00016954 Sorry I've been off line for quite a bit now. Last week was the National Pastor's Convention, followed by a Valentine's weekend getaway with Emily to San Francisco. I'll cover San Francisco tomorrow. Here are the highlights from the convention:

  • Seeing friends… Ronnie Norman, Jim Martin, and a few others around the convention.
  • William Willimon's typically dry, sarcastic rudeness was hilarious and provided the shrubbery for a garden of good counsel on preaching.
  • Larry Osborne's typically sage and brilliant advice on leadership. He did a section called, "What game are we playing?" in which he likened leadership systems to various types of sports teams. Others have tried to do the same, but Osborne did it brilliantly. Larry Osborne is one of the lesser known megachurch pastors out there. That's a shame. He's one of the most insightful. You should grab "Sticky Church" if you haven't yet…or buy it for your Small Group leaders.
  • In an on-stage interview with Andy Crouch of Christianity Today Internatinal, Ugandan and Rwandan church leader Emmanuel Katongole pointing out that Rwanda, at the time of it's genocide, was 87% professing Christian. He noted his shame at the behavior of Christians who said through their actions that "The blood of tribalism runs deeper than the waters of baptism." The crowd gasped and said, "Oooohhh…" That phrase has haunted me since he uttered it.
  • Rob Bell's message to the gathered pastors on learning the discipline of radical forgiveness was quite good…and typically creative and funny at the same time. I will confess that Rob Bell hasn't been one of my favorites because of some theological issues I've got with he and some of the other emergent guys. However, his message at the NPC (the first I'd heard live) was really, really good.
  • The book sale. AWESOME!!!! I won't have to buy another book for a while. The one I'm looking forward to reading the most is Denise George's What Pastor's wish Church Members Knew.

It was my first time attending the NPC. It's every year in the same time slot. If you haven't been…you need to come to beautiful San Diego next year and partake of the spiritual buffet that's here. The National Outreach Convention is also here every year in November.