I woke up this morning reflecting on what it really takes to change the world. The last several days were amazing. Speakers like Adam Hamilton, Diana Butler Bass, Rachel Held Evans, and my own pastor, Mike Slaughter, made some incredible points on the status of the modern-day church. Each speaker had a very carefully crafted and unique message on what it takes to change the world, and yet I walked away with a single clear message.
The message was this: if you want to change the world, if you want to change the church, or if you want to grow yourself - you can’t do it alone. We all have to be in discussion together.
After two days with 850 pastors, fantastic breakouts, and amazing worship, the one thing that I keep going back to is discussion. It is what defines us as leaders, it creates momentum in the church, and it prepares me to get out of my own way. The crazy part is that when I reflect on each keynote presentation, I can simply take it back to the idea that we must be open enough to be at the table of discussion. From understanding the Bible to winning millennials back in the church, nothing happens without good discussion. And good discussion is characterized by grace, truth, love, and the courage to listen without letting your own assumptions get in the way.
I wrestled with what makes a conference like Change the World so special, and decided that it is what happens between the participants: the discussion. Even when I reflect on the leaders I’ve watched over the years and the leaders I most want to be like, the one thing that sets them apart is the fact that even with their success they still want to be part of the discussion. They are open to learning. Those next-level leaders understand that they don’t have all the answers; none of us does. Next-level leaders want to learn from one another and grow the church (or anything else they are leading).
The problem with trying to lead from a point of isolation is that the only advice you get is from yourself. So you can never truly get the full picture. Dynamic-movement leaders are always surrounding themselves with other smart people, attending conferences, and getting into the discussion.
Changing the church or changing the world all starts with one choice, the choice to sit at the table and have an honest, grace-filled discussion.
When is the last time you got into an honest discussion about your reality?
Where do you need to ask for honest feedback?
What areas of your life do you treat like a sacred cow and are afraid to change?