Monthly Archives: August 2008

Hillsong Conference Day 2

Sitting here in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Toronto. We’re leaving in about an hour to head home. I’m excited to actually be home for a while and see Malia and Pressley again, but it’s been a great weekend.

Yesterday was packed full.

Session 1 – Brian Houston.
Brian Houston is the lead pastor at Hillsong Church in Australia. He planted the church 25 years ago and seems to be a great visionary who has seen a global vision for ministry truly come to pass.

In the morning he spoke from the book of Joshua where God promises Joshua that he will expand his territory, but he must be “strong and courageous.” Brian’s point was that God definitely has plans for us and great vision for us, but it won’t come to pass without challenges at times. He read from Joshua 12 as it lists the entire group of defeated kings, 31 in all. Houston made a great parallel by asking what kings we were facing–be it anxiety, stress, fear, sin, etc.

Session 2 – Joel Houston
Joel is Brian’s son. He is one of the worship leaders from Hillsong United, and is amazingly gifted, both as a singer/songwriter AND a speaker.

Joel shared about the I-Heart Revolution he has helped to birth. He spoke of God’s call for truth, beauty and justice and I really appreciated the honesty and sincerity of his message. I think the main takeaway I pulled was just a reinforcement that worship must be carried out through our actions and involvement in the needs of the world around us.

Session 3 – Songwriting with Brooke Fraser and Joel Houston
Great, short session.

Songwriting is an abstract, crazy thing that I don’t know if it’s even possible to give practical advice on… so I loved that the basic gist of the talk was, “Be you. Keep writing. Love God.” Amen.

Closing Session – Brian Houston
An amazing last session with a full-blown concert from the band.

Brian’s talk dealt with the church and the calling of the people as a movement.

Looking forward to getting home.

Hillsong Conference Day 2


Sitting here in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Toronto. We’re leaving in about an hour to head home. I’m excited to actually be home for a while and see Malia and Pressley again, but it’s been a great weekend.

Yesterday was packed full.

Session 1 – Brian Houston.
Brian Houston is the lead pastor at Hillsong Church in Australia. He planted the church 25 years ago and seems to be a great visionary who has seen a global vision for ministry truly come to pass.

In the morning he spoke from the book of Joshua where God promises Joshua that he will expand his territory, but he must be “strong and courageous.” Brian’s point was that God definitely has plans for us and great vision for us, but it won’t come to pass without challenges at times. He read from Joshua 12 as it lists the entire group of defeated kings, 31 in all. Houston made a great parallel by asking what kings we were facing–be it anxiety, stress, fear, sin, etc.

Session 2 – Joel Houston
Joel is Brian’s son. He is one of the worship leaders from Hillsong United, and is amazingly gifted, both as a singer/songwriter AND a speaker.

Joel shared about the I-Heart Revolution he has helped to birth. He spoke of God’s call for truth, beauty and justice and I really appreciated the honesty and sincerity of his message. I think the main takeaway I pulled was just a reinforcement that worship must be carried out through our actions and involvement in the needs of the world around us.

Session 3 – Songwriting with Brooke Fraser and Joel Houston
Great, short session.

Songwriting is an abstract, crazy thing that I don’t know if it’s even possible to give practical advice on… so I loved that the basic gist of the talk was, “Be you. Keep writing. Love God.” Amen.

Closing Session – Brian Houston
An amazing last session with a full-blown concert from the band.

Brian’s talk dealt with the church and the calling of the people as a movement.

Looking forward to getting home.

Phil Dooley – Intimacy


It’s difficult to follow my last post with something serious, but I’ll try. I’m here with some great folks from the Chapel for the Hillsong United Conference in Toronto.

The first night of the conference was great. I’m amazed at the tightness of the actual Hillsong band and the spirit they have with worship. More amazing was the anticipation of thousands of people to engage in worship.

Phil Dooley spoke tonight. He is the former youth pastor of Hillsong in Australia and now leads their church plant in Capetown, South Africa.

