Friday, February 26, 2016

What's NEXT Church?

Last week I attended the NEXT Church National Gathering
Created during worship at NEXT Church
at First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA. The event is filled with keynotes, testimonies, presentations, workshops and tremendous worship! (Full disclosure: I am on the Strategy Team for NEXT Church).

I had many 'take-aways' but here are my top 3:

1) Rejuvenating and Reconnecting
Colleagues of mine are spread throughout the nation. Facebook, Twitter and the occasional email keeps us connected, but to be able to see one another face-to-face and break bread with one another, hug one another, and talk about our challenges and our joys is a tremendous gift.

2) Learning
Like any event, some speakers strike harder than others, but on the whole this conference was an absolute abundance of riches. Folks shared what is working in their context, the hard work they are doing in the name of justice and reconciliation, and where they see the church being the church. The three workshops I attended were about game theory and how that can apply to churches, innovative ministry and time management. Each was a gift, but the last one really challenged me to put spiritual things first, something that I need a perpetual reminder on.

3) Worship, worship, worship
At MPC we worship well - VERY well. The blessing of worship at NEXT Church is the sounds of 500+ people singing the hymns, diversity in the liturgy and leaders and (maybe most importantly) I don't have to plan it! The picture at the top was painted during two of the worship services. I LOVE this idea, it added another dimension to worshiping together.

NEXT Church offers the National Gathering and also Regional Gatherings, plus their website is filled with great content. Check it out!

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