Drive '10 Conference - Day One Reflections

Okay.  I have to admit. I have a little bit of church envy. 

After hanging out in the expansive confines of Northpoint Community Church in suburban Atlanta, I came to the realization that it really would be nice to have a children's ministry area in my church that looks like a city street complete with mock storefronts for each class room, a theater and a cafe.  Did I mention that was the JUST THE CHILDREN'S MINISTRY AREA? I did.  Okay. 

I am attending the Drive Conference at Northpoint.  This is the annual "download"session that the Northpoint leadership staff hosts for church leaders.  The tagline for Drive is "because we're not there yet."  In other words, you keep driving... because you're not quite at your destination... there yet.  Anyway.   It's a "download" session because the Northpoint leadership basically downloads to all the rest of us the stuff that they have been learning about doing and being church.  Northpoint has over 20,000 people in worship each Sunday at their three campuses--all of which are completely different.  Buckhead Church is located in a trendy-ish urban neighborhood of Atlanta.  Brownsbridge Church is located in a more rural area outside of Atlanta. 

Despite my proclivity toward cynicism I found myself enjoying the first day of conference a whole lot more than I thought I would.  My "pre-conference" workshop was a showcase of Intersect, Northpoint's mission "division."  I was pleasantly surprised that Northpoint doesn't try to reinvent the wheel--they partner with Atlanta area charities (many of which are not overtly "Christian" missions) who are already in the field with existing systems.  Then they throw their substantial resources to deal with at-risk children and homeless/hunger issues.  In all things you will discover that Northpoint values focus, clarity in communication and grand vision.  I'm learning from this, believe it or not.  I could use more clarity and more grand visions.  

The General Session started off with an over-the-top musical explosion from one of Northpoint's bands.  A female singer dropped in from the ceiling singing the Rhianna intro to Jay-Z's "Run This Town."  Here's  a pic of just that.... 

I dug this.  I am easy to please.  

After a worship set with songs that I didn't know, Andy Stanley took the stage and delivered an inspiring message about dreaming the impossible.  The one quote that I really took away from this was "Reality takes what is possible and shrinks it down to something manageable."  I get that.  Stanley is an awesome preacher and a great speaker.  I wasn't sure this was the best thing I have heard him deliver, but still....  It was all good. 


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