Exponential Liveblog: Mark Batterson

Today I am attending a pre-conference, before the main Exponential conference begins tomorrow.  This particular pre-conference is organized by RightNow, a network that aims to help people become “Traders” by trading the life of a consumer for the life of mission, not later, or necessarily somewhere geographically distant, but “right now”.

The first speaker was Mark Batterson, who pastors NCC, a multi-site church in Washington DC that meets primarily in cinemas and subway stations, but also run DC’s largest and top-rated coffee shop, housed in a former crackhouse.  Mark’s talk focused on the guiding passage of his ministry, Matthew 10.   He shared the importance and implications of being called to mission.  A few soundbites:

  • We don’t want just good ideas, but God ideas.
  • We often remember what we should forget, and forget what we should remember.
  • We don’t minister for God, but to God.
  • Why do we emphasize the image of Christ on the cross so much more than the image of the Lamb on the throne?
  • Insecurity is the curse of our pastoral tribe.  Our authority comes from Him.
  • We don’t have the power to make the gospel relevant.  All we can do is make it irrelevant, which is simply being irreverent.
  • We spend so much time learning about our target demographic in church planting, we neglect learning about who we are.
  • A few best practices:
    • Let vision define budget.  They only increase their budget 5% a year, and draw up a separate wish/miracle list.  New church locations are always wish list items.  This is the God-sized vision.  It avoids having to look at the budget every week to see if we can afford what we’re doing, and lets you rejoice when something new becomes possible.
    • Tweak the little things and mix up the routine.
    • Free market small groups
    • Redeem technology

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