September 19, 2010

Five Guys Go To Andersen

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in The Journey

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Picture this group of five guys . . .

• 53 year old owner of a small consulting company working for Federal and State agencies to improve low income rental housing, and member of a 2 year old non-denominational church searching for God’s instruction.

• 50 year old owner of a small construction company working on residential, recreational, and some commercial projects, and member of a 150 year old Cumberland Presbyterian church searching for a pastor.

• 42 year old Air Force master sergeant leading a group of guys who maintain equipment necessary to keep aircraft working, and member of a Vineyard church in revival and about to explode with growth.

• 31 year old preacher, a son of a preacher, who recently planted a non-denominational church, at a 62 year old Baptist church to lead a comeback.

• 29 year old I/T professional, a son of a preacher, a talent with video and sound in the sanctuary, and a Baptist searching for a church home.

This five-some traveled 12 hours by car together, listened to 10 hours from seven pastors who lead megachurches, and traveled 12 hours by car back home. Why? Why did God put these five guys together on this road trip? Probably lots of reasons; some we may never know and some may be revealed in the coming days, weeks, months and years. But “in the meantime” (thank you Pastor Judah Smith), God left me these breadcrumbs today:

1. Old or young or in-between, look to Jesus for the answers.

2. Big church, little church, no church, look to Jesus for the answers.

3. Cumberland Presbyterian, Vineyard, Baptist, Pentecostal, whatever other denomination, or non-denominational, look to Jesus for the answers.

4. Famous preacher, unknown preacher, new preacher, long-time preacher, youth preacher, worship leader, not a preacher, look to Jesus for the answers.

5. Have steps that worked, have steps that didn’t work, is searching for steps, look to Jesus for the answers.

Get the point?

On any given Sunday, through multiple campuses, these seven speakers reach over 10,000 in Andersen (So Carolina); 22,000 in Atlanta; 6,000 in Charlotte; 2,500 in Las Vegas; 7,000 in one part of Seattle and more than 6,000 in another part of Seattle; and until recently, 4,000 in Simi Valley. There is 15 or so years separating these ministers, they have different personalities and different styles, but they shared a passion for Jesus Christ. They looked to Jesus when they planted or became leaders of their churches … they looked to Jesus for direction when times were good and bad and in-between … and they still look to Jesus for answers.

For those used to going to business conferences and coming home with a new stack of “lessons learned” or “best practices”, ready to implement at work on Monday, this conference was not that. In many ways we came home with the same thing we went with – looking to Jesus for answers. Each of the speakers acknowledged that the steps taken in Andersen won’t necessarily work in Atlanta; and those taken in Atlanta won’t necessarily work in Charlotte; and so on.

As Pastor Andy Stanley said about the others, “Mimic their passion, not their methods.” 

Now that I think about it, maybe we did come home with the lessons learned and best practices, ready to implement … look to Jesus for the answers!  Or as Pastor Steven Furtick said, “Ask God. Do what He says. Do it. Do it. Do it.”

     Loving the journey,


P.S.  You can read about the speakers at the NewSpring Leadership Conference (Leveraging Your Influence To Preach The Gospel) at

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