Monday, February 4, 2008

Mark Batterson & Rick Warren

I'm was in Washington D.C. today at a coffee house called 'Ebenezzer's.' It is the ministry center of an innovative church called, 'National Community Church,' led by Mark Batterson. He was hosting Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback church and author of the Purpose driven life) for an informal luncheon. I traveled down with one of my mentors (Dan McNaughton) who is an incredible Pastor and Leader in his own right. I don't get away enough so today is a special day. I got to spend about 6-7 hours in a car connecting with Dan. It was a real privilege. Back to Rick Warren. Here are a few of the thoughts that Rick shared to a group of 75-100 pastors. (including me)

*More people attend church on one weekend than attend sporting events all year long combined. The local church is important and the hope of the world.
*Never confuse significance and prominence. (You may not be prominent, but you are significant to God)
*Courage is not the absence of fear, it's moving ahead in faith despite the feeling of fear.
*It takes more than sermons to grow in Spiritual maturity. Going to meetings do not necessarily grow your faith.
*It's easy to impress people from a distance, but you can only impact them up close.
*The Church is people, not a steeple.
*Personal, Spiritual growth is intentional. It is a choice. We grow by making commitments.
*You make the commitment and then you grow. (you grow through, example- parenting)
*There is a difference between growing old and growing up.
* You are as close to God as you want to be. Remember, God doesn't move away, we do.
*You cannot live in life without making commitments.
*Spiritual growth is incremental. Step by step. It is true physically and spiritually.
*Everything grows in seasons. Stay encouraged during the fall and winter, because spring and summer are coming.

What an incredible day. Rick shared some other thoughts that I will post tomorrow and he prayed a blessing over each of us. He's the real deal and is an encouragement to pastors all over the country. He's definitely one of my heroes in the faith. Stay tuned for more thoughts on Rick and what he shared tomorrow.