ARC plants down under

The Association of Related Churches (ARC) began partnering with the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) about a year ago to plant churches down under. We sent our team to help them apply the life giving principles that we use to their training process. Now they are off to the races!

Recently Joel and Ellen Cave planted Glow Church on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia with 350 people their first weekend. I got to spend some time with them at the ALLACCESS Conference. Great couple! We look forward to “glowing” reports in the future. (Yes it’s corny, but that’s how I roll.)

This weekend Greg and Stacy Allen will be launching LIFT Church in Newcastle, Australia. I met Greg and Stacy last year when I spoke at Celebration Church in the Austin, Texas area. They will do great!

If you think about it – pray for them this weekend.

Say it with me: “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!!”

Ten takeaways from ARC AllAccess12

We just got home from a week in Dallas attending the ARC AllAccess12 conference at Gateway Church. What an incredible event. Nearly 3,000 people from 18 countries came to experience the power and presence of Jesus. We came away energized, encouraged, and empowered (sounds like a Baptist sermon). Here are ten observations:

  • I love the spirit of the Gateway house
  • I want to be a history maker (via Craig Groeschel)
  • There’s a life giving way to ask someone to move their car (via John Gray)
  • If church planting doesn’t work out, some of those guys could make a living in rodeo (only if they use mechanical bulls)
  • Dallas takes traffic to a HNL
  • There are 161 new ARC members & partners
  • It’s all about the one (via Dino Rizzo)
  • After hearing Priscilla Shirer preach, I’m thinking about giving up preaching & going back to giving talks (sorry Robert Morris :-)
  • I don’t even want to think about Ed Young’s spanks
  • It’s an honor to get the privilege of serving this great movement – let’s change the world together!
  • Here’s some of the Twitter love from the conference

    @craiggroeschel: Great day at ARC conference at Gateway Church! Planting 80 churches this year!

    @keithjohn: Best Conference ever!

    @Willie_George: The ARCchurches have developed the most effective church-planting program I’ve ever seen. I’m all in!

    @danielchampine: #allaccess12 was awesome, can’t wait for next year

    @rachel_frazier: Heading home after another inspiring ARC conference! Watch out cause I’m fired up!

    @lesliesiebeling: Heading home with a full heart and spirit – loved every minute of #AllAccess12

    @CindyFerrell: Few conferences are packed as full at the closing as it is at the opening. Awesome beginning to end.

    @screech1: Best I’ve ever been to! Finally found my tribe. Pumped about the future.

    @drdavemartin: This is a must conference for those who love the local church.

    @monte_young: #AllAccess12 Was amazing!!! The most ministry-impacting week of my life

    @ksvanbuskirk: Hands down one of the best conference experiences I’ve ever had! Thank you #AllAccess12 for going above & beyond in every detail! Love ARC!!

    @chrisvanb: This conference was more relational & transformational than any I’ve ever attended!

    Watch a short video recap of the conference

    Were you there? What was your takeaway?

    Is this necessary or just helpful?

    I will never forget the day the town said no.

    I thought it was the end, but it was actually just the beginning.

    We had experienced a season of growth at Seacoast and felt it was time to build. We were doing five services on the weekend and had purchased additional acreage around us for a 4,000 seat expansion. We had been in discussions with the city for about a year and things seemed to be progressing well. At the last minute we were caught in a “not in my backyard” backlash with the results being a no vote from Town Council that made it impossible to build on the land we had recently acquired.

    To say I was disappointed was an understatement.

    The prospect of continuing five services or adding more seemed overwhelming. We were already beginning to plant churches, but that didn’t address our current capacity issues.

    So, I did what I always do when discouragement sets in.

    I shut the blinds to my office and turned on some Country music. In that genre, they always lose something: a horse, a dog, a girlfriend, or a truck. I wanted to listen to someone who understood my loss. I wasn’t ready to move on yet. Later, a church member helped me with my theology in these types of situations. She said, “Pastor, it’s okay to sit on the pitty potty, as long as you don’t sit there long enough to get ring around the hiney.” That sounded about right. So I sat in my pitty for a while.

    Until I remembered this: “There are no surprises to God.”

    God has never had a day where he said, “I never saw that one coming.” If he wasn’t as surprised as I was by the vote that day, that means he was probably already at work on a solution before I even knew there was a problem.

    So we bandaged our wounds, rolled up our sleeves and went to work on finding where He was leading next.

    We settled on multi-site as the best possible solution for our situation. We knew that adding more services at off peak hours had inherent problems. The further the service was from the “golden hour” of 11:00am-noon on a Sunday, the less likely people were to attend. What if we were able to add extra services at the optimum time? The only way to do that was to meet offsite.

    So ultimately we added 30 more services in 13 additional locations.

    How much did it cost?

    A lot less than a 4,000 seat auditorium.

    We used the phrase, “High impact, low regret” to guide us in the process. We wanted the highest impact for the Kingdom with the lowest amount of potential financial regret.

    We also tried to define what was necessary and what was just helpful. If you mix the two up you can focus on the wrong things and find yourself with a lot of regret.

    For instance: In life, food, water and air are necessary, while Guitar Hero and iPads are just helpful. If you get the categories wrong, you’ll be in a world of hurt.

    In multisite: A good location, the right leader, and the leading of the Holy Spirit are necessary; while Hi-Def, live, and lots of low end in the sound system are just helpful.

    In our situation, we still haven’t added most of the helpful stuff and we never did get to build the 4,000 seat auditorium. But we have multiplied the number of people that we minister to weekly and we have had very few regrets.

    What about you? Whether it’s ministry issues or just life in general, have you worked thru the “necessary” vs. “just helpful” matrix?

    Geoff's new assignment

    My brother Geoff & his wife Sherry have been a key part of our team at Seacoast for the past 14 years. They recently accepted a new assignment at Saddleback Church and he and I process the decision to go with our Seacoast staff.

    All Staff from Seacoast Church on Vimeo.

    Geoff blogged about what he’ll be doing HERE

    Rick Warren shares his vision for church planting HERE

    They will be missed more than I can express, but I’m proud of them. I’ll be cheering thru tears…

    Geoff’s new assignment

    My brother Geoff & his wife Sherry have been a key part of our team at Seacoast for the past 14 years. They recently accepted a new assignment at Saddleback Church and he and I process the decision to go with our Seacoast staff.

    All Staff from Seacoast Church on Vimeo.

    Geoff blogged about what he’ll be doing HERE

    Rick Warren shares his vision for church planting HERE

    They will be missed more than I can express, but I’m proud of them. I’ll be cheering thru tears…