“christian conferences, jenga and following to lead a.k.a. the longest post ever”

May 8, 2008

hello again or for the first time!  welcome to my little corner of the world wide web.  i like to think of it as a nook.  if my blog was a room in a house i think i might decorate it with thomas kinkade prints and mountain living paraphernalia.

we’ve been super busy leading at two different conferences here in atlanta.  the first was called Orange Conference (www.theorangeconference.com).  this was a gathering of about 4,000 church leaders from all over the world.  the second, DRIVE Conference (www.driveconference.com), ended today and is a conference hosted by my home church in Alpharetta, GA, North Point Community Church, and our pastor andy stanley.  DRIVE is a conference for church leaders as well.  

first…orange.

at orange conference we had the pleasure of leading with francis chan.  just a side note…if you don’t know francis chan yet go type in his name on itunes and download a truckload of podcasts.  also check out his new book “crazy love” (crazylovebook.com).  francis is the pastor of a church called cornerstone in simi valley california (www.cornerstonesimi.com).  a very genuine, honest, Holy Spirit-following man.  i love every chance i get to lead with him.  so we loved leading a session with him at orange conference.  it was one of the sweetest times of worship i’ve had in a long time.  you know those times you have with God where you really do wish it could never end?  those times where you find the line between heaven and earth blurred?  this was one of those times.  francis and i looked at each other afterwards with tears in our eyes and a look on both our faces that said, “only God could’ve done that.”  another incredible highlight for me at orange conference was watching my 18 year old brother lead a session with his band.  brett stanfill is a senior at walton high school with such a pure heart to love God, an amazing gift to sing, play guitar and lead people to worship God.  it was such a proud moment to watch him step on that stage and lead so many church leaders.  brett…i love you…im proud of you…i believe in you.

second…DRIVE.

DRIVE conference ended this afternoon around 2.30.  it was such an honor to lead with steve fee, eddie kirkland, candi pearson shelton and todd fields on monday night, the opening night of the conference.  we didn’t start the musical part of worship until after andy’s talk.  we started very contemplative while communion happened in the room.  while we played and communion was going on there was an amazingly talented painter named mike lewis painting different pictures of Jesus (check out his stuff at http://www.jesuspainter.com).  it was a very honest, quiet time with God.  this conference is really a chance for church leaders to come check out what we’re doing at north point community church and for north point to check out what other church leaders are doing.  the conference is driven (pun intended) by the leadership and vision of andy stanley (the lead pastor of north point community church).  it was an honor to be a part of the conference and amazing to meet so many church leaders and be reminded of the strength of the worldwide church today.  i’ll say it again…God is doing a new thing…things are about to break wide open.

third…jenga.

today after DRIVE ended i went to the local target and bought  jenga for my wife and i to play.  we played tonight and i won.  there’s no real take away from this part of the post…just my pride needing to express the fact that i won.

fourth…7|22

every tuesday i get to be a part of leading a bible study called 7|22 in atlanta ga with an incredible team of people (if you’re in atlanta and free next tuesday night at 7:30…check out http://www.722.org).  at 7|22 we depend on some amazing people to volunteer their time to help us run the whole thing.  because of DRIVE conference happening this week, 7|22 was struggling big time to find volunteers to serve.  so we punted the typical format of a normal tuesday night and made it more of an interactive night.  we sent a third of the people out into the city to serve the community.  another third of the people we sent off to different restaurants we’d made reservations at previously to build community.  the last third we directed to a nearby church called peachtree road united methodist church (one of the most beautiful churches i’ve been in in the united states) for a reflective time of worship and prayer.  it was just me and my acoustic guitar and the Holy Spirit going after it.  it was such a great time to exhale and detach from our loud lives and seek God together.  there was a chunk of about 5 or 6 minutes where i didn’t sing or say anything…we just listened to God and were with Him.  wow.

fifth…david peacock.

david peacock…that name prolly doesn’t mean anything to you, but it means ALOT to me.  david peacock was the 26 year old youth pastor at johnson ferry baptist church in marietta ga who looked at me when i was 13 and said, “you should lead worship…what do you think about doing that?”  the next few years would find david investing in me over coffee and lunches mentoring and teaching me about what worship is and what it means to lead people to worship God.  the horror stories david could tell about me leading worship back in the day are…many.  i would forget words to songs, make it all about me, screw up chords on the guitar, not wear shoes on stage, but he stood by me with a smile and the truth of God’s word to help me along.  now, 12 years later, i find myself in the position of leadership im in thanking God for david’s obedience and diligence.  

just a word to youth pastors and church leaders alike…invest selflessly.  and to the young 13 year old worship leader looking for guidance and wisdom…if you’re gonna be a great leader you’ve got to be a great follower first (im pretty sure i didn’t come up with that).  don’t expect to decide to be a worship leader one day and the next day be leading 10,000 people in worship.  that hardly happens…never happens.  there’s a refining that must happen in all leaders.  you’re gonna have to walk through the fire and do things that are not g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s.  that includes playing for free for 8 people, sleeping in your car (or with twenty 12 year old middle schoolers who insist on staying up all night long), or playing “sweet home alabama”…AGAIN!  great leaders know that they’ll never have it all figured out.  they know that in order to lead well they must first follow well.  so everyone…follow well and you will lead well.  the humble ones are the ones God exalts.  this is all stuff im still learning and struggling through now.  let’s learn and struggle together.

pheeeew…that was long.  let’s all inhale…and hold…now exhale.  there we did it.  thanks for reading.  and don’t think i’ve forgotten…i owe you a song about skinny jeans.  the song is tentatively entitled “skinny jeans city.”  to quote the movie elf, “im psyched out of my mind about this.”

musical rec : make sure and check out eastmountainsouth.  they have one self-titled record out that’s beautiful from start to finish.  i’m going to call the genre…electronic folk.  can i do that?  irregardless…it’s incredible.

 

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6 Responses to ““christian conferences, jenga and following to lead a.k.a. the longest post ever””

  1. Judy Doi said

    I was around for those early days with David Peacock, Kristian. You have always been exceptionally gifted. I remember my David telling you to take off your hat when you lead worship in the Sanctuary, but you know what? You were humble and followed well and God is gifting you to lead well! Love you,your family and your worship!

  2. Mayra said

    I enjoyed your post! If you ever start touring please come to Houston. I would love to see you again!

  3. jonese said

    Awesome to see you blogging! Loved the 7|22 this past week. I did the connect and met some really awesome people i probably wouldn’t have met any other way. Makes you really realize how comfortable we get in our little circles. Time to break on out and shake some hands with a few strangers!

  4. Nice, I just added you to my blogroll. Come play a show in Greenville,SC.

  5. Speaking of conferences, you are coming to Catalyst: Together ’08 right??

    Awesome reading your stuff man- you really are gifted by God…

    Daniel

  6. DRIVE was great. it was only my second conference ever to just BE there instead of actually leading worship or breakout.

    I dig your tunes man… and the blog.

    Peace

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