I’m am now back in good ‘ol Dallas. As I reflect upon my time in Nashville, many thoughts come to mind. Here goes:
- Staying with and hanging out with my best friend, Thomas, and his wife Dita. We played Nintendo Wii each night until about 3am. Good times! The Tiger Woods golf game on Wii is amazing! Thomas is the worship leader at Mosaic Nashville, where I went to church Sunday morning and night. It was also nice to eat twice with their pastor, Gary. God is doing some cool things at Mosaic Nashville. I’ve visited several times, so it’s been cool to see them grow and watch what God is doing in their community. If you’re in town, give them a visit.
- Seeing one of my friends from when I lived in Washington DC, who now lives in Nashville. Hanging out with Sarin (and his soon-to-be wife, Rebecca) was a true treat. Sarin is an amazing artist and is working on some very cool projects. We got to eat a couple of times together, catch some movies and he also played electric guitar at Mosaic Nashville on Sunday.
- Getting to hang out with and share many meals with Kirk Longhofer of Wichita, Kansas.
- Having lunch with Bill Seaver of MicroExplosion.
- Hanging out some with the crew from SermonSpice, my sponsor for my classes.
- Getting to speak with the Tech Directors of and hear about what’s going on at the following churches: Bellevue in Memphis, Brentwood Baptist, First Baptist Orlando and First Baptist Jacksonville, FL. Though my church is Non-denominational, I grew up Southern Baptist and have visited these churches before and know of their long history. It’s intriguing to me to see God doing a new thing at these long-standing churches that are trying to change and move forward. According to THIS article on Monday Morning Insight, 90% of churches are in decline.
- Meeting and speaking with some of the staff and key leaders at LifeWay.
- Seeing many Bent Tree members who were at NRB, including our pastor, Pete Briscoe, who was doing a meet and greet for his radio show: Telling the Truth.
- Catching a few classes at NRB. My favorite was my friend, Phil Cooke’s class on branding. He said a lot that is in his new book “Branding Faith“, which I’ve been reading the manuscript of for the last few months. It’s a great read and I’ll review it once I finish it. It was cool to see the actual hardcopy-version of his book. I encourage you to order a copy.
- Walking around the Exhibit Hall and meeting new people/companies, collecting free pens (something I enjoy) and doing a radio interview with a Jewish Ministry. The guy who works for the ministry used to be a tech director in San Antonio, TX and reads my blog. I’ll post a link to the interview when it’s ready.
- My biggest highlights were meeting some of you, regular readers of my blog, who came up and introduced yourself to me. It is so cool to look someone in the eyes, who has been commenting on your blog. I love it!
- Another highlight was my 2 classes that I spoke in. Here is a quick summary of what stuck out to me from the classes I spoke in:
- Large or small, every church has struggles/challenges and is constantly seeking to grow their ministry. I got to talk with people from very small churches to mega-mega-mega churches. It was humbling and amazing to meet fellow tech directors and be able to offer some of my philosophy of ministry and leadership.
- My class called “On the Air: Ten Attributes of a Winning Team” was filled with people that are broadcasting on television. I was absolutely shocked and floored that out of everyone of them that was on TV, none of them had a weekly rehearsal. Their first service was a rehearsal and they couldn’t imagine asking volunteers to come out to rehearsal during the week. I begged them to read my blog. You know how I love talking about leading volunteers!
- In my class, “The Ultimate Q & A”, where the panel just took random classes from the attendees, I got to share my philosophy on being and hiring “equippers” versus “doers”. I shared that leaders are to equip (based on the Ephesians 4 model). It seemed to strike a nerve and was something I believe God wanted me to share about. At Bent Tree, our leaders (whether volunteer or paid) are equippers.
- The major “God-moment” was during the “On the Air” class when I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to say the following, “Stop trying to revive what God is trying to kill.” Some gasped, some cried, some clapped, some said, Amen!”, some sat in silence. I have no doubt that God wanted me to say that and that it spoke right to someone’s (I don’t know who) situation. I’m amazed at the number of churches that have had a TV broadcast for years and never evaluate why they do it and if they should continue to.
- Below are some pictures of other highlights, including great food I consumed in Nashville:
Yes, President Bush spoke at NRB, but no I did not get to see him. I missed it.