Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Church planting, Day 1

I'm sitting in the first session at the National New Church Planting Conference in sunny Orlando, FL. The first speaker is Wayne Cordiero who pastors about 11,000 people in Hawaii. He launched his church about 11 years ago. He is talking about how to be a spirit-led leader. He are some points that he makes in regards to being a Christ-follower, pastor and/or church planter.
*The goal is authenticity. Realness is the virtue for this next generation and ultimately of the Bible.
*When you start, you won't have what it takes to make it, but you can gain the wisdom you need on the journey.
-You get wisdom from... 1. experience (from personal consequences) 2. others experiences (learn from others)
Why should we make all the mistakes ourselves? Wayne did a masterful job of reminding us that the ultimate source of wisdom should come from the unedited and raw stories of the Bible. The Bible should be the source of our soul and that we need to systematically work through the 66 books that are alive and powerful. He told the story about the sequoia trees in Yellowstone National Park. Two years ago 4 of the oldest ones toppled from the wind which resulted in a study at to what happened. The park rangers and scientists concluded that the trees fell as a result of the foot traffic (10's of thousands of visitors) walking around on the roots of the trees. They immediately put barriers around the oldest trees to keep this from happening. His point was that we have lots of 'foot traffic' in our lives and we need to have a holy barrier of time with God so that our roots remain deep and intact. He talked about the Holy Spirit being our divine mentor and that we need to continue to sit at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10). Here is what He does to remain close to God so that He can live out the freshness of a genuine relationship with Jesus. He sets aside time daily to spend time with God and he brings a Bible, a pen & journal with a reading program. He then encourages His people (churches literally around the globe, very impressive) to do the following based on this acronym.
S- Scripture (read the Bible reading for the day)
O- Observation (observe what God is trying to teach you through the passage)
A- Application (ask yourself how you can apply it to your life)
P- Prayer (asking God to help you apply it to your life and general prayer needs)
He uses a 20-20-20 format. 20 minutes of Bible reading, 20 minutes of prayer, 20 minutes of discussion with others that he meets with or thoughts about application. Simple but powerful. It encouraged me to dive deeper with God, how about you?