Another one’s in the books and the Nashville NEW 2011 appears to have been a success on many levels. Since many of you weren’t able to make this year’s event, I thought I’d share some of the things I picked up from the event.

One of the highlights was Ed Stetzer’s keynote address. He used 2 Timothy 4:5 as his launching-out text on “Doing the Work of an Evangelist.” He had a number of great points, but here are some jewels.

  • Don’t confuse outreach with evangelism. Outreach is marketing, the Easter egg hunt, and your Christmas Eve service.
  • Don’t confuse recruiting with evangelism. Inviting someone to church or to a revival or to any other kind of event is not evangelism.
  • Most churches think that they’ve become transformational and are ready to do evangelism when all they’ve actually done is Spruced Up the Barn, Sped Up the Music, and Spiced Up the Message.
  • Evangelism is NOT one of the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible. It’s the responsibility of every believer, not a gift for a special few.
  • A leading question to any church is “When are we?” Don’t assume a church in 2011 is living in the twenty-first century.

Bill Easum was unable to make it, so I delivered his keynote. The theme was Leadership in a Wildcard World. Here are some highlights.

  • Effective leaders today must be proactive.
  • Proactive leaders are unhindered by systems that restrict quick decision making
  • Proactive leaders can quickly end programs when they prove to be ineffective
  • Proactive leaders are less concerned about what they know and highly responsive to what they don’t know
  • Proactive leaders take care of themselves – a tired leader cannot be proactive
  • Proactive leaders live risk and embrace failure
  • Proactive leaders focus on the essentials: Bringing people to Christ and the church; Retaining them; Apprenticing them; and Sending them back into the community to be on mission

There were a bunch of great workshops and of course I could only attend a couple. But here are some highlights.

From Mariah Weyland’s Practical Youth Ministry:

  • Three Key Elements of Adolescents: Conflict with Parents, Risky Behavior, and Mood Disruptions
  • Three Tasks of Every Adolescent: Identity (Who am I?); Autonomy (How am I unique?); and Affinity (Who am I like?)
  • What’s Working: Adopt a student prayer partnering; Intentional connecting; and Multi-generational small groups

From Staffing for the Effective Church:

  • All staff must be involved in multiplying leaders  … otherwise they’re not worth their salary
  • Staff meetings that focus on programs and calendars are time wasters – focus on mentoring and coaching new leaders
  • Every leader in the church must have at least one apprentice – from the Sunday school teacher to the committee leader
  • Every church needs a “farm system” for leadership development – to help spectators become players, players to become coaches, and coaches to become scouts
  • The leadership journey for pastors is marked by four Transition Points that require changes in skills, values, and time management

Of course, there was a lot more. Many of the speakers and leaders have provided their handouts and you can pick them up at