Synergize 4

Last week I was in Orlando for the Synergize 4 conference. It covered a range of topics ranging from church leadership, connecting with your community, caring for your family, working together within the Church, inviting people to the table, etc. Here are a few of the thoughts that resonated with me.

Doug Beacham (@DougBeacham) talked about the importance of knowing each other’s name. We need to be reminded that we cannot do this alone, we need each other’s gifts, and calling each other by name strengthens that bond.

Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) reminded us that most individuals are passive spectators in ministry. All have gifts and it becomes the responsibility of the Church to equip individuals to actively use their gifts to further the Kingdom.

Matthew Barnett (@MatthewBarnett) had some really great things to say about how the Church can better connect with its community. The Church must live within its community in order to “earn the right to be heard.” We must be willing to live life with people, even in all its messiness.

Greg Surratt (@gregsurratt) said, “We can’t make God move but we can make room for God to move…God wants to give birth to a miracle inside of you, something bigger than you can accomplish on your own.”

Johnny Hunt (@johnnymhunt) talked about the importance of modeling discipleship for our churches. He said it must be, “monkey see, monkey do.” Our exhortations must be accompanied by our example in order to be emulated.

Dave Stone (@DaveStone920) reminded us of the importance of caring for our families. He challenged us to consider them our “first congregation” by being intentional about our time with, and care of, them. It is a way in which we can model for our churches how to be engaged and godly parents and spouses. Often times it can become easy to extend grace to others while our families miss that from us. He challenged us to practice extending grace to our families just as we would to others. “God is more concerned with your parenting direction, not your parenting perfection.”

Leonard Sweet (@lensweet) spent some time talking about the importance of using narratives to communicate with the culture of our day. For too long the Church has spoken in words while those around us are using metaphors and stories. Stories shape identity and the Church has forgotten our story. The table is a central place where stories are told and identity is formed, the Church must engage culture at the table, the table of Christ.