Monday, October 29, 2012

The Nines 2012: Highlights

Last week, I spent 12 or so hours locked in my office listening to a dizzying array of speakers via Leadership Network's online conference The Nines... and, as usual, some of those folks absolutely blasted me with their wisdom & insight into ministry.

This year's overarching topic was "Too Hot To Handle" - and The Nines certainly delivered. What follows is a series of quotes from the presenters that manage to lodge in my brain... many of them I Tweeted during the event.

Moral Failure 
  • "Everything you say must be true, but everything true does not need to be said." (Craig Groeschel)
  • "Grace is doing the most loving thing." (Pete Briscoe)
  • "Their current failure doesn't diminish their past successes in ministry; but their ministry does not diminish their current failure." (Brad Powell)
  • "Forgiveness & restoration are two different things." (Matt Williams)
  • "The thing that kills organizations is not the original sin; it's the cover-up." (Rich Nathan)
Rogue Staff
  • "Say the hard things before it's hard to say things." (Brian Tome)
  • "90% of all leaders are sitting on a conversation that you know you need to have." (Michael Fletcher)
  • "A leader forfeits his leadership when he fails to make the tough calls." (Bryan Carter)
  • "A toxic culture will eat vision for lunch." (Sam Chand)
Social Justice
  • "Christ's example: do good works wherever He preached." (Krish Kandiah)
  • "God was at work before you came... look for His leading." (Dave Gibbons)
  • "We need to ask ourselves, 'If our church ceased to exist would our community notice?'" (Dave Ferguson)
  • "'To preach or to serve?' It's not an either-or question any more than the question 'to live or to breathe?'" (Dan Ohlerking)
Rapid Growth
  • "The biggest issues are not space or buildings as much as the personal issues the leaders face. Manage your own house well!" (Scott Williams)
  • "Systems are like underwear - they need to be changed often." (ND Strupler)
Elder Boards
  • "You want your board to actually like meeting together." (Larry Osborne)
  • "Do not give away your power easily; it is difficult to get back." (Sebastian Van Wessem)
  • "Without clearly defined roles, the elders will default back to their individual personalities." (Jim Powell)
  • "Boards are not a problem by design; they only become a problem when the wrong people sit on the board." (Steve Stroope)
  • "Elders bring baggage with the 'seed of evil' into the leadership circle... scared, scarred, confused or ignorant describe the four most common types of baggage." (Mike Bonem)
  • A great conversation to have with your elders: "A year from now, how are you going to keep score?" (Scott Wilson)
Kill A Church Program
  • "That room doesn't belong to your Sunday School class - we're not going to get into a hostage negotiation." (Mark Driscoll)
  • "Productive growth may initially look like shrinkage." (Eric Geiger)
  • "Things that matter the most must not be at the mercy of those things which matter the least." (Eric Geiger)
  • "Weak leaders struggle with killing programs because attendance equates to success to them." (Scott Lehr)
  • "If you want fans - start a Facebook page, if you want disciples - preach the Gospel." (Scott Lehr)
  • "Five options: combine, contributize, cascade, cage, cut..." (Will Mancini)
  • "Programs have a life cycle... they can outlive their productivity." (Brian Bloye)
  •  "Every pastor need to know how much disappointment of others he can handle." (Bruce Wesley)
Grab Bag
  • "Oftentimes, wives of men in ministry are spiritual widows." (Matt Carter)
  • "You are the most spiritually influential man in many people's lives... are the most spiritually influential man in your wife's life?" (Matt Carter)
  •  "God is an artist. He will never lead you to copy someone else." (Ken Shigematsu)
  • "Our weaknesses are the most powerful path for connecting to Christ & to others." (Chip Sweeney)
  • "You can spend a lot of time listening [to social media]... don't waste your time & give away your personal peace!" (David McGee) 
  • "Your calling has nothing to do with your position." (Jorge Molina)
  • "Are you more concerned about the success of your spiritual children than about your own success?" (Neil Cole)
  • "Change is not criticism." (Laurie Beshore)
  • "Love the mission more than your opportunity to advance the mission." (Aaron Brockett)
  • "It is here at the foot of the cross that we shrink to our one true size." (John Stott quoted by Aaron Brockett)
  • "Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy." (Warren Wiersbe quoted by Daniel Fusco)
  • "Giving should be a time of celebration, not a reaction of desperation." (Chris Elrod)

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