So this is my first experience at Exponential. I have been super excited leading up to this and now that it is underway I am not disappointed by how God is meeting me here and really just orchestrated the whole thing!
The night before was a long one of restlessness as I awaited my Disney World experience. I then woke up hours before I needed to as I had planned to rest up for the Mosaix’s Multi-Ethnic Church Forum that began in the afternoon. However, when I woke up I saw a tweet that came in just in time for me to hit the shower and go begin my connecting with church planters and leaders; NewThingNetwork was holding their morning gathering with Dave Ferguson and Oscar Muriu and it was free gathering!
Highlighting speakers from Kenya and Albania, it was a great experience with powerful worship and inspiring stories of global church multiplication.
I have decided to nail down one clear take away from each session I attend throughout this conference. The biggest one I received from the NewThingNetwork morning was simple: ARE YOU THINKING BIG ENOUGH?
The network boasts an audacious goal of 10,000 new churches globally. That’s asking God for big things!
The most catalytic relationship I believe I formed was one with an emerging leader, Muriithi!
“Our passion is to plant Culture Defining churches.” -Muriithi Wanjau, Mavuno Church Nairobi Kenya
Then after lunch the Multi-ethnic Church Forum began.
I got to finally meet Greg Atkinson face to face, after a few ministry interactions online and via phone/video conference, getting some chill time during the conference was nice. Nothing like rubbing shoulders with cool leaders. So, the forum began with Mark DeYmaz the head of Mosaix kicking off the conversations by giving us a framework for the discussions.
If the racial unrest in our country were waves on a shore as we set in our beach chair, then small moves of the chair won’t solve the problem…. “In order to remain credible with the gospel, the American church has to pick up and move their chair.” ~Mark DeYmaz
“I have become convinced that God is not very interested in the church healing the race problem. I believe it is more true that God is using race to heal the church.”~Chris Rice, More than Equals
“You can’t transform anybody outside of proximity and love.” Derwin Gray, Lead Pastor of Transformation Church
“Listen to each other’s story and then get lost in the GREAT story.” Derwin Gray
“Being a part of a multiethnic church guarantees you will be offended!”~Mark DeyMaz #KeepTheRingOn
Prayer, patience and persistence —- That’s how we walk through messy conversations around race.
Before you plant a multiethnic church live a multi ethnic life.
As the diversity of your staff goes, so goes your church.
Is your church culture shaped by the gospel Paul preached (all one in Christ)?
“We don’t want to be know as a diverse church, we want to be known as a gospel church and diversity just comes out of it.” ~Derwin Gray
If you don’t have a theological conviction your practices will wilt under the heat of what it takes to do it.
How we can engage the community and encourage diversity:
1. Be an Advocate:
Act as an advocate for a diverse community.
“Our beliefs are more formed than informed.” ~Ron Dotzler, Elder of Bridge Church of Omaha
2. Be a Bridge:
Be a bridge and let people walk all over you so they could get to Jesus.
If you can’t be a bridge find a bridge.
3. Cultivate a Cause:
Moving from personal relationship with Jesus to a purposeful relationship.
You invited Jesus into your heart…has He invited you into His?
Other Significant thoughts:
Redeem Dark Spaces
Are you redeeming underutilized property?
Strengthen the Family
Longer term solution for solving poverty.
Three Minute Rule
Within the first 3 minutes from when you arrive to church you should be having a conversation with someone you don’t know.
I’ll post again from day 2. I’m sure that it will be just as awesome!