Last week I had the privilege of attending the Exponential East conference in Tampa. Exponential is a conference dedicated to church planting and multiplication. Rather than each local church focusing solely on getting larger, this conference desires that more churches are planted, campuses are launched, leaders are developed, etc., so more people can be reached for Christ. It’s about the capital “C” Church (the Kingdom) growing. Pretty sweet.
With that said, Exponential invited over 175 speakers (not just the big name Christian leaders in America, but little known leaders from around the world who are making a significant impact) and offered 150+ workshops that complemented the conference objective. I attended workshops on discipleship, evangelism, leadership, creativity, vision, being missional, cultural engagement and much more. To say I was mentally drained after the week is an understatement. But it was sooo good! It was refreshing. And it stretched and challenged me in just about every way I could be, which is always healthy.
Since the majority of you who read this were not at the conference, I wanted to give you a taste of some of the content in a tweetable format. If you’re a church leader you’ll eat this up. If you’re not, it should be encouraging to you that leaders are having these worthwhile conversations.
Here are my top 25 quotes from the week!
1. There are 3 reasons people don’t share their faith: 1) Fear. 2) They aren’t passionate about Jesus. 3) They haven’t seen Jesus “work” for them in their life. – Jeff Vanderstelt
2. Christians who are seeking another Bible study to fill their time are normally just using that as a substitution for obedience to God. – Jeff Vanderstelt
3. You choose who you lose. Stop worrying about making everyone happy. Instead, make the right people unhappy. – Steve Stroope
4. Does your prayer life match the responsibility God has entrusted to you? – Joby Martin
5. Passion moves people’s hearts, not rightly exegeted texts. – Shawn Lovejoy
6. Your role as a leader is to raise up other leaders. It’s not about you just sitting in an office and coming up with ideas. – JD Greear
7. You want your team to have buy in not just compliance. – Steve Stroope
8. The best vision is a shared vision. Let other people contribute to its development and then let them own it and run with it. – JD Greear
9. We have to care more about how our people are doing than what they are doing for us. – Joby Martin
10. The stuff that wears you out and that you aren’t good at is someone else’s unique ability. Learn to delegate. – Steve Stroope
11. Leadership is anticipation. It’s solving problems before anybody knows there is a problem. – Steve Stroope
12. The cross is not a tragedy it’s a strategy for His kingdom come. – Danielle Strickland
13. What if the lack of growth of the American church has more to do with the leader’s idolatry of success and bigger buildings than it does with the hard hearts of the people? – JD Greear
14. People aren’t primarily moved or changed by bullet points or sermons. They are changed when you give them a different story to live into. – Michael Frost
15. God captures not by force, but by the imagination of his fallen creatures. – Michael Frost
16. “What we need in America is multiplied weakness; tear filled pastors.” – Derwin Gray
17. Encoded into the DNA of suburban American is “be safe”, “build houses,” “renovate your kitchen,” “send your kids to the best schools.” Left to their own devices they will be sucked into the American dream. The only thing that will draw them out is story….Stop only telling people that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. Tell them what it could look like if they lived like Jesus. Tell them the story of God and what it could look like if they saw heaven. – Michael Frost
18. We often never become who God has created us to be because we allow ourselves to be who everyone expects us to be. – Dave Rhodes
19. Influence is what happens when everyone is gathered. Impact is what happens when everyone is scattered. – Dave Rhodes
20. Jesus didn’t just come and die on a cross. He lived before us. Why? To show us how to live. – Hugh Halter
21. Close proximity to people doesn’t mean you condone their behavior. It just means you are with them like Jesus was. – Hugh Halter
22. To be self-righteous is to think that others’ sins are worse than yours. – Hugh Halter
23. In today’s world nobody belongs anywhere because everybody belongs everywhere. – Michael Frost
24. A transactional gospel translates to people who don’t need discipleship. It’s simply a transaction. I receive Christ and I get out of hell. We need to recover the full gospel. Follow me. Come and die. It’s all of life. – Bobby Harrington
25. Jesus is not a footnote to our story. He is the story. – Derwin Gray