Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Convention 2006 continues

The last two days have been full and fun. Lots of time and connections with old friends. Content-wise, the workshops yesterday were very good.

I attended one called, "The Community Center Revolution", led by Doug Bursch from Evergreen Foursquare Church in Auburn, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. He shared how their church of 120 people has opened a Community Center for the purpose of getting their folks involved and interacting with their community.

I so appreciated how he shared his experience that the church building is often the last place the non-Christian community wants to go to because of certain perceptions they have about what happens in and at churches. He shared some awesome concepts and ideas.

The Community Center concept (much like the coffeehouse we operated about 6 years ago until a fire in another part of the building closed us down) says, "Let's go to where the community is." Some have heard me talk about what I believe is a long-term vision the Lord has given me to open a Community Center that would house a gym (basketball/volleyball, etc, as well as fitness equipment and coffee/juice bar and other youth-priented games).

It could be a place where other community-oriented organizations could meet (AA, for example) as well as a meeting place for our youth, who do not currently have much space of their own on our campus. An example of this idea can be found at Lord's Gym.

Last night's meeting featured a stirring dramatic presentation by Dean Jones of readings from the Founding Fathers of our nation. Following that, I had a great chance to have some good laughs with some old friends, among them Mike & Stacey Barker (former NewHeart Youth Pastor), Eric Mejia (another former NewHeart Youth Pastor), and Bob & Lisa Penberthy (former NewHeart Associate Pastor).

Mike & Stacey, and Eric, have planted a Foursquare Church in Austin, Texas called City Life Community. Bob & Lisa are pastoring NewLife Christian Center, a Foursquare Church in Upland, California. They pass their greetings to the NewHeart family.

A highlight of today is actually a humorous one. One of the main reasons I believe in attending Convention each year is that this is where the denominational business meetings occur. It's one of those things where it's the most boring part of Convention, but one I feel is most crucial to be able to participate in the process of decision making.

The Business Sessions always take place on the last two days of Convention. However, in order to transact business, a majority quorum of voting delegates present at the Business Session is required. This year, there are over 1,800 voting delegates at Convention, requiring over 900 to be present at Business Sessions. Today's session only had 600 present, so they couldn't hold the Business Session at all. I am sure that will not be the case tomorrow!

Colleen and the boys arrived here earlier this evening. We gave Colleen a break by hanging out at the hotel pool for the evening. I didn't get to hear Lloyd John Ogilvie speak, but did get to spend some catch-up time with the boys and Colleen got some good rest.

I am looking forward to tomorrow night's speaker, Pastor Kenneth Ulmer from Faithful Central Bible Church in L.A. They're the church that purchased and revonated The Forum into church use. He is one of my favorite speakers!

That's it from DC for now! More later ....

2 comments:

petes said...

Can you provide examples of these churches opening community centers successfully? I'm interested in learning more about this model of outreach for a church. Thanks!

petes said...

Sorry, my login on the previous comment may not include my email: peterfreund[at]hotmail.com