As you know I spoke at the BUG Conference on Monday. I arrived Sunday evening so I could attend Church of the Highland’s 6pm service. With 12 Sunday services across 5 campuses, Church of the Highlands is the fastest growing church in the US.
I visit a lot of churches and have been to all of the “big boys”. I must say, Church of the Highlands and pastor Chris Hodges lived up to the hype. The worship experience truly was a celebration. I (as a former worship pastor) truly appreciated Chris Hodges’ heart for worship and how he led by example and through exhortation to the attendees.
Their music was solid and well done. Their tech (sound, video and lights) was great and reminded me a lot of what we did at Bent Tree. And Chris Hodges is a terrific communicator. I appreciate his spirit, his humor, his liveliness and all around excitement that he brings to the stage.
All this and you’d never know that there was a thunderstorm that knocked all the power out twice! We literally sat in the dark and then when the lights came back on there was no video, no sound, nothing – and God still moved. I still think it was a wonderful experience and can’t wait to go back this coming Sunday night again. I’m going on a church planter assessment with the good folks of ARC on Monday and Tuesday and since I’m flying back to Birmingham Sunday night, I hope to catch their 6pm service again!
The BUG Conference was a total success. For a first year, I think ARC and specifically, Guy Walker, did an amazing job putting it together. The main sessions were solid and informative. The workshops were all great and well taught. The community and relational side of the conference was great, too.
As you know, I’m at a lot of conferences, but again, there was something special about this one. Maybe it was the topic of social media/social networking and seeing how relevant and educational it was for the attendees. Maybe it was the smoothness of the conference experience and how it seemed they’d done this before. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I wholeheartedly endorse it and encourage you to go if there is another one in the future.