I’m heading home from an overnight trip to Seattle and my head is spinning from an awesome 24 hours of stimulation and information…and now I am singing the beatle’s song that I used to title this blog…but I digress.
Pastor Coy and I shot out here after Skull Church to attend a one day leadership conference put on by Catalyst featuring Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. From 9am to 5pm we were (literally) bombarded by an exorbitant amount of practical advice on leading with vision and energetically executing your God-given mission. Andy pastors North Point in Atlanta, Georgia and Craig pastors Lifechurch.tv (the church that produced the killer Youversion Bible app for mobile devices.) Their sessions were salient, sage, and strategically aimed at cranking up momentum in ministry. Phenomenal.
Straight after the conference we headed downtown and met Pastor Mark Driscoll and his executive Pastor Jamie Munson for dinner. They were gracious to spend almost three hours with us as we picked their brains on ministry, church, leadership, and what they have learned in the almost 14 years that Mars Hill Church has been turning Seattle and beyond upside down for Jesus. They opened up the floodgates and, in what I have realized is quintessential Mark Driscoll style, were like machine-guns of advice/encouragement/challenge/inspiration/sarcasm. It was kind of like drinking from a fire hose but it was awesome. There is much I can learn from Mark and I was honored to spend time with him.
Over the course of the day we took in a lot on subjects ranging from: effectively using video teaching, conserving energy in the midst of a full preaching schedule, building systems and structure to keep up with the growth with out smothering the creative chaos that God used to bring the freshness and growth in the first place, etc; One topic of particular interest to me was the ins and outs of having multiple sites. All three men we were listening to do this VERY well. If you take North Point Church, Mars Hill Church, and Lifechurch.tv together there are over 25 campuses! We meet at two locations currently but are praying about more in the future.
Coy and I spent some time, later that evening, ambling around downtown Seattle ruminating on the different things that we had heard, like glutted cows. I’m sure for several days to come we will continue to be processing and sifting through the wealth of knowledge that has been imparted to us.
I try and learn what I can from a broad spectrum of leaders, not just any one source exclusively. (Except Jesus!) An important part of that is having the wisdom to chew the meat and spit out the bones. I think you should have a full “bull-pen” of influencers and coaches, who are each strong in different ways, without ever trying to be a carbon copy of any one person exclusively and you will be much better for it. This means being quick to learn from anyone but slow to implement with thought and prayer. And this coaching doesn’t have to be face-to-face or even at a conference. I learn from pastors, leaders, authors, and people that I have never met on a weekly basis through podcasts, books and websites. I definitely have found that leadership is something that is caught better than it is taught.
This morning (since it was my first time in Seattle) we made the obligatory tourist trip to the Pike Place Market and had a coffee from the very first Starbucks. The Mermaid Mecca. It was surprisingly humble and yet they have a map on the wall showing all the Starbucks in the world, all birthed from that nondescript location. I6,082 was their number of locations at the time the map was printed. Staggering. As I drank my Americano and thought of the evangelistic manner in which Starbucks spread their wings from their “Jerusalem,” (Seattle) to their state, the country and literally to the ends of the earth I was inspired to continue to make Jesus famous, with every breath, ’til He returns.