I got back from Innovation3 last week. I'll try to refrain from hyperbolic pronouncements regarding the conference, but it was truly amazing. I tend to (sinfully) view the American church with a good measure of cynicism/pessimism, predominantly because so few churches experience genuine conversion growth. Thus, I was encouraged to hear that people are indeed planting churches in America, said churches are making disciples, people are coming to Christ, and the gates of hell are not going to prevail against the church. I'll try and distill what I gleaned by providing some axioms from various speakers (n.b. these are
paraphrases, and hence I'm playing it safe and not putting anything in quotations).
1. We must look to God alone for blessing. Any dependence on human blessing in ministry will kill us - Tim Keller.
2. Successful ministry depends on an absolute willingness to fail. The fear of failure is crippling to ministry - Craig Kroschell.
3. You have to actually listen to non-Christians if you want a fruitful ministry - Stacy Spencer.
4. We need to change our conception of church from a "what" to a "who". The church is not an entity "out there", which we can detach ourselves from and analyze. We are the church - the presence of Christ- wherever we find ourselves to be - Reggie McNeal
5. The dangerous church in 2010 must do the following...
- Increase our generosity/stewardship (particularly in lieu of the current economic crisis.
- Have a biblically robust/well articulated view of gender/sexuality.
- Address sexual brokenness (we are just scratching the surface of this topic in the church).
- Rethink discipleship
- Ed Stetzer (there were gobs of other good things he said, but I can't recall them at present).
6. A gate is not an offensive weapon. The gates of hell are not assailing the church. We will knock down the gates of hell through making disciples for Christ - Neil Cole
7. Church planting is an outgrowth of making disciples. The focus isn't church planting; it's disciple-making - A whole bunch of people.
8. Community without mission will fail. Mission gives a community its energy and purpose - Matt Carter.
That's about all I can think of at present. Keep checking Leadership Network's site for material from the conference.