I really enjoyed my time in Atlanta. As I mentioned here, our goal was to discuss cultural shifts and how they are impacting the way churches are designing, building, or acquiring facilities. Some highlights of the trip for me...
- By far, the best part of the trip was getting to know some guys who are in the trenches, leading churches, working through alot of the issues that we are.
- I was impressed by how the discussion was led. The guys from RSI, Cogun and Aspen Group didn't come across as vendors trying to sell something. They came across as learners--very much wanting input on where the church in America is heading so they can do more to help churches.
- I spent some time with the leaders of a church I had never even heard of...but who are hitting the ball out of the park north of Atlanta. They were Shawn Lovejoy and Dave Putman from Mountain Lake Church in Cumming, Georgia. Looking forward to connecting with these guys again in the near future.
- Getting time with my friend, Mark Waltz, is always a highlight.
- I really like Dave Ferguson. Up until now, I've only known him from a distance, but he was the real deal. He was straight about what works and what doesn't, what he knows and what he doesn't, and didn't try to sugar coat stuff. Mark and I both commented that he'd be a guy that would be fun to hang with. On a couple of occasions, Dave was able to find something Joe Myers had said in the stratosphere and bring it down to earth for some application. That's pure genius.
- We spent a few sessions at a table with Mark Bankord and Eric Parks from Heartland Community Church in Rockford, Illinois. Their team has built a church to 6,000 people and through most of their history has not had live preaching, but used video teaching from Willow. They recently purchased a shopping center that they have renovated into worship space. We're definitely going to make a trip to Rockford.
- It was fun to get to know Troy Gramling and Raul Palacios from Flamingo Road Church near Miami. Troy helped drill down on certain topics and really peel back the layers of theory to make it practical. Hoping to see these guys again when we host WiredChurches workshops at Flamingo Road in less than two weeks.
Shawn Lovejoy wrote more about the roundtable discussion here.
Dave Ferguson wrote more about the roundtable discussion here.