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RoadTrip: Greensboro

StarbucksDid you even know i was gone?

On Tuesday, Pastor Dennis and i took a short 1 day roadtrip to Greensboro for the BSCNC Evangelism Conference. Our goal was to get there by 10:10 am to hear "firethrower" Ergun Caner but that goal was demolished on the way through Southern Pines – as Pastor said, "the local Starbucks moved into the middle of the road and wouldn’t allow us to pass until we went in!" grin (We did manage to catch the last 10 mins of Caner’s message – as usual, what a challenge!)

We stayed til the evening as we both wanted to support Steven Furtick (Elevation Church) as he gave his "church-planting testimony" (i chuckled when i read that ’cause i was like, "right! Furtick’s gonna preach!). So, after a trip to the mall, Starbucks (again) and the BoneFish (we love us some Bang Bang Skrimp) we hurried back for the evening session with Furtick. As always, love this dude – great leader, great preacher, but more than anything i know that he knows that what he’s in the middle of at Elevation is a God-thing – there is no way that they can take the credit for it. I believe that God wants to make the "sun stand still" in our context in this reason, not because Steven said it convincingly, but because

GOD HAS PLACED A VISION, PASSION AND DESIRE WITHIN ME THAT HE WANTS TO DO MORE THAN WHAT "WE KNOW"…HE WANTS TO DO SOMETHING SO HUGE THAT WE CAN’T TAKE CREDIT FOR IT – SOMETHING THAT WE CAN’T DUPLICATE (the definition of a miracle according to Pastor Dennis in week 3 of "Miracles").

Among other things, had the priviledge of sitting in with Dr. Thom Rainer, King (er, i mean President) of LifeWay. Dr. Rainers consulting work and writing has taught me much in the past few years. Most of the stats he gave were ones that I was familiar with but he presented 3 trends that just really hit me:

  • the dropout rate of 18-22 year old "church-kids" after high school is 70%. 70%!!!! Their excuse is that they "simply wanted a break" from church. As Dr. Rainer said, the bottom line is that church is not essential to them. Why is the church not essential to them? Something is missing. You can point all the fingers you want, but remember, when you point there are 3 pointing back at you. We must take responsibility for not looking beneath the surface to discover what’s truly missing in their experience with the church!
  • Our younger generation is seeking Relevant worship, Deeper Bible Study and 3rd Place Relational areas. These are the ways they "connect" and find it essential. It’s why i listen to some preachers podcast who are strong teacher/preachers, some of which preach close to 50 -60 mins. The young people want the truth and as long as it’s connecting…
  • The Multi-Venue trend shows no sign of slowing. No one around here does it, but many churches around America have multiple Venues or campuses in different areas. I’ve been saying for a long time that "we won’t reach Fairmont from Lumberton – if you wanna REACH Fairmont we’re gonna have to GO to Fairmont."

I finish by saying thanks to Marty Dupree, Evangelism Team Leader with the BSCNC (one of my favorite people in the world). Great job, as usual.

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