Today Was Incredible

Sep 7, 2006

I am in Houston, TX right now & I would have to say that today has been one of the most amazing and informative days in my ministry career.

I was invited a few weeks ago to a pastors roundtable at Lakewood Church here in Houston, yes—that’s the church on TV.  Then men who were leading the roundtable were John Maxwell, Joel Osteen, and Bill Hybels. It was those three and then around 20 other senior pastors from all over the United States.  (Just in case you are wondering—I was the ONLY person in blue jeans!!!)  :-)

The wisdom that was flying around that room was priceless…and touring the facility at Lakewood stretched my imagination further than it has ever been stretched!!!  I could go into all that I learned today…but I would love to share a thought or two on the men who led the discussion today.

Joel Osteen - Before this meeting I will admit that I had mixed feelings about Joel.  Those in the Christian community blasted him for “blowing it” on the Larry King interview, even though he issued an apology and a clarification statement the next day on the churches website.  (He acknowledged today that he could have said what he said in a much clearer way.)  I had mixed feelings about him because all of my exposure had been limited to his television program.

I will say this—Joel Osteen loves Jesus and loves people.  He did not strut around his church like a Christian celebrity…he was genuine and VERY humble…and NO it wasn’t an act.  He literally came up to me today and just started chatting…and the dude had some really awesome things to say.  He LOVES people as well…the dude is a ministry machine.

The thing that blew my mind is that Lakewood Church operates with around 200 staff members TOTAL!  No, I’m not making that up—they are VERY volunteer heavy…and the volunteers have ownership of the ministry.  It’s amazing!  You can say what you want about Joel…but the dude is real.  I’ve met the man and looked him in the eye…and I will be praying for him because God has seen to give him a platform and is using him to bring thousands into the kingdom.

Bill Hybels - DANG!!!  Every time I listen to Bill speak I am amazed—wisdom just pours out of this guy, and his passion for the church and for leadership is evident in the way he speaks…and what he speaks about.

AND…he has a passion for the church to fulfill every aspect of Acts two…I was SO challenged.  One more thing I love about Bill is his willingness to be transparent…the ministry needs more people like that instead of pastors who pretend that they are better than the people in their church.

John Maxwell - I am so glad John is coming to NewSpring this Sunday…he has the ability to take a ton of wisdom and package it into one sentence.  Say what you will about Maxwell…but his passion for Jesus and for people is off the hook—the prayer time he led us in today was amazing…and the dude just wept as he prayed over us.  WOW!!!

I came out of this meeting challenged in an awesome way.  I have a lot to think about both personally and professionally.  It’s so refreshing to be in the room with men who have paved the way and have done it well.

Whew—that’s about it for now…I am so tired.  MY flight leaves @ 11:00 tomorrow—and I should be back in God’s country (the upstate) around 2:00!  I can’t wait until Sunday!