Today I am attending a pre-conference, before the main Exponential conference begins tomorrow. This particular pre-conference is organized by RightNow, a network that aims to help people become “Traders” by trading the life of a consumer for the life of mission, not later, or necessarily somewhere geographically distant, but “right now”.
The first speaker was Mark Batterson, who pastors NCC, a multi-site church in Washington DC that meets primarily in cinemas and subway stations, but also run DC’s largest and top-rated coffee shop, housed in a former crackhouse. Mark’s talk focused on the guiding passage of his ministry, Matthew 10. He shared the importance and implications of being called to mission. A few soundbites:
- We don’t want just good ideas, but God ideas.
- We often remember what we should forget, and forget what we should remember.
- We don’t minister for God, but to God.
- Why do we emphasize the image of Christ on the cross so much more than the image of the Lamb on the throne?
- Insecurity is the curse of our pastoral tribe. Our authority comes from Him.
- We don’t have the power to make the gospel relevant. All we can do is make it irrelevant, which is simply being irreverent.
- We spend so much time learning about our target demographic in church planting, we neglect learning about who we are.
- A few best practices:
- Let vision define budget. They only increase their budget 5% a year, and draw up a separate wish/miracle list. New church locations are always wish list items. This is the God-sized vision. It avoids having to look at the budget every week to see if we can afford what we’re doing, and lets you rejoice when something new becomes possible.
- Tweak the little things and mix up the routine.
- Free market small groups
- Redeem technology