9 Best Moments of ’09

Posted: December 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

 Here are my 9 favorite moments from ’09.  It was another blessed year of grace upon grace.

9. Christian leaders Scot McKnight, Dan Kimball, Mark Batterson and others launched The Origins Project.  Think of it as a more conservative stream of the emerging church conversation with a needed focus on evangelism.  I quickly joined and urge you to do the same.  I pray that God will truly bless this exciting effort.

8. Travel, travel travel.  Okay, this is more than “a moment” but it’s my list, so deal with it!  As a bi-vocational church planter, I spend a lot of time on the road, which can be challenging but does have perks.  I was able to visit a number of great churches this year including Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, The Village Church in Dallas and many others.  It was truly a blessing to spend time at so many innovative ministries and meet so many creative Kingdom servants. 

7. Thanks to a nasty storm in central Ohio last Spring, I was stuck in the Philadelphia airport.  I made my way to the Jet Bar & Grill and found only one table with open seats.  I approached the dread locked draped gent from behind and asked if I could sit with him and he graciously agreed.  The gentleman was Christian author, speaker and activist Shane Claiborne.  We had a great conversation over dinner.  Nice guy and a good time.

6. The 2009 Emergent Conversation was a very laid back affair tucked away at a church in Libertyville, Illinois.  Theologian Jurgen Moltmann was wonderful and Tony Jones did a magnificent job conversing with him.  The break out session with John Franke was also amazing.  FYI, Libertyville is a fine little town.  I discovered a great burger/brewery called Mickey Finn’s, which you have to hit if you are ever in the area. 

5. The Poets, Prophets and Preachers conference in Grand Rapids was simply amazing.  The theme of the conference was “the Art of the Sermon” and all the speakers (Rob Bell, Peter Rollins, Shane Hipps, etc.) brought the thunder.  I also was able to discover Founder’s Brewery in Grand Rapids, which is outstanding! The first night I had a beer with Peter Rollins who talks on the inhale but is always interesting.

4. Catalyst ’09 was a great time.  Incredible worship led by Fee and others as well amazing talks delivered by Rob Bell (“sometimes the crowd thins”), Francis Chan (“I’ve grown tired of reading a lot of books and just want to spend more time reading Scripture”), Matt Chandler (“God is doing what He promised to do in Genesis 12”), Andy Stanley, Chuck Swindoll and others. 

It was just a great blessing to get away with some of the leaders at Revolution.  We ate at The Vortex (highly recommended) and hit the Atlanta Guitar Center.  Good times. 

On a side note, everyone at Revolution is praying for Matt Chandler who is fighting brain cancer.  The Village Church has greatly influenced the leadership team at Revolution and we pray that Matt will help lead it for many years to come.

3. Em and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. The highlight had to be a plane tour of Kona.  We were blessed with a clear morning in which we able to see the lava flowing from a volcano.  We all had microphones to talk to one another in the little plane and everyone had plenty to say until we came to the lava flow then everyone was speechless.  As we all sat staring at this powerful force of creation, the silence was broken by my son who asked, “When’s it going to explode?”  Priceless.

2. Revolution Church (therevolutiononline.org) celebrated it’s 1st year.  God has truly blessed our church plant.  In the last year, we staffed more than 50 dinners for the food insecure, helped more than 60 families prepare for winter and made sure that 60 children of women in local recovery programs had a Christmas. 

Furthermore, God has helped us become financially stable enough to expand and open a children’s ministry, which will kick off soon and increased our average attendance to more than 150 with the average attendee being a de-churched 23 year old.  The Leadership Team’s vision of Worship-Grow-Serve is coming to fruition in our little town.

1. Celebrated 11 years with my wife Em who is truly grace upon grace (Prov. 18:22).

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