Session 5 - "Leading in New Cultural Realities" - John Burke

Spkr_jBurke_lg Lead pastor at Gateway Community Church, John Burke and his congregation are dedicated to helping unchurched people become a unified community of growing Christ-followers, no matter what their background or past. He is the author of the book No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture and also author of the book, Soul Revolution, which will be released at the Summit. Burke is the founder and president of the Emerging Leadership Initiative, a collaboration of progressive, like-minded churches partnering together to provide the foundation for a church planting movement aimed at reaching postmodern America.


  • Spiritual leadership is messy.
  • We have to work on the soil that’s needed for people to grow up into the soil they need to be. But we have to be willing to get our hands dirty.
  • “How many sexually active drunk atheists do you have in your church, aside from what one deacon you suspect.”
  • The religious leaders had a problem with how messy the ministry of Jesus was. They liked people keeping it looking good on the outside. “Why eats with tax collectors and sinners.”
  • Grace is the environment where people grow best. The world doesn’t naturally do grace, it does law. Grace says come as you are and will walk with you to make you all he intended.
  • If found a Rembrandt paining covered with mud, would you treat it like mud? God’s grace is what cleanses and restores with loving care. The Pharisees just saw mud.
  • Two questions asked most often and barriers to grace: what do you think about gays and other religions? We have to think hard about how to answer them to remove  barriers to grace.
  • The core problem isn’t that we do bad things but broken relationships with God and others.
  • Stay connected to Jesus; fruit happens.