Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Origins Experience: Looking Foward, Looking Back

In just a few hours, Aaron (our worship/youth pastor) & I take off for sunny Southern California to participate in The Origins Experience, a "conference" led by the folks at Mosaic. My plan is to blog about this (a) from Aaron's laptop while we're there, and (b) when I get home.

Yeah, they'll be plenty of time for play: we're going to a Dodgers game and plan on hanging out at least one night with some of my gamer buddies... but I don't expect this to be a "comfortable" experience - despite my profound respect for Erwin McManus & Eric Bryant & all the folks at Mosaic. I expect this to be a challenging experience, as I struggle with allowing the Spirit of God to fan the flames of my calling into ministry and as Aaron & I use this time to connect deeply as friends & compatriots in the work of the church. Stuff like that doesn't happen easily.

Here's part of a summary I wrote 3 years ago about The Origins Experience 2004.

The Origins Experience is not your typical ministry/leadership conference - this is not about process or programs or strategy or structure. Practical teaching (how-to's) were primarily found in the breakout sessions.

Instead, the focus of the Origins Experience is on the issues of culture, community & spiritual passion.


  • What endeavor could we undertake that would be so reflective of the heart of God that even failure would be success?
  • Are you managing or catalyzing?
  • Are you leading from biblical or business principles?
  • Are you leading from a spiritual center or a strategic center?
  • Are you more like an architect, designer, or artist? How do you grow in all three?
  • Are you leading up to the level of real turbulence (but leaving the real battles unfought)
  • Are you hearing the voice of God... or is your Christianity a series of rumors about God?

Powerful Quotes

  • It is significant that the history of the first-century church is called the book of Acts, not the book of truths.
  • If those who prepare for leadership are looking for the safe place, who will lead the church into the dangerous places?
  • The ultimate goal of American Christianity should not be to make us good citizens, but to make us revolutionaries in the cause of Jesus Christ.
  • It's hard to believe that a movement born of visionaries and dreamers would have dominantly known for its traditions and rituals.
  • We have put so much emphasis on avoiding evil that we have become virtually blind to the endless opportunities for doing good.
  • I know this may sound like heresy, but it is more important to change what people care about than to change what they believe.
  • If we can do it without God, it doesn't count.
  • If our hearts don't burn for unsaved people, there is not much evidence of us being a church.
  • Human beings are far more environmental than they are informational. Spiritual leaders are called to create environments.
  • The battle is not about style or structure. It's about infusing the values of God. Which begs the question: does the value system of your community reflect the values & passions of Jesus Christ?
  • You've got to be willing to lose your job in order to do your job.
  • My job is not to feed the sheep, it's to make people hungry for God.
  • The limit of leadership is who you are in the presence of God.
  • You must become the person you long for your congregation to be.
  • Non-negotiable: if in fifteen years, my kids have left the church, but I love it, I have failed. On the other hand, if they are still a vital part of the church, but I hate it, I've succeeded.
  • The Gospel came to you on the way to someone else.

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