Friday, March 16, 2007


I have been in South Carolina since Wednesday. Myself along with the other guys who are on our Worship Design Team here at Grace Church that are part of planning all of our worship services, have been attending the UNLEASH conference for church leaders being held at the New Spring Church in Anderson, SC. This is a church pastored by a dynamic leader named Perry Noble (pictured). This church has not had a permanent building until just about a year ago. Until that time, their entire church was portable. The church actually started with just 15 people in a living room! They had no money or resources…just vision. They are not located in a big city. There entire county has right at 170,000! Their demographics are very similar to ours. Yet God has blessed them and in just a few short years they have grown to over 9,000 in weekly attendance and have seen scores of people come to faith in Christ.

At this conference Perry has been teaching on the leadership challenge and making it in ministry. He has covered information that has kept him on track, allowed him to maintain a steady pace, and also allowed his relationship with his wife not to fall to pieces in the process. Apart from these main sessions, I have been able to attend a senior pastors only roundtable discussion where we could talk about issues pertinent to us. This conference has been for more than just senior pastors. The other three guys have benefited greatly as well. Perry has talked about leadership and sustaining a reasonable pace in ministry. He has challenged all of us to make sure we are able to do just that. As well as these main sessions we have been part of roundtable discussions covering topics like:

· The creative process
· Leading authentic worship
· The volunteer experience
· Student ministry…the church of today
· Staffing for success
· Creating community
· Financially equipping your congregation
· Blogging and communications

I cannot tell you how beneficial it is once in a while to be able to break away from our own ministry here in Lititz which absorbs us and to be able to take a few days and see how someone else is doing it. It is energizing. Each year I try to find a conference like this to attend so that I can get my spiritual and ministry batteries recharged and come home with a lot of ideas that I can evaluate to discover what can better help us here at Grace Church to effectively meet people where they are and help move them where God wants them to be.

The four of us (myself, Andy Brightbill; Matt McElravy; and Rick Glass) will get home Friday night and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell by our demeanor and our passion on Sunday that God has used this opportunity down south to sharpen each of us for His glory!

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