After flying out of Boston and landing in Atlanta today, I was a bit tired.  However, I soon woke up during the long walk from one end of the airport to the other, just to get our rental cars.  I lucked out and scored a blue Dodge Charger.  It is pretty nice, comfortable, and smooth riding.  After that, we arrived at our hotel and realized we had free cookies, free dinner, and a free hot breakfast (in the morning). Score again!  Finally, we are off to the conference center for our first “main session.”

The speakers were great.  The theme is COLLIDE, and they mentioned several ways and methods in which we should collide with each other and with God.   The 2 ways we should collide with each other were focused on within and outside the church.

The first speaker was Mark Batterson of National Community Church.  He was interviewed by Reggie Joiner, the founder and CEO of the reThink Group (who puts on Orange).  There were several good points he made.  I’ll highlight them for you.

  • We sometimes slip into doing ministry by memory instead of my inovation.  This has to stop, and we need to continue to be creative in our approach, not relying on what we have done in the past.
  • The church needs to be 2-dimensional in its approach to guests.  His church welcome’s guests like this: “We want you to be a part of what God is doing here, AND we want to be a part of what God is doing through you.”
  • Change of pace + Change of place = Change of perspective.  We must disrupt the routine.
  • Failure of imagination puts the next generation at risk.
  • We need to keep a childlike faith, which in turn will allow us to keep this amazing wonder about God.

The second speaker was Chris Wiersma of Westside King’s Church.  He brought a message based on similar ideas, focusing on colliding with each other in innovation as we attempt to keep a childlike faith. Here are some highlights.

  • There is not one person who is cool enough, smart enough, etc. that they do not need God’s grace.
  • We need to outgrow our church’s petty statistics and our local address if we are really going to do what we are called to do as a church.
  • We are not just called to simply help people.  We are supposed to get lost in the wonder of God.  We are called to have a fascination with Him.  We need to collide with others and their lives.
  • There is a fragmented image of God in every one of us.
  • Matthew 18 talks of the childlike faith, and Genesis 3:7 shows the first time man worried about his worth, image, or acceptance.
  • We need to lose our ego if we want to find the Kingdom.

Overall, this has been a great trip.  The evening was finished by some great music, and we sang out for our God with one voice.  I can hardly wait for tomorrow.  It will be great!

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