The Exponential Conference is now off and running! Two years ago this conference was in Baltimore and there were 250 gathered there. Last year the conference was in Orlando and there were 800 church planting leaders gathered. This year there are more than 1800 new church leaders who are a part of the the Exponential Conference. Wow. (By the way we are definitely going with Exponential Conference next year rather than National New Church Conference. Why? We see this reaching beyond the U.S.!) God is doing a new thing! And if God is doing new thing through this conference, then He is going to do a new thing through leaders!
The first main session is being taught by Wayne Cordeiro. Wayne is one of my heroes. I went to Honolulu and for a Pastor Practicum at New Hope a few years ago. The practicum basically consisted of just following him around for about 4 days and do what he does And it was awesome! I was impressed with his leadership and who he is personally. I was also very impressed with the followership that I saw within New Hope. Those people love to serve!
How do you gain wisdom? There are a couple ways that most people gain wisdom:
- Through personal experience. Learning through personal experience is necessary and helpful; but personal experience can also be very painful.
- Through other peoples personal experience. There are lots of people all around you right now who have had hundreds and thousands of personal experiences that can tremendously benefit you. If you neglect to take advantage of other peoples personal experience then you are solely dependent on your own personal experience and that is hard way to go.
As Christ Followers we have a third source of wisdom. And that third source of wisdom is to be led by the Spirit. If you want led by the Spirit everyday here are the things you need to bring with you each day:
- Bring a Bible. There is only one book that God has inspired and that is the Bible.
- Bring a pen. You need to mark-up your Bible.
- Bring a reading program. You need a plan to read through the Bible or you will only read the stuff that you like with which you are familiar.
- Bring a journal. As you mature you need to find a way to feed yourself. Using your Bible and journal is the way to feed yourself.
- Bring a daily planner. That way when you are distracted from your Bible reading and journaling you have a place to write down stuff so you can continue.
I have journaled for much of my adult life, but it was not until I spent time with Wayne in Honolulu a few years ago did I begin to see it as essential to feeding myself. I believe we need to have everyone at Community Christian Church and everyone in all our NewThing Network churches journaling.