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Archive for the ‘leadership’ Category

Today marked the last day of the Awaken Conference.  I got a chance to hook up with Eric Bryant and Octavio Martinez for breakfast at Panera. After our breakfast gathering, it was on to our panel session.  I enjoyed our session.  I was a bit nervous when I first went on stage.  I’m used to getting up in front of people when I’m prepared.  It was great to be confronted with the spontaneity of Q&A.  Everyone on the panel did a great job.  We got great feedback, as well.

I don’t remember everything we discussed, but here was a few:

1.  Live out your story.  We all have a story that plays a part in God’s story.  Our community in Silver Spring are filled with Americans and first and second generation migrants.  I’m all of the above. God has interwoven my story with that of the community.

2.  We all have accents.  God uses those accents in a unique way to accomplish His purposes.

3.  The people in our communities speak many languages.  We can decide to speak one language or learn the languages of others to connect with them.  It is going to require riskThe lower the risk, the lower the rate of return.  The higher the risk, the higher the rate of return.

4.  Here’s something I wanted to say, but ran out of time.  We have to die so that Christ can live.  However, we must also die so that others around us can live. 

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The Awaken conference kicked off today. If had a chance to meet and network with some great leaders.  I spent most of the day hanging out with by buddy Darren.

I also ran into my friends Marcus Goodloe, Gabriel Lawrence, Eric Bryant, Ben Arment, Mark Batterson, and Naeem Fazal.   I wish I could share all that I’ve learned thus far, but here are a few take aways:

Erwin McManus:  Too often we give leadership to whoever shows up first, not who goes first.  Leaders always go first.  If we simply keep choosing who shows up first, we will have leaders who don’t lead.

Erwin McManus & Wayne Cordero:  Every church has a rate of speed.  You want to get just a bit ahead of it.  If you go to fast, you will loose your people.  If you move to slow, the enterpreneurs will feel under challenge and leave.  This goes to show that we may have to pick up the pace in our leadership.  Yet, if God has the church going at 60 miles per hous, we have to be humble enough to allow those going at 90 miles per hour to leave.  Wow.

Wayne Cordero:  Wisdom comes from digging deeper into the word of God.  There is a spiritual famine in the land.  We will get caught up in it as leaders if we don’t dive into his word consistently.

Bill Hybels:  It’s not just enough to cast a vision.  The people must own the vision.  We have to take time to help people own the vision.  This means moving away from a Sinai approach (I go away, come back with a vision, and tell you what to do) to a Team approach (We work through the vision and implementation together as a team).

Mark Batterson:  We often trade in our imagination for what’s logical.  We can drift towards being predictable.  We have to keep dreaming and keep our innovation fresh.

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It’s a wrap, ladies and gentleman:

1) We launched our new series Tough Love.  It was a tough message to preach.  We talked about accepting people that are different from us.  When we encounter people that are different from us, we tend to 1) isolate ourselves and drift towards others like us or 2) move towards tolerance, where we embrace anything as acceptable yet never get around to truly loving others.  True acceptance is when we say, “Even though I may not agree with your ideas or lifestyle, I will still love you for who you are.  I’ll accept you just as God accepted me.

2) Toying with the idea of doing some kind of first timers connection on Sunday.  We’ll see…

3) The Open House was awesome.  We had about 40 people who were there to connect with others and learn more about The Bridge.  The venue, Psalm 117, was amazing.  Even though the venue is privately owned, it fits the personality and culture of our church.

4)  Our volunteers were on point yesterday, especially our Connection Team.  They were on the ball setting up food, handing out pamphlets, and making people feel welcomed.

5)  Keep us in your prayers as we seek to impact Greater DC for Christ.

