The Exponential Conference and NewThing Gathering this past month was just plain awesome! Twice a year we bring together all of our church planters to celebrate what God is doing throughout this rapidly growing church planting movement. We began the Gathering on Monday with worship, wins and inspiration from Dave Ferguson, Lead Visionary of NewThing. Dave shared with us that we are now nearing 125 churches and sites within NewThing, reproducing churches in places like Russia, Kansas City, North Carolina and Chicago.
Jud and Lori Wilhite joined our Gathering to talk to us about "leading out of brokenness" - one of the best talks we have ever had at a NewThing Gathering. We wrapped up our time on Monday with ministry breakouts and networks gathering together to share best practices and look ahead to growing and planting more churches through the growing influence NewThing.
After the Gathering, NewThing presented a special Pre-Conference "Reproducing Leaders at All Levels" based upon Jon and Dave Ferguson's book: Exponential. On Tuesday, the Exponential Conference kicked-off, with the highest attendance of spouses Exponential has ever had!
Throughout the conference everyone within NewThing was praying, networking and looking for church planters or potential Leadership Residents, the top 5%, who would like to come hang out with us at the House of Blues in downtown Disney on Wednesday night.
The House of Blues Event on Wednesday night was called "NewThing Backstage" and we planned a rock 'n' roll theme. Those invited got a special backstage pass and were our guests of honor as we celebrated all that God is doing. We got the opportunity to hear from Michael Frost, author and international missiologist, alongside of Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, Eric Metcalf, Eric Bramlett and Jeff Boriss - what a great night!
We also got to experience a parody of "Behind the Music" called "Behind the Mission"
I'm excited to see what God does next through all the connections we made; through our pastors and church planters and through our Leadership Residents who got a fire hose of vision and training content. We are humbly, growing movement of reproducing churches seeking to live out the Jesus Mission in a big way. I can't wait for Exponential 2013!
NewThing will once again be at the largest gathering of church planters on the planet - The Exponential 2012 Conference.
This will give you and your team several opportunities to connect with us to learn more about what NewThing is doing to catalyze a movement of reproducing churches.
Reproducing Leaders at All Levels
NewThing is offering a unique event that we have never offered in year's past. This year, at the 2012 Exponential Conference, we have invited Michael Frost, internationally recognized missiologist, to speak on the subject of mission in the context of leadership development. The pre-conference event will give you the opportunity to practically apply missional thinking to raising up apprentices, leaders, staff and church planters who bleed the Jesus Mission.
Along with Michael Frost, we will have our very own Dave and Jon Ferguson, co-authors of Exponential and co-founders of Community Christian Church and NewThing, sharing their story and practical skills on how to reproduce leaders at all levels. You will also get a chance to hear from Eric Metcalf, Director of NewThing; Carter Moss, COMMUNITY's Small Groups Champion and many other leaders who have lived out the principles talked about in Exponential.
April 23-24, 2012
Cost $59 per person
Register for the event: click here
NewThing House of Blues Event w/ Michael Frost
Have you recently planted a church? Are you want to plant a church that births into a movement of reproducing churches? Come learn about NewThing's Leadership Residency Program and the benefits of being in one of our 16 Networks across the country.
Also hear from Michael Frost. Michael Frost is an internationally recognized missiologist, author of several books including: Shaping of Things to Come, Jesus the Fool, The Faith of Leap and more recently The Road to Missional. Michael will speak to us on the subject of justice. What he calls: Breathing Shalom; bringing reconciliation, justice and beauty in a broken world.
House of Blues (Downtown Disney)
1490 East Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Register for this FREE event: click here
2011 was a big year for NewThing. We felt a few years ago that God was leading us to focus most, if not all, of our energy towards church planting through our Leadership Residency program. Since that time, we have seen God do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). For the last few years we have seen NewThing double every year, with a goal of 200 churches by early 2013. With this goal in mind, we saw a record high of one new church planted every 11 days with over 70% of those sites being started by one of NewThing's Leadership Residents. We are humbled and grateful for all that God is doing.
Just last week we got to experience a lot fun, vision and inspiration from a some key leaders in the Kingdom. Brandon Hatmaker, author of Barefoot Church, Lead Pastor of Austin New Church in Austin TX, spoke to us on the topic of "Severing the Least in a Consumer Culuture" hitting it out the park as he told his story as to why he started his new church - fantastic stuff!
Dave Ferguson, NewThing Lead Visionary & Movement Leader, spoke to us on "The Beginnings of a Movement" helping us see that NewThing is building steam and we might actually see start to see a movement take place in our lifetime. Dave celebrated the many churches we've started in 2011, and specifically celebrate the 4 new churches we've started in the past couple weeks to reach over 1600 people. Not only that, Dave gave us this TEDS video to illustrate the idea of movement:
Jon Ferguson, NewThing Architet & Movement Leader, brought on the topic of "Making Movements Move" drawing on our commitment to: reproducing, relationships, residents and resources. He challenged us to stay true to those values as we grow. Jon also illustrated how as the movement grows we will need and/or continue to experience: diversity, simple systems, shrinking egos and rapid reproduction.
Brian Zehr, NewThing Director of Coaching & Training | Director of Intentional Impact, talked to us about "Heart of a Reproducing Leader". He pushed us to think about the values or principles that allow us to be a reproducing church or create reproducing church cultures. Talking through humility, collaboration, Kingdom mindset, and fun.
Dave wrapped up the Gathering by reminding us we need to keep a few things in front us as we focus building this movement dedicated to helping people find their way back to God...friendship, competition, trust, etc. To illustrate, check out all the fun we had!
October 6-8, we'll be gathering our church planters from all over the
world: Boston, New York, Detroit, L.A., San Francisco, France, Brazil,
the Philippines (and much more) for our semi-annual NewThing Gathering.
In fact if you are already in NewThing, you can register for the event
by clicking HERE.
It's happening in one of the greatest cities on the planet - Chicago - at Community Christian Church where the NewThing vision took some of its first steps.
Interested in being part of it? We'd love that! Simply complete a free ELI Assessment (choosing NewThing as your organization) so we can get to know you more and we'll be in contact with you about next steps from there.
You are also invited to attend our partnered event, The Jesus Mission Conference, on Saturday, October 8, to learn more about what inspires us. Hear from Reverend and Senator James Meeks, National Director of Forge, Kim Hammond and Lead Pastor of Community Christian Church, Dave Ferguson on reaching people far from God, restoring God's dream for the world and reproducing this mission in others. After the conference, your pre-paid ticket will get you a free lunch at NewThing's Networking Lunch where you will learn more about NewThing and rub shoulders with some of our church planters. We look forward to getting to know you and hope you will be able to join us for one of these events.
I can already feel the synergy of us coming together again to celebrate what God is doing in and through this growing movement of Leadership Residents, Church Planters, Network Leaders, and Movement Leaders. It is going to be A LOT of fun!