This week our staff attend the ARC All Access Conference at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. It was a great event and very encouraging and challenging for our team. Here are a few thoughts from some of the conference speakers.
1. “You cannot stand before people for God unless you first stand before God for the people.” Robert Morris shared this thought in his challenge to pastors to pray. He said that every pastor at Gateway is required to have a team of intercessors who pray for them. He also encouraged pastors to start every elders meeting with 30-60 minutes of prayer. It builds unity and reduces conflict.
2. “You must lead the shepherds and feed the sheep.” Robert Morris shared this in his challenge to be committed to studying God’s Word. His message came from the story of Moses and Jethro in Exodus 18.
3. ARC Values – Greg Surratt, the new president of ARC, shared three essential values of ARC: We Plant Life; We Love Each Other Deeply; We Will Never Forget the Little Guy. These values contribute to the ARC’s success rate: 93% of churches started by the ARC are still in existence 5 years after their launch.
4. “Your response to offense will determine your future…Travel light because resentment is a dream killer.” Chris Hodges from Church of the Highlands was very transparent about challenges he has experienced in his life, leadership, and ministry. He encouraged leaders to refocus on what’s happening in them not to them.
5. “Draft impact players…don’t hire projects.” Ed Young fired off 20 different leadership thoughts…this being one of them. He encouraged pastors to keep T.H.E.Y. in mind when hiring. Hire people who are Tough, Honest, Encouraging, and Yes men & women (They say yes to God and yes to the vision).
6. “Give people what they want, not what they think they want.” Greg Surratt challenged leaders to consider that most people really don’t know what they want. When asked, their only point of reference is that which has already been done. Leaders must invent the future. Only then can they truly give people what they want.
7. “Honor empowers and dishonor disables.” Dino Rizzo from Healing Place Church encouraged leaders to realize that their best days are ahead of them. He reminded leaders to guard their hearts (Proverbs 4:20-24). And he encouraged leaders to create a culture of honor.
8. “Today’s relevance becomes tomorrow’s religion.” Preaching from Exodus 37, Stovall Weems reminded us that something might look dead, but if it’s not buried it can live again. We need the right form (function)…which has been a major emphasis of the church in the last 15 years. We want to be relevant. But the end game is the transformation of lives. Otherwise our relevance becomes tomorrow’s religion. Relevance is not the goal, transformation is.
9. “Four Phases of Uncommon Clarity.” Speaking from Acts 20:22-24, Craig Groeschel from LifeChurch challenged leaders to consider four phases of uncommon clarity. Clarity begins with the Spirit’s prompting, and then leads to certain uncertainty. God only gives you steps one, two, and three and then expects you to take a step of faith before he’ll show you steps five, six, and seven. If you’re not afraid, you’re not leading in faith. Then predictable resistance follows. Groeschel observed, “If you’re not ready to face opposition for your obedience to God, you’re not ready to be used by God…Don’t worry when you face resistance, worry when you don’t.” The outcome of this process is uncommon clarity.
10. “Three Levels of Impact.” Craig Groeschel concluded his message with three levels of impact: Make a name for yourself (which focuses on how good I am and everyone else is the enemy); Make a Difference (which focuses on how good we are and everyone else is the enemy); Make History (which focuses on how good God is and Satan is the enemy). Our focus should be making history.
There were many other great thoughts from the conference. These are just a few. If you attended All Access, what would you add to the list?