Reflections from Bootcamp – Day 2

Day 2 of the Acts 29 Bootcamp / Lead Conference far exceeded any expectations that I had.  This was by far one of the most helpful and productive days I’ve experienced of late.  Darrin Patrick started things off and sort of set the tone for the day with a message on “Gospel Centered Repentance.”  In it he talked about having a Godly sense of reluctance and living a life of repentance.  One of the phrases he used that was seared into my mind was, “Dependence (on God) is the soil in which Godly character grows and nurtures.”  The tone he set for the day was one of authenticity and off-the-cuffedness: open-about-our-brokenness, open-about-our-realness, open-about-our-sinfulness, and open-about-our-need-for-Jesus.  This isn’t your normal conference “tone.”  You’ll want to check out this message when the audio (video?) becomes available.

Eric Mason preached next on the topic of “Hybrid Leaders” and the importance of doing cross-cultural leadership in a multi-cultural context.  Next up was Dr. Chapell who gave an amazing talk on “Christ-Centered Preaching.”  I can now see why I need to read his book and why everyone I have ever met has told me that it is the book to read on preaching.  Dr. Chapell’s message was extremely helpful – especially on the topic of grace – and I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Following Dr. Chapell’s message was a Q/A session with Eric Mason, Darrin Patrick, and Dr. Chapell.  In this session they took up questions regarding style of preaching, people who have influenced their specific preaching, the influence of John Piper and Tim Keller in preaching, humor in preaching, preaching to men, preparation for preaching, team/wife’s involvement in preaching, and their own unique approach and prep for preaching (manuscript vs. outline, etc).

Over lunch, I learned about a company called Clover which specializes in helping church planters get a website up and running.  They demo’d their stuff and it was impressive: slick and easy to use.  The price was also impressive ($1000 plus $20/mo for unlimited hosting).

The last session of the day was a bootcamp session led by Daniel Montgomery from Sojourn Church in Louisville.  This was Part II of the “Gospel DNA” series and focused on leading the mission as a (normal, regular) Christian, being a faithful pastor, and leading as a theologian.  This was probably one of the most helpful conference messages I’ve heard and what made it so unique was that he pulled three other church planters up front with him.  He would then talk about one of these focus topics, and then throw questions over to these three guys (who were extremely open and honest) so we could see how some of this was being played out (successfully, or not) in their own lives and churches.  Really, really good stuff that was open and authentic and real.  Highly recommended.

The day wound down with a dinner in which I met my assessor team.  Scott Thomas talked about Acts 29 in general and sort of gave us a grid for understanding the assessment process a little bit better.  One thing he mentioned was that out of all of the church planting organizations in the world, he believes Acts 29 is unique in the fact that they use real (and recent) church planters to do the assessments.  I appreciate that a lot.  I want to hear a guy who is in the throws of knowing how hard it is (or is perhaps just coming out of those throws) tell me how hard it is going to be.  I want these guys to look over my relationship with God, my marriage, my family, my theology, my life and my entire application and tell me if they think I’ve got what it takes.  I also want to hear them identify my weaknesses and help me to see where I need to grow.  I’m really looking forward to the assessment on Thursday.  For being the fore-running church planting organization in the world, there is a lot of humility and honesty going on in Acts 29 and that is much, much appreciated.  There are about 20 guys going through the assessment process this week here in St. Louis.  According to Scott, typically 50% of those that go through it actually make it to becoming an approved Acts 29 church plant.

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the best things about this conference has been meeting different people and hearing what God is doing in their lives.  Today I met several of the guys from Coram Deo that came along with Bob Thune.  I also met a guy named Caleb and his wife from Springfield, MO who are heading to NY.  I met Seth and Amy Shelton – from Battlefield, MO who are looking to plant a church in Springfield, MO.  During one of the breaks, I caught up with Steev Inge from Mystery Church down in Joplin.  I’ll be preaching down there over Thanksgiving and it was nice to put a face and a personality with the email conversations he and I have been having.  Finally, I met my assessors over the dinner I mentioned above: Bob Thune, Sam Byers, Hunter Beaumont, and Cole Brown.  Meg and I will be sitting down with the four of these guys (and Cole’s wife, I believe) for a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon for the formal assessment portion of the week.  If you’re interested, you can find out more about Bob’s church (Omaha) here, Sam’s church (Hannibal, MO) here, Hunter’s church (Denver) here, and Cole’s church (Portland, OR) here.

Yesterday was a really good and challenging day.  It really caused me to slow myself down a bit and just reflect on what God is up to.  It caused me to repent and to trust God more fully as well.  When I got home last night, Meg and I had a really good conversation just sort of unpacking some of all of this (she was able to watch a couple of the sessions via the live stream over the web).  We’re both excited, fearful, humble, and yet confident about what God is up to in our lives.

Today will be another full day of conference messages and meeting new people.  I’ll be down at The Journey from roughly 9am to 6pm.  If you’re interested, be sure to check out the live stream from the conference today via the Planting Channel.  I’ll also link all of the audio once it is up on the Acts 29 website so you can download it at your leisure.

Also: even if you don’t plan to stream the sessions, go over to the Planting Channel’s site via the link above and check out the photos from the conference in the bottom right-hand portion of the screen.

Wednesday, October 22
9:15 AM – 10:00 AM: Randy Nabors on “City Leaders”
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM: Matt Carter on “Broken Leaders”
4:45 PM – 5:30 PM: Jonathan McIntosh on “Missional Leaders”

~ by toddbumgarner on October 22, 2008 6:36 am.

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