Sunday I left Halifax, NS. After stops in Ottawa and Detroit I made it to Indianapolis. I got to spend a whole nine hours home then I headed back to the airport. Today I am in Orlando for the New Church Conference also called Exponential. It is becoming the event for those involved in missional multiplication movements. It is my first time to attend.
Today I was in a session moderated by Ed Stetzer. Presenters were Ron Sylvia, Stephen Gray and Tom Clegg. Each brought a wonderful perspective to multiplication.
As at most conferences there is an array of displays. As I walked through the vendors, the providers of products and material I found myself taken aback at where this has come. It was not too many years ago that a conference emphasizing planting could have been held in a good sized closet. Now we are at a very large Baptist Church (Orlando First Baptist) with around 2500 in attendance.
I think this is a good thing? I definitely believe we need more people engaging in this area, but I just don't want to get so main stream that it becomes trendy.
We need to stay on the edge. Live on the scary side of our ministries. It will take adjusting, changing, risking, believing, innovating and getting over ourselves.
Often success breeds comfortableness. Comfortableness results in settling in. What begins as a movement can easily erode into maintenance. We have to intentionally keep on the edge. Every time we are tempted to hedge our courage, back pedal or back away from the challenge of real faith we must resist.
We must not become what we push back against: The ministry of the mundane. The ease of organization. The confines of structure. When we refuse to move from the center of our certainties we have begun to become the religion of the acceptable.