendees last year.

As conference season kicks up this Fall, worlds are colliding, even in the niche area of church leadership in which I swim most often. (Though as the consummate conference junkie, I’m more than happy to attend any kind of conference where they’d invite me.) 3 of them are running during the very same week this October:

National Worship Leader Conference – NWLC California October 9-11 in N. San Diego for worship leaders and everyone who makes the worship service happen

iMinistry October 10-11 in Dallas for online churches and internet ministries

Resurgence 2012 October 9-10 in Irvine for pastors and church leaders

How does anyone choose from 3 great events when we’re physically limited by time and space and are forced to have to choose just one? I’m so torn! One way is to look at the topics; another is location. Then you could look at the roster of speakers.

I’m choosing to attend the NWLC California, because I will be leading 2 workshops: both on social media, one basic and one advanced; and, because it’s part of my work with Worship Leader Magazine. I’d love to meet you there if this event fits you best – do add a comment and I can get you a special discount code to pay less.)

How will you choose?

Jun 202010
 

Leaving one church for another can be a good thing–it’s not always a bad thing. Yes, sometimes a person or a pastor leaves one church because of unresolved conflict, dissatisfaction, a “better” program or preacher elsewhere, and/or scandal. There’s been numerous articles about the bad reasons that people leave a church, and bad churches that people should leave. In a time where church-goers freely switch from church to church because of “not being fed,” “cliques,” “poor preaching,” or other reasons, at least they’re still going. And it may well be a good thing for someone to leave one church for another.

1st, how to leave a church on good terms. Brian Russell raised this question last month, “Is there a proper protocol to follow if switching churches?” Here’s several articles that point towards a church-leaving etiquette:

Something a church can do to learn from those who are leaving is to conduct an
exit interview. This is a great opportunity to listen to honest feedback, not be defensive, allow closure for church and the person(s) leaving, and a word of mutual blessing.

2ndly, God calls some into a new season. And there are times in one’s faith journey when one finishes one chapter at one church, and will go to another church for a new season. This is the case for a number of prominent pastors recently announcing their transitions: Jim Belcher, Francis Chan, N.T. Wright, and Others Leave the Pastorate to Write and Speak: Why church planters often quit their congregations. In this video of an Exclusive interview with Jim Belcher and Mike Erre, 2 pastors in the Orange County (California) area talk about how they’re leaving their churches for a new season of life and ministry:

There are times to stay, and there are times to go. Maybe the same amount of due diligence can be given to why one stays at a church as much as why one leaves a church. For the record, I do think the times of changing churches ought to be infrequent.

Apr 222010
 

I missed this amazing song dedicated to a pastor, because I left early; this really shows the power of song & music, and humor. This morning at the Exponential Conference in Orlando, Eric Bramlett sung this in reference to Francis Chan’s church transition announcement :

At last year’s Exponential Conference (2009), a similar kind of song was written & sung for Pastor Francis Chan, to the tune of ACDC’s Back in Black :

This brings a whole new meaning to Pastor Appreciation Month.

[cf. other songs for your playlist: "New Leader Song", "We are the Church", "Be Our Guest"]

Mar 242010
 

Churches are searching for pastors. Pastors are looking for churches. Making the connection can be quite challenging for many on both sides of the equation. Sure there’s a spiritual dimension to all of this– being a pastor is a “calling,” (whatever that might mean in a particular faith tradition) layered with much prayer for discernment and provision. Yet in the real-world concrete and tangible reality, there is that job component, when a church pastor is a paid religious professional.

There are a bunch of search engines / directories/ listings working to make this connection, for pastors looking for a ministry opportunity, and for churches looking for a pastor to fill a staff position, along with other church staff jobs. I’ll update this list as I find ‘em — (note: listing does not connote endorsement) ::

And, there are professional services that help make the connection for churches and staff. HelpStaff.me is run by Justin Lathrop (one of my pastor friends), who can put together a professional nationwide search for church staff positions. And, the executive search firm called Vanderbloemen Search Group facilitates ministry leadership search for larger churches. Another one is MinisterSearch.com, a full-service consulting firm for church staffing.

