Just got back from the National Outreach Convention in San Diego. This convention highlighted the fastest growing churches in the U.S., with a particular focus on outreach. The stories of churches that are exploding with growth and impacting their communities are numerous. I found this convention to be one of the best I have attended. Besides the great worship (Lincoln Brewster), it was great hearing from the Pastors who are experiencing phenomenal growth.
I attended this with Matt Simmons, Chris Peppler and Molly Duque. We also had a surprise visit from Amy Larson (who is on our Church Council) who just happened to be on vacation in San Diego. Also, my brother Mike from Minneapolis was in San Diego at the same time for a conference for his employer (Bristol Myers), so I was able to have dinner with him one night. On top of that, my daughter Alicia came down for one night and a full day of the conference. She is having a great time in Ignite (www.getignited.org) and soaked up the conference with us.
I believe that outreach is such a high priority for the Church that this kind of conference is vital. We must focus on reaching the lost and reaching our communities with the Good News. I have come home from this inspired. There is so much room for our churches to grow! I heard story after story of churches that have grown to 7500+ in a relatively short amount of time. They all have a very intentional and aggressive strategy for community outreach and they are willing to pursue that vision with un-abandoned passion. I'm ready to be a part of something like this. As one pastor put it, if you're not going to go after it, take down your sign.