There were many "aha" moments and the "wow" factor at the Buckhead Campus is off the charts. I will be blogging about the conference for the next week or two, i'll start with several key takeaways from a "bird's eye view."
1. Everything they do, they do with clarity, intentionality, simplicity and focus.
-Our team was absolutely amazed at how everyone was "on the same page" and all about their mission and vision.
2. Having a common language is the key to clarity and simplicity.
-Every person on our team attended a different breakout session. We heard the same terminology, processes and strategies regardless of the content.
3. The only numeric goal Northpoint/Andy Stanley has ever set is "how many people are in a small group?"
-Not attendance, not membership, not giving, not serving...their goal is getting people in small groups and everything they do points towards that goal.
4. Statements like "Life is better connected" and "Circles are better than rows" were communicated in various ways over and over and over again.
-We saw and heard those two statements both explicitly and implicitly. Clarity and simplicity modeled with excellence.
5. They are making it a point to "get better," but not at the expense of relationships.
-Clay Scroggins ended the conference main session with the connection between two phrases they keep in front of their staff members: "take it personally" and "make it better." He confessed that they have had a tendency to drift towards "make it better" at the expense of "take it personally." He is being intentional in his leadership to shift the momentum back towards "take it personally" but not at the expense of "make it better."
It's easy as a pastor to be jealous of what they have and what they are doing. I was reminded in different ways over and over again that I am called to Covenant and of what a privilege and honor it is to be the pastor of this incredible church. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. I'm so excited to explore new ideas at Covenant for the purpose of "inviting people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ."