The Nines Marathon

Earlier, I offered a heads-up on a free online leadership event called The Nines. The event (centered around 9-minute videos from 70+ different leaders/communicators), which took place today, ended moments ago, nearly 12 hours after it started.

I’m not sure how much of it I caught. I had the live stream going on my computer most of my time at home, but I wasn’t glued to it all the time. I was able to watch several inspirational/challenging segments and enough bits and pieces of others to know that I will want to check out some of the other videos when they are available online later.

I did not take extensive notes, but I tried to jot down some things that particularly challenged or inspired me, including the following.

While I’ve long known the name Nancy Beach, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard her. But she was the first communicator that inspired/challenged me. She talked about leadership integrity. She referred to Proverbs 4.23 and said, “I need to be intentional about guarding my heart.” Practically, she highlighted three things: (1) spiritual practices, (2) safe relationships, and (3) stretching experiences.

I love listening to and reading Reggie McNeal (I’ve written about his book, The Present Future, one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read). He defined missional church as “the people of God partnering with God in his redemptive mission in the world.” I didn’t catch all of Reggie’s segment, so I will need to review it later.

I enjoyed Bill Easum. He said, “Your legacy is not what you leave behind but who you leave behind.” So, he argued, your To-Be list is more important than your To-Do list. Easum lamented that too many pastors reach the end of their lives never having done what God called them to do, but what the church wanted them to do. He challenged leaders to set their own agenda, based on their call and the size of their vision. Leaders need to ask, “What do I need to stop doing?” and to do only what they feel called to do — nothing more, nothing less. That’s hard to do, but critically important.

Mark Batterson reminded leaders that it’s better to have one “God idea” than a thousand good ideas!

I’ve only heard John Ortberg speak a few times (via podcasts) but I love his writings. I caught most of his presentation around dinner time, but I heard him say, “What I want more than anything else is that I want to be fully alive, to be who God made me to be.” I also loved his statement, “Disciples are handcrafted, not mass produced.”

I caught just enough of the presentation by Ed Stetzer to know that I will want to watch it later when it becomes available. In his opening remarks, he said, “Mission is the opposite of self and we have to consistently make it about God’s glory and not about self.” He also said, “The heart is an idol factory.”

I will also want to review the presentation by David Foster, who talked about an area that’s important to me, as well as an area where most leaders, including myself, constantly need challenging — preparation. He said, “Make sure preparation is a priority so that preaching and teaching is out of the overflow.” This was nothing new, of course, but a needed reminder! Foster challenged leaders to devote time every week to preparing themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually so that their ministry flows out of their preparation.

As I said, for part of the day, I simply had the event running in the background. I was occasionally in and out (and I turned it off for a while during to evening to spend time with Ethan) and while I didn’t always get to take notes, there were other communicators I enjoyed, people like Margaret Feinberg and Craig Groschel. And as always, I will need to listen to the segment by Leonard Sweet a few times!

I did catch the final segment by Rick Warren after Ethan’s bedtime. Rick talked about the importance of having a system for making disciples, for taking people from “Come and see” (some of Jesus’ first words to his disciples) to “Come and die.” Rick said we start with “Come and see” but we can’t leave people there. We’re commanded to make disciples, not just converts.

One of the things I enjoyed about the event was seeing the different styles of the communicators. Most simply sat in front of a camera (with various kinds of backgrounds) and spoke directly to the listeners. The presentation by Brian McLaren was staged as a phone conversation (at least Brian’s side), which was well done. The segment by Mark Driscoll, which I did not listen to, looked like he was speaking to an audience, as if it was simply an excerpt from a presentation he gave to others.

The segment by Scott Williams was a dramatic mini-documentary filmed at the location of a prominent, historical church in Oklahoma City that was involved in the civil rights movement. He passionately talked about the need for churches to be more racially/ethnically diverse.

Well, there’s a lot to chew on. And a lot that I need to catch up on. Since each segment is supposed to be 9 minutes, it would be possible to catch a segment or two, from time to time (once they’re posted online).

If you saw any of the segments (or if you have any questions), feel free to leave a comment.

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