I really appreciated Phil’s message tonight as he spoke of intimacy and community as a reflection of the glory of God. He was a great speaker who began with some tinkering on a keyboard — simple, single notes speaking of the isolation of so many people. Later he brought out one of the band’s keyboard players who played during the entire talk, weaving in the idea of the harmony God brings to relationships and churches.

One of the most powerful moments of the night was Phil talking about what some US High Schools have done with a program called Challenge Day. The basic gist is that students are challenged to “cross a line” if they’ve ever been hurt by others, abused, wounded, etc. Watch the video if you can and you’ll gain a better picture, but I was moved by this. I’m amazed that high schools are diving into the deepness and emotional baggage that comes with great levels of honesty and healing. As leaders in a church I think we should examine and question how we are doing the same things.

Time for sleep now.

Toronto Update

We made it Toronto. This is just a quick update from bathroom experience number 1 with Bruce at Passion.

Signing Off…

We leave for vacation today. I’m really tired. Just finished another class and still really struggling with what all this calling stuff is about. If you guys are reading, keep praying for Carrie and I and the girls. Here are some specifics:

1 – Pray for this week that it’s restful. We camp from Sunday till Thursday and I’m really excited to just be away in the quiet.

2 – Pray for clarity and wisdom. I have no idea what the next year to three years to five years will entail for me, and I’m not sure I really need to know. What I am looking for is the clarity that will spell out some wholehearted passion in what God has called me to for this time.

Thank you. We’ll look forward to connecting with you all once we get back.

Signing Off…

We leave for vacation later today. I’ll be signing off for most of the week. Honestly, I can’t wait. Blessings.

The Crazy Ones

Great video. Best thing about it is it was made by fans, not staff.

Reconciliation

I’m finishing a paper up for my class this quarter. It asks the question of how the writings of Paul and the book of Acts can be used to help lead our churches. The aspect I think I’m going to key in on is the idea of reconciliation.

As I read throughout Paul and in Acts, it seems that the mission of the church was to live out the story of God–a story that began with the Creator seeking to reconcile his people to himself. How does this happen? How is this story told?

I think that the most clear way of “telling” the story is through lives that are modeling this reconciliation. It’s been said that the single largest cause of atheism is Christians… “who acknowledge Jesus with their lips but deny him by their lifestyle.” In thinking about the CHURCH… where can we begin to model the reconciliation that God longs to bring to life in the lives of those far from him? Where does this take place?

I think it stretches from an individual to a global and cosmic level. What if we began ACTIVELY restoring relationships in the church we each attend? What if we refused to allow disunity? What if we carried this into our communities, toward people we’ve offended both individually and as church bodies? What if we sought reconciliation at political levels, racial levels, socioeconomic levels, family levels, and on and on and on?

Perhaps it’s too idealistic, but I think this is the mission we have as storytellers of God’s reconciling plan for the universe.

Any thoughts?

Reconciliation

I’m finishing a paper up for my class this quarter. It asks the question of how the writings of Paul and the book of Acts can be used to help lead our churches. The aspect I think I’m going to key in on is the idea of reconciliation.

As I read throughout Paul and in Acts, it seems that the mission of the church was to live out the story of God–a story that began with the Creator seeking to reconcile his people to himself. How does this happen? How is this story told?

I think that the most clear way of “telling” the story is through lives that are modeling this reconciliation. It’s been said that the single largest cause of atheism is Christians… “who acknowledge Jesus with their lips but deny him by their lifestyle.” In thinking about the CHURCH… where can we begin to model the reconciliation that God longs to bring to life in the lives of those far from him? Where does this take place?

I think it stretches from an individual to a global and cosmic level. What if we began ACTIVELY restoring relationships in the church we each attend? What if we refused to allow disunity? What if we carried this into our communities, toward people we’ve offended both individually and as church bodies? What if we sought reconciliation at political levels, racial levels, socioeconomic levels, family levels, and on and on and on?

Perhaps it’s too idealistic, but I think this is the mission we have as storytellers of God’s reconciling plan for the universe.

Any thoughts?

Then there’s the Short Hair…

A friend just sent me this picture… seems like the long hair comparison was okay, but he sees the dangers of short hair as well.

In case you don’t know, this is Steve from Blue’s Clues.