My team is here in Atlanta to join 1100 others at RE;GROUP18 (North Point Ministries) small group ministry conference. It is a GREAT conference. For me, it is a can’t-miss event.
Why? Like everything North Point does, it is done with excellence, It is super creative. Tons of their Groups staff from all 6 of their Atlanta campuses are on hand making it happen (and are so quick to help with anything that comes up (or answer a question that you might have).
I go to RE:GROUP because I’m a learner. I take my team to this conference because we are learners.
I don’t go because I’m going to adopt everything they do (Although, we have adapted a pretty good number of their ideas to fit our Las Vegas context).
As I said to my team last night at dinner, “We all need to go in with eyes and ears wide open. Ask questions. Take good notes. Ask questions in the sessions and during the breaks. We must be learners because we know how to connect 3500 adults (65% of our adult weekend worship attendance). But we do not know yet how to connect the other 6000 to 7000 adults who call Canyon Ridge their church.”
Ten years ago in a Drive talk called Random Thoughts on Leadership Andy Stanley shared the admonition to be a student, not a critic. Although I was probably already a learner, it was that talk that sharpened my philosophy of ministry in the sense of learning from everybody (and not just those with whom I already agree).
A quote in that talk always stays with me:
Today, I hope you will be move in the direction of becoming a learner. Be a student, not a critic. You can learn from anyone if you have eyes and ears set on wide open.