To the one who has ears: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches/Anchor/me.
That's a paraphrase of John's refrain to the seven churches of Western Asia - and to America - and to the world.
I hear the Spirit speaking...this conference is so good for me. There are some great churches in this country - let me repeat that: there are some GREAT churches in this country! It is so inspiring to hear their stories of what they are doing to make disciples. It's also inspiring to know: I/we can do it too! It's there...right on our fingertips...Anchor can be a great church too...we're almost there...but we're a few strategic steps from getting there...big steps...but steps we can take.
Takeaway from this morning's two sessions here at REVEAL:
* Preach with a burden. Robert Morris from Gateway Church shared how this works for him...beautiful and compelling.
* Plan Sunday Mornings around experiencing God: make the morning include three sections: worship singing/preaching the word/a time of ministering. People want to experience God...why not when they gather on a Sunday morning? God's Spirit must show up for this to happen, but God's people who oversee the event must make sure they do their part to help make it happen.
* Consider what people are bringing in with them on Sunday mornings - and thus what you must then do to address the baggage they bring: what are the things they bring in with them that God wants to do something about.
Things people walk in with on a Sunday morning: fear, anxiety, worry; boredom, stress, distraction; brokenness, shame, guilt; doubt, questions, confusion; despair, depression, hopelessness.
The question is: how does our time of worship singing take into account this reality? How does the sermon? The response time of ministering (prayer, counseling, etc)? How can our time of worship, hearing the Word, ministering help facilitate moments for God to meet those needs?
Worship/Church is not about observing God, but about meeting/experiencing God.
Provide an atmosphere where as many people as possible can experience God.
Have the last line on the Sermon Outline be: What is God saying to me through this message?
* Make sure people understand that they don't go to church, the are the church!
Have a very high standard for membership - it equals leadership/discipleship. All the churches here that are noted for doing a GREAT job of making disiciples all have very high expectations of involvement/commitment. They believe that people want to be inspired/challenged...but those people also have to be held accountable.
* Instead of counting morning attendance, figure out ways to count touches: touches = touching lives for God. The pastors on the platform all agreed that this is a very hard transition to make - it's hard to count what matters most.
* Get everybody who is part of the church to be serving somewhere, somehow with their skills, passions, natural opportunities.
* Churches need to build bridges to the community! Disciples must have an avenue for actually being good news to the community within which they live!