Bob hasn't been one of the main speakers, but I've tried to attend every breakout he's led. He's the pastor of a mega church in Texas called Northwood that's into church planting really big. But what has really gotten my interest is that he's into something I've recently been obsessed with finding out more about--the explosive church planting movements that are happening in other parts of the world.
Bob says he's learning more about what the church should be, about discipleship and about leadership from the east than he ever learned in seminary or in his doctoral studies. And he's writing about it. So I picked up his two books and can't wait to read them: Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World and Glocalization: How Followers of Jesus Engage the New Flat Earth.
He has also brought two guests with him from his travels and church parnerships, and I can't wait to tell our congregation more about these guys. If you remember the story I told about Abdul who is part of a church planting movement, these guys are two Abduls in every way. Unbelievable. You can hear Abdul's story in one of my messages from the U2CanRocktheWorld series here.
Here are some highlights from his breakouts:
- Movements (like the explosive growth of the church planting movements) are not about the pastor. It's about the whole body of Christ in action. Great preaching can actually weaken the church.
- They start churches because evangelism happens, not the other way around.
- I grew up in east Texas. You didn't smoke or drink or chew, but you could be mad as hell and that was okay. Then you could bring all that anger to a church business meeting and that was perfectly alright.
- You know what's the profile of a wife-beater in Texas? A Baptist pastor. (Bob is Southern Baptist.)
- The end-game isn't conversion; it's transformation.
- Missions can't be an add-on. Raise up the people in your church to be missionaries right here--as doctors, plumbers...
- The contemporary, seeker church is consumeristic. So is traditional church, it's just a different form of consumerism.
- I thought something good might come out of the emergent movement. But movements of God don't come out of ticked off people.
- The best thing you can do for your kids is introduce them to a Chinese person they can marry. They'll be ahead then when China takes over the world.
- China is the largest "Christian" nation (in terms of how many authentic believers they have). If they take over the world it will be very good for the spread of the gospel.
- The west is postmodern without a doubt. The rest of the world isn't.
- Just starting churches doesn't change a community. What we need are churches that actually change the community instead of just providing more and more programs demanded by consumer Christians for their own "growth" and "feeding."
- If the church is going to reach people who are disconnected from the church in the domains our members live in every day, it will happen only if those who live there are part of the process of planning and executing the plan.