Aside: this ehow.com article, How to Work for a MegaChurch, gives sobering advice about working in a church setting. Set your idealism aside — “If you think working for a church will be peaceful and idyllic, you’re deluding yourself. Pastors and church staff members are as inherently flawed as the rest of the world. If your desire to work for a MegaChurch stems from the belief that you’ll be in a conflict free office environment, think again.

Oct 302009
 

Let’s take a look at my inbox and see what we find…

Question: I am student, studying ministry. Am at the end of the third year and I would like to start my ministry after I graduate. How would you be of help to me — to find material about church planting ?

My Answer: There has been a growing number of resources about church planting in recent years. A quick Google search has many links that’ll get you started. 3 of my favorites are www.churchplantingnetwork.com + www.church-planting.net + www.rcpc.com .

As you can see, there’s lots of information online. The best place you’ll want to be is the Exponenential Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in Orlando. This is the biggest gathering of church planters and church multiplication organizations that can give you the support, coaching, and launching pad for church planting — more resources than you can count!
2010 National New Church Conference
Todd Rhoades has been counting up the many reasons to be at Exponential — here’s a sample :
Continue reading »

Jun 052009
 

Passing along a special opportunity for a special minister of the Gospel to pastor in the Pentagon City area (Arlington, Virginia) of metro Washington DC.

Senior Pastor Ministry Position

Great Commission Community Church (GCCC) is seeking a Senior Pastor by Fall 2009 to lead the church into its next phase of God’s plan. This is currently the only permanent pastoral staff position within the church. Duties include: Teaching/Preaching, Leadership Training, Facilitate Advisory Board, Primary Visionary, Administrate, Small Groups

For church profile, desired characteristics, and contact, see the full document about this ministry opportunity.

Mar 222009
 

Got this announcement from Rob Davis, Director of Events at Vintage21 Chuch in Raleigh, NC.

We have put together a conference entitled Advance09: Resurgence of the Local Church in Durham on June 4-6, 2009. Speakers for this event include John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Ed Stetzer, Bryan Chappell, Daniel Akin, JD Greear, Tyler Jones & Eric Mason.

Advance09 is a conference committed to the resurgence of the local church for the glory of God. Our aim is to equip attendees with the Gospel so that the local church might become all that Jesus calls it to be. At this conference, we hope to ensure that on our watch and in our time we honor Jesus and see the resurgence of the local church. Advance09 is open to anyone, pastors and lay-leaders, church members and regular-attenders. We invite you to join us in this Great Cause.

Tickets have just recently gone online (early bird pricing of $75/$100) here: www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E0042718ADB502D

( Nothing to disclose. First time I’ve noticed a church conference selling tickets online via ticketmaster.com ; the conference will be held at the Durham Performing Arts Center )

Sep 112008
 

1st leg of my tri-city trip in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My first time here ever. Hangin’ out with Seth Kim, who pastors Harvest Mission Community Church, which is now a multi-site church in 4 locations: Ann Arbor, Evanston, Austin, and Chicago. You could call this pastoral visitation. Ate some award-winning mac ‘n cheese at dinner, and heard a handful of great transformational life stories here over dessert. Joyous!

We drove by the largest football stadium in the United States at University of Michigan. I just fact-checked, and currently, Michigan Stadium is technically the 2nd largest stadium due to renovations (capacity = 106,201, down from 107,501), and the largest is Beaver Stadium at Penn State University (capacity = 107,282). Seth was proudly saying that was the largest stadium, and I don’t have the heart to correct him. Hope he’ll overlook this blog entry — don’t want anyone losing face. [update: Seth blogged kind words about my visit @ DJ in Town - he doesn't allow comments, so you can react in my comment thread here]

FTW, here’s a list of the 15 largest football stadiums in the United States.

Aside: no picture of food. But here’s a picture of my rental car. Bed time. Good night.