Yesterday I committed myself to watching The NINES leadership conference. I set up the laptop with the projector and big screen and kicked back in our youth room. I was impressed with the variety of speakers and the depth of insight that was being presented. I was less than surprised by some of the poor exegesis. I was able to invest in about half the conference.

For those of you who don’t know how the The NINES works it’s a single day web conference where speakers discuss a single topic. This year they got 6 minutes. So, over the course of the nine hours there were over 100 videos. The pace is fast and a couple fo hours disappear before you know it. This year’s topic was “Game Changers”.

There were two highlights for me as a developing leader that I am going to continue chewing on. The first was from Mike Slaughter. He discussed the centrality of discipleship in his ministry. What really caught me was when he said, “Programs and services do not produce disciples, disciples do.” Now, this is not new information. But, it was one of those reminders that as a pastor/shepherd my calling is to disciple making. It is not to entertaining or building a social club. The ramifications of this are still swirling in my head.

The second talk that has stuck was from Eric Geiger. He discussed the role of the pastor. He argued that the typical church structure is:

[Pastor] — ->Minister — –>[People]

He then turned to Ephesians 4:11–12 and made the case that the biblical model is:

[Pastor] — –>Prepare — –[People] — –>Minister

This ties directly into the discipleship issue. While I was on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ I think I was a pretty effective discipler. The movements that I served developed high student ownership and our staff teams were diligent about preparing people to do ministry. There was a clear DNA that we sought to replicate within each student. I think that this has been the hardest part of the transition into the local church. Our DNA is not as clear, the folks who have been entrusted to us are not as available, the expectations on the role of pastor is very different because the people have expectations!

This morning as I process I am wondering how do we effectively disciple in the modern world?