I went to the Unleash 09 Conference this year. Without a doubt, this was the best conference that I have been to. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot things that made an impression on me were:
- The happy-to-do-it volunteers. I think there were 500 of them. Every one of these people smiled and waved to every vehicle pulling in that I could see.
- There was a mob volunteers who hootin-n-hollerin with everyone that came in. These people were located at the entrance. They gave directions to where you needed to go. They spoke to everyone that I could see.
- It was a Thursday. I wondered how many of these people gave up a vacation day from work to help at this event on behalf of their church? I can’t even get people to come to church on Sunday consistently; and like it.
- I know that these volunteers have been coached that what they do is important. And, that they must make everyone feel welcomed; it works!
Pastor Perry Noble was straight forward in each main session. This conference was not the type that has someone come in to do some group counseling. Instead, Perry challenged everyone to weather whatever storm they were facing and go hard for Jesus. Let me share some thoughts about Perry Noble:
- As much as I would like to, out of jealousy, I can’t deny that God is using him. I see it!
- He had a breakout session for Senior Pastors only. This was conducted the right way. Pastors were able to ask questions and he answered every one. He did this graciously.
- Every pastor wanted to know how he did it. Pastor Noble was careful to point to the mission of spreading the Gospel. In other words, sharing Christ is the difference.
- He is straight forward about salvation through Jesus Christ alone. This is not a liberal preacher. He fears for people who are lost because they will go to Hell if they do not give their lives to Jesus Christ. Preachers and churches everywhere would do well to be burdened in this way.
For those seeking the formula for church growth. And, I suspect that is why most churches and pastors showed up to this conference. They want to know how to get to where Newspring is; and is going.
- Preach Jesus Christ! He is Savior, Lord, He will be Judge, He is coming back soon, He is Healer, Miracle Man, He is All that we need.
- Terms that were called a fad: Contemporary, Emergent, Missional, and etc. He believes these will outdated in 3 years. I think he is right.
- A funny illustration about Missional: All churches are missional or they are not churches. Saying that we are missional is like a fish swimming around saying I love water.
- There is no formula! Just Jesus. Amen.
The worship team was phenomenal! I would say they are as good as anybody that I have paid to see. That is saying a lot.
- I have not been moved in worship like that in a long time. Let’s admit it, we get bored with the way we systematically do it.
- It was good to see one of the singers get moved by the Spirit. I have not seen that for a while.
- The songs were so good.
- The music was loud. This meant that I could sing loud and not make anyone sick.
Let’s talk about the money!
- $59. Did you read that! I will say it again, $59.
- They did not make any money, I don’t think. They gave each person Lee McDerment CD. Great worship music! It would probably cost $16 to buy it.
- They gave us Chik Fila for lunch. $6 to buy it.
- Free drinks and snacks all day! $5 per person.
Hey! Christians! Let’s get motivated to preach Jesus. Thank you to Newspring for caring for all, no matter what denomination that is Christian, because we are on the same team. As Perry said, we don’t compete, but we complete each other. I have been refreshed.
To all of those that Perry and Newspring down, get over it. Let’s all do what God called us to do without worrying what the other person is doing. Did you know that there are enough lost in Pickens County alone that they could not possibly fit into all of our churches? I am going to seek to do my part in God’s Kingdom. What about you? Or, will you focus on petty things and continue to put Newspring down because they are getting it done?
It has been a while since someone encouraged me like I was at Unleash. Thanks be to God!