UPDATE: I just closed the comments on this because it swelled up into something much larger than what actually happened. Todd Rhoades has the skinny so go check out his blog post and comment there if you like.
Final Session. Intro by Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, speaking through a pre-made video. Very cool graphics, nicely done. And Mark is an excellent communicator - Mark gives 3 points. The man, the mission, the message,.
[update: this video is now available on youtube].
1. The man. Selection of the man - who fights like a good soldier. God needs competent men who will gather others.
2. The mission. What mission is that man on? A man can get sidetracked by civilian affairs. Jesus is not a gay hippie in a dress.
60% of pastors [edit: attenders - sorry - i corrected this but it didnt come out] are female but if you want to win the war you need to get the men. Force men to become the kind of men they need to come.
Misison is to get the men because if you win the men you win the war.
3. The message. The one thing that keeps the man straight and keeps the mission on progress.
[TSK response: Although i really like Mark, and appreciate the fact that this conference was composed of many different streams, I felt myself cringing during his speech and wondering what the ladies were thinking and feeling duringk. The other thing was that Mark's talk seemed to clash with the reproduction/multiplication/outward-releasing flow of this conference.]
Bill Hybels introduced and gets standing ovation. He looks older with his grey hair, and wiser. I saw him last in Australia in 1993 when his team came downunder.
"After that video i would like to acknowledge that there are women in this room and they have spiritual gifts.
[applause and yelling]
Bill's community - all gifts used.
There was once a church where people stood in awe, burned with passion to take the message of the transforming love of Christ to the world, and met in an upper room and prayed for courage to spread their faith.
He wanted to give his dream a SHOT, by faith, and see where it would go.
Give himself to a grander dream.
Bill had to sign off on stock options and all kinds of things in order to develop one of these faith commuities. Then he started a youth group, sold tomatoes door to door to get money to rent a theater.
Oct 12, 1975 held first little service in a movie theater.
What if he would have given his life to a lesser dream?
Know the difference between a hankering and a holy discontent.
[ . . . have to go and meet someone. cant blog this anymore but i iwill link to others who are blogging it or recording it later on]
[ok - cant find jim . . . back to blogging Bill Hybels]
cana wedding example, ten lepers . .. if you walk by sight you'll quit! but if you walk by faith . .. 6+ years in a movie theater. horror movies the night before. vomit all over the floor that they had to clean up at 4am. i left a multimillion dollar family company to clean up someone's vomit. they found some land and trusted that between here and there, God would show up.
One guy wrote a huge check and they said they would never forget that day when God provided.
[TSK response: i wonder if that thrill of raising money, buying more land or bigger buildings, is somewhat addictive and perhaps the default mode for mega churches reacting to change or challenge. Good be good if appropriate or could be a trap if God want something other than have the church get bigger and bigger. Still, Bill Hybels and Willow Creek is a huge part of 20th Century church history in America and the standing ovation was appropriate. This church broke new ground for all of us and helped us all.]
Ask God to help you finish with a few of the people with whom you started!
We wanted to do life deeply together, rather than do a professional looking service. There was some naivete there. Some moral errors - devastating!
More on this at Mark Driscoll and Paris Hilton and banned video rumors