Hey guys, just finished another 9 hour stretch of planning, dreaming, thinking, talking, etc... The question may occur to you, why is the leadership team in LA (Orange County)? Well, we have found great value throughout the years for all of our staff from getting out of the usual environment of Normal and visiting other churches to see what God is doing and to talk with other church leaders. We have found throughout the years that every one on our staff benefits greatly from this experience so we build into most budgets a chance to visit other places.
We have seen three churches in 3 days. Mariners church which runs about 10,000; Saddleback church (around 20,000) and Crossroads Christian Church (around 7,000). We have toured facilities, asked questions, compared and dreamed (Crossroads had 2,200 baptisms last year!) of these great churches and have been inspired by what God is doing in these places. I must say, that we have also been much blessed to find that Eastview is still our favorite church in the world, but we are inspired to be even better stewards of what God has entrusted to us. This will give you an insight of our schedule the last couple of days:
*Breakfast at 7:30 - Comes free with our room
*Prayer and devotions at 8:15ish - we have had some great time of prayer together lifted up our church and asking God for wisdom and his spirit for direction.
*Looking at our values and strategies - How can we pray more/better? Preaching? Small groups? helping people grow in faith, outreach, world missions, etc.... We have talked until I don't feel like talking any more (and that's saying something).
*Lunch on the way to visit these churches.
*Visit with church leaders and asking them questions
*Back to hotel - debriefing and talking some more
*After supper - supposed to be low key and casual, but last night we talked about Eastview and her ministry until around 11:30 a.m.
That's about how each day will go. And then we get up and do it again. Please pray along with us that the Spirit will guide us and our discussions and cause us to see what he wants us to see.