Monday, October 03, 2011

M-M-M #theimn2011

Amazing time at the M conference hosted by Kensington Community Church in Troy, MI, outside of Detroit. Like every event by Alex McManus I have attended, I was challenged by the content and inspired by the community. Long post here that includes some notes, mostly for me, and some observations.

: Alex McManus
The future will be unimaginable but God will still be with us.
Think big : Start small : Build on your successes : Pray : Never Give Up
For someone like me, church is hell because they want to hold on to the past. [Alex is way futuristic]
Structure versus essence of Christianity
The Scriptures serve as energy and propulsion to get us somewhere.
Massive movements exist across cultures.
What will win the world is a massive migration of many Christ followers reaching 5 or 10 people each.
The only trouble we have leading without an ego is that we don't want to.

Our Post Human Future
What it means to be human is the most important question of the 21st century. The depreciation
of humans and appreciation of technology.
Without Jesus we become subhuman.
2 years ago South Korea established a policy for the ethical treatment of robots.

Stories that we like - stories that close the gap of the world as it is and as it ought to be, and personal stories
What is the conflict - no conflict=no story
What am I fighting for
Every hero is called to a quest
The human story is a story of becoming. Not 'human beings' but 'human becomings.'
If the Bible isn't true, it ought to be.
Looking at the Bible versus looking through the Bible.

: Steve Andrews - one of the lead planters at Kensington
God has given you great people.
Every community wants to crown a king - don't be that king.
If you are over 40, everything you are doing should be empowering the next generation.
Ego is their first red flag for potential leaders.
No listing on their website of who is in charge.

: Dave Nelson - lead pastor of K2, Salt Lake City
The Christian church has given Utah to the Mormons. We will work on the other 49 states.

: Vince Antonucci - lead planter of the Verve Church, Las Vegas
[Vince's delivery of this talk was technically literally perfect. Eye contact, intonation, not one filler word, engagement with the audience. Truly an art form.]
How is it possible that I lived until 20 years old never hearing about Jesus?
How are there less people going to church now than 30 years ago?
We are reaching people but we are not reaching lost people.
They did 300 interviews of all kinds of people before they even started a church.
The church's first purchases were a moonbounce, cotton candy machine and a karoke machine because they heard people were desperate for community. [MPM looks at me and says 'ice cream truck.' Yeah, it's an Ember thing.]
Your assumptions create your crowd. Every word, image, song, etc is highly critiqued from a nonchurch point of view.
Tommy - church planter apprentice who works part time in a tattoo parlor and is going to launch a tattoo church.

: Rex Miller
Language is a technology.
The word - spirit, spoken, print, broadcast, bits and bytes
The medium shapes our worldview. The dominant form of the word shapes our world.
Left brain vs. right brain
Eras - oral, print, broadcast, digital - music, art, architecture
We are currently in a space between spaces, a dangerous time. This is the time to discern about digital culture.
The kinds of people most open to change: eager, adventurous, afraid, fed up
New technologies don't eliminate - they marginalize - the old ones.
Next era is cloud/mobility.
'Literate' is now an obsolete word. [I'm not sure I agree with that.]
Churches need to get away from tax exemption because of it ties us to the government. Instead, get involved with commerce, culture, charity and community.
6 megashifts - turbulence/uncertainty, smaller footprint, generation tsunami, digital natives, mobility, death of industrial mindset
The S curve [very much related to the diffusion of innovation]
2018 - massive shift in population of Millenials vs Boomers. mindset will change as well.
Any change that is fundamental raises conflict. Implementing change is a function of a non-anxious leader.

: Erwin
Transactional versus transformational - speak to them versus speak for them
We must first read the story before we begin to write it.
Economics is an agreement of values.
You don't have to see the future to create it.

The best storytelling is where the person has an aha moment - it's self discovery.
retell -> remember -> relive - it must cost you something emotionally
communication patterns - linear, sequential, systemic

Christians are still arguing about things that the world thinks is reality.

Divergent vs convergent thinking
The Scriptures are full of divergent patterns
Our education system focuses on convergent thinking. Exposure to cultures and traveling helps us learn divergent thinking.

Everyone has someone in their brain they talk to outloud. It is the composite of all the people in your relationships. The more different people you know, the more this composite is different than you.

You can either create safe spaces for people to share or you can create courageous people.

We don't realize what frameworks dominate our thinking. Examples of influencing culture from a minority perspective.
Whoever tells the best story wins. The truth is drowning in a bad story.
'Christian' now means plastic. Like 'Made in Japan' in the 80s.
You pick your clothes because of the tribe you belong to.
Containers of culture are all around us. Everything you touch creates and shapes culture.
Imagination is still seen as evil.
You want to create culture - you better start dreaming.
The Stories You Tell - The Things You Make - The Dreams You Make Real

Beauty isn't supplemental to God, it is essential. God created an array of aesthetics.
The new commodity is creativity.

: Dave Gibbons
Scarcity births clarity and creativity.
large transition right now - the amount of money transferred from west to the east
1500 pastors leave the ministry every month.
Your first day in ministry should be like walking into Narnia.
Medici effect - where multiple domains intersect.
1 - stepped into discomfort
2 - local indigenous leadership
3 - the role of the holy spirit

No longer about crapping on institutions - its now helping them to be adaptable and hybrid.

: Lorenzo Della Foresta - church planter, Mosaic Montreal
Montreal - churches everywhere but they are empty
.3% of people there go to any church
The most unreached in the Western Hemisphere
Average charitable giving in Quebec is $130/person/year
If you need money to do it - you are probably not the one who should.
Dan Sadlier
My team also had lunch with Dan Sadlier and Josh Korn. Dan, up until recently, served as the director of high school ministry for Kensington's 5 campuses and Josh is one of the high school campus directors. I wanted to sit down with them to hear the story of Detroit Reverse, a suburban and urban youth ministry partnership. This idea is something everyone wants to do but few people pull it off. Except Dan. Our lunch was one of the best parts of our time in Detroit and Dan is a global catalytic leader that many can learn from. Dan now splits his time between Vision360, Kensington's church planting team, and running the internship program there.

: I traveled with Trevin, two interns, two members of the Ember board - Dale Swinburne and Matt Maloy - and a local church youth missions catalyst, CPugh, who is an old friend. It was a phenomenal team to learn and interact with.
: My interns ATE. IT. UP. Sponges. Not only did they love the teaching but they were already processing it together on the way to the airport. And they are just really really nice people. Kind, gentle, welcoming. You should have seen them making friends everywhere we go.
: Kensington has seen 4th generation church plants.
: CPugh is involved in a new Ember experiment which deals with some youth missions mentoring and it was great to toss ideas back and forth for a few days. Tell you more about this later.
: About 140 people in attendance, almost all of them were church planters except our team.
: You probably inferred this from the notes, but no one in the church leadership world talks about this kind of stuff except the McManus brothers. This kind of perspective is critical for leaders that will engage the future. Of course, I loved it, but the real investment of my time at M was for the Ember interns and the people they will reach.
: My big takeaway was about the divergent thinking and if my own kids are going to be prepared to lead in the future. We have begun thinking about that as a family, possibly the 'travel more' idea.
: Yes we drove on 8 Mile.

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