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With U

I felt as if someone needed to hear this today.  I read this passage during my quiet time this morning.  Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the L ord your God is with you wherever you go.”  As a leader, God is calling you to strong and courageous.  Don’t allow situations and people to intimidate you.  We place not confidence in the flesh, but confidence in God.  Placing confidence in God allows us to have confidence to do what He’s called us to do.  We can be bold and courageous, not because of ourselves, but because we have the ever dwelling presence of God.  This presence is with us WHEREVER we go.  He’s there to encourage, protect, provide, shield, deliver, empower, discipline, develop, equip, enlighten, anything you can think of.  We need not worry or fret.  God is with us.

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Here are some pictures from the Rick Warren gathering at Ebenezers Coffeehouse. I wish I could take credit for the cool black and white feature. I was using my wife’s camera. She had it set to this black and white feature and I didn’t know how to switch it back to color. It actually allows everything in the picture to be black and white except for one color. In this case, it’s orange in the first one and blue in the rest. Enjoy!

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Today was a great day at The Bridge. I left today feeling pumped:

1. We had a great turn out and a record setting offering! Praise God for being our Provider. I thank those of you that have prayed for us in those regards.

2. We are continuing to attract new people and first time guests.

3. I got a lot of great responses from today’s message on Luke 5. The take home point was change when it’s time for a change.

4. More people signed up for Life Groups, The Open House, and Volunteer Staff opportunities. One of our wins on Sunday is when a person takes a next step in experiencing true life in Christ. That can be anything from giving their life to Christ to joining a small group to serving on one of our teams.

5. People are taking the initiative to hang out on Sundays after our gathering. This shows that connecting is becoming part of our culture. You know something becomes part of the culture when it happens naturally. This is starting to become known as, “The After Party.”

6. I’m on my way to pay someone a surprise visit. I’ll tell you about it later.

7. I met with our Creative Team on Saturday. We planned out all of our series between now and the summer. Thanks, Tadd! You really challenged us to step up our game. I am so pumped!

8. We began promoting our new series, Tough Love. It’s going to focus on showing love to others when it’s difficult. Here’s an edited version of the commercial that we showed this Sunday. The version we showed on Sunday had footage of various people. This one only shows the typing of the e-mail message. Enjoy!

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I think I’m going to start doing a Sunday wrap up like my buddies
Darren and Ben. We’ll see how it goes. Here’s the first one.

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1. Had a great time at The Bridge yesterday. Took a a break between series to talk about one of our core values, relationships are essential to growth. The title of the message was very complex and wordy. It was called, “Grow.” At the end, I made a big push for people to join Life Groups. We’vegotten a great response so far. We are launching two new groups this session. According to the most beautiful and gorgeous Small Group Director in the world, my wife, all of the groups have at least four people thus far. Not bad for a brand new church! I’m so glad we did small groups from the beginning. It’s becoming more and more ingrained in our DNA. People are really “getting it.”

2. Our attendance is starting to go back up as people return from the Holidays. Some of our people are still traveling, especially those who are in school.

3. Our volunteers put it down, as usual. Major props goes to Patrice, Amanda, and Dafnette who served despite feeling under the weather. Pray that I don’t go under the weather. I will need all the strength I can get for our next series.

mixtape-e-vite-2.jpg3. I’m excited about our new series starting next Sunday called Mixtape: Dealing with Transitions. Our graphic designer, Jeff, put together this slick 80’s graphic image for the series. Our Creative Team came up with same great ideas for our set design and artistic expressions. I spent some time with my brother-in-law, Fulton, doing a video shoot of him break dancing. Tre, who was supposed to do the video shooting yesterday, was ill. We’re also putting together an iMix soundtrack for the series that people can download from iTunes. Thanks for the idea, Ben.

4. My wind shield wiper got cracked…again 😦

5. Our diversity is continuing to grow. The amazing thing is people are starting to notice and comment about it! I met a guy at Mosaic L.A. who challenged me when I told him I wanted the church to focus on being multi-ethnic. I was a bit offended at first, but I glad I took his advice after seeking God about it. He said to to focus on loving and embracing all people and then let diversity be a by-product of love. It’s reflected in our core value, love transcends diversity. We aren’t satisfied with just having a diverse look on Sundays. We want to see people of different ethnicities and backgrounds doing life together.

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