Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm Pumped: Whiteboard is coming and I'm going!!!

Two weeks ago, while on Ben Arments blog, which I found through Matt Morgan's Whiteboard Facebook group, I learned about the Whiteboard sessions that will be taking place on May 22nd in the Reston, VA/DC area.

Here is a brief description of this conference,which appears on Whiteboard's website:

Strategy + Ministry
The Whiteboard Sessions is about the power of an idea in its raw, most conceptual form. One simple idea could forever change your life and ministry. We’ve invited 8 of the most inspiring leaders in ministry to share one compelling idea in just 30 minutes each. They come from different ministry circles and use a variety of methods, but they all have one thing in common: a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a desire to see lost people reached. You will be stretched by their thinking and challenged by their insights. The very idea you resist could be the key to God’s future for you. Who knows, you might even find confirmation for the dream God’s already revealed to you. But whatever the reaction, one thing is certain: you will never be the same.

From the first moment I heard about this conference I was hooked. When I learned that Ed Stetzer and John Burke are two of the eight speakers who will be presenting their ideas on church planting, I began to druel even more. I have heard Stetzer speak while at at least four conferences I have attended and had a chance to meet and chat with him when he was in Troy, N.Y. back October 2006 at an Acts29 boot camp hosted by Terra Nova Church. Ed Stetzer serves as the director of missiology with Lifeway Resources and is, without a doubt, the leading thinker of our day in the incarnational/missional church movement.

Ed also happens to be a fellow native New Yorker, but I won't let that sway my opinion of him (Go Bills and Sabres).

I have yet to hear John Burke speak, but I have read his book, "No Perfect People Allowed." In this book John speaks of developing and maintaining a "come as you are" environment in the local church. He speaks from personal experience as he sought a way to reach the inner-city people of Austin, Texas, in his endeavors to plant Gateway Community Church. In the midst of his church planting effort, he sought to bridge the gap between the church and the people who were coming to Gateway's gatherings, with messy lives intact. I'd have to say, of all the books I have read over the past year or so, "No Perfect People Allowed," has impacted me the most. I am planting a church in one of the darkest, most depressed communities in New York's capital region. Burke's practical advice has already been put into practice at the CORE Church of Troy as we welcome Christ seekers with open arms, messy lives and all.

I am also looking forward to hearing Perry Noble, Darrin Patrick, Mark Dever, Vince Antonucci, Mark Batterson and Tim Stevens speak. These are all men who are leaders and practitioners in the emerging church movement. I am looking forward to gleaning as much wisdom as I can from these men of God. I am also looking forward to meeting many others who have caught the church planting bug.

There is a movement sweeping around the world. I, for one, believe this movement will be the cause of a worldwide revival. I am happy to be called at such a time as this, and to contribute to the conversation that is taking place, as I join God on mission

If you haven't yet registered, I would encourage you do so today. Whiteboard will sell out quickly, There are only 700 seats available. If anyone from the Capital Region of New York is planning on going, we can certainly car pool. I am planning on driving down myself. I will leave late on the evening of May 21st, it is about six to six and a half hours to drive from Albany. Join me, and we can sing silly songs, like kids on a campng trip.

Whiteboard's website is