Teacher: Tim Keller, Pastor Redeemer NY
Being the Church in our Culture was a great session at the Resurgence conference. Much of what was said I had heard from Keller prior, but what stuck with me was the idea of Redeeming the City. Keller said, “No other religion [except Christianity] has hope for this world.” Keller spoke about the type of eschatology that allows you to inspire people at their jobs, such as investment bankers, as to how this is intricately connected into the dominion mandate given by God to take care of this world. “Unless you see the Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration as declared in scripture, you will not have a theology to redeem this world through work.”
This drum beat of “Redeeming San Diego” continues to resonate with me. This last week, while I was on vacation, I continued to consider what it would look like to be a church focused on redeeming San Diego. How would we act? What would we value? What activities would our people be involved in? I’ll have to post more on this after I’ve spent more time reflectingÄ¶
Keller presented 6 points to effectively reaching the cities for Christ.
I don’t recall who said it, but in a presentation at the Resurgence Conference, someone talked about External vs. Internal Church leaders. Who has examples of a group of leaders who are externally focused? At our church, most of the external leadership centers around our mecy ministries (homeless, teen mentoring, pregnancy crisis center, convalescent homes, etc.) Jamie Munson at Mars Hill serves on community boards and I know other churches have leadership get involved in these type of civic activity. I’d like to determine how to connect with business leaders in San Diego who have a passion for San Diego being redeemed.
What other types of external leaders should a church have? What would that look like? Should there be an equal amount of internal and external leadership in the church?
It’s been a great season of travel, family and learning. If you read my blog, you know I attended the National New Churches Conference in Orlando in April, the Reform & Resurge Conference in Seattle in May and I just returned from Palm Springs where we stayed at a vacation place my parents have. Earlier this month, we were very excited to have my parents and Roman’s birth mom Holly and her daughter here in San Diego for Roman’s dedication. I’ve uploaded some pictures of the trips and the dedication for friends and family to check out!
National New Church Conference
Teacher: Dave Olson, Director of Church Planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church and Director of The American Church Research Project.
Many Christian leaders wonder whether planting new churches is necessary for the future of the American Church. They say: Don’t we have enough churches already? Aren’t most new churches very small? Most new churches don’t survive anyway, do they? Shouldn’t we focus instead on the small, struggling churches we already have?
42-45% of Americans say they go to church on Sunday according to George Barna and George Gallup. From 1991 to 2006 this number increased from 36% to 47%, this is an 11% increase (in a country with roughly 300 million people, this means 33 million people started to attend church. Olson believes these survey's are wrong and are greatly impacted by the halo effect. For example, of those surveyed, 54% said they voted in an area where only 46% actually did. Olson doesn't base his research on these polls but actual headcounts at 200,000 churches. [His question is, how many pastors ever under count attendance?] Some of Olson's findings include:
17.7% of the US population attends church. This breaks down into 9% evangelical, 5.5% Catholic and 3.1% Mainline denominations.
The rate of those who attend church is declining. In the West, there is a -1.2% decrease in the population of who attends church in the 1994-2004 timeframe. Nationwide, to just to keep up with population growth, we would need to plant 51,826 more churches than we did in this period. Including churches that were planted, this means we would have needed to plant over 100,000 churches! The greatest increase and conversion occurs in church plants. For more of the statistics, and for specific statistics for the top 80 Metro areas, go to The American Church.
We've gone to the National New Churches Conference and the Resurgence conference. What's next? What other conferences would you recommend? Here's my vote: Continue reading
Linda Stanley has a number of posts/notes from her experience at the Resurgence conference. Each post also includes pdf notes she took for each session. Leadership Network also announced a long-term book deal with Zondervan to target emerging church leaders and church planters. The first book is Mark Driscoll’s Confessions of a Reformission Rev: Hard Lessons From an Emerging Missional Church.
Session from the National New Church Conference
Teacher: Dr. Tom Jones, Regional Director Stadia East
This session went over an introduction to raising funds for a church planter. Dr. Jones outlined different finance models such as the Mother church, Associations, Denominations, Network, Self-Support, Lay Launch teams, Business-supported and other models. When it comes to raising funds Dr. Jones suggests that you "Make sure you are clear about your call and vision, asking questions such as:
Imago Dei Community (designed by their community with the Ekklesia Church CMS backend) launched today. This is one of the more ambitious Ekklesia installs to-date with a large site, 1,000+ people in the community and tons of data. Congrats to them on their hard work and the new launch. While you are there, I recommend Rick’s preaching to anyone!
[Speaking of re-designs, I changed the look at Goodmanson.com too!]
The Resurgence conference just ended and what a week it has been. Steve McCoy (aka Reformissionary) has a few posts on the conference. It was good to meet bloggers such as Steve, Kevin Cawley, Pete Williamson and Bruce Chant (All the way from Perth down under!) [Click for larger picture of blogging group. Picture from Steve.] Great sessions, which I’ll have to digest and post on (along with the ones from the National New Churches Conference two weeks ago). Praise God I’m taking next week of to head to Palm Springs and can take some time to reflect….hopefully I’ll come back with some post-worthy topics, but I do know that I have two big announcements I learned at the conference that I hope I can post soon…..