Did you watch any of The Nines conference?
I watched less of it than I expected to, but still quite a bit.
Well, I watched about 7 or 8 speakers, and listened to another 10-15 probably. I had to bail out in the afternoon, so I missed a lot of the guys I was most looking forward to: Driscoll, Stetzer, Patrick, Warren, et.al.
The last guy I caught was John Ortberg, and I was glad for that. Before him I heard Brad Bell, who I'd never heard of, but who gave a great little talk on pastors taking care of themselves and their families. Jud Wilhite took the same sort of tack, talking about personal integrity, guarding our hearts and reputations. Bell's was more along the lines of spending quality time with wives and kids and also stuff like "Go take a nap," which is not the sort of leadership lesson you'd expect from most. :-)
Earlier in the day, and the absolute best talk I heard, was Skye Jethani's, which is no surprise as I think his book The Divine Commodity is one of the few must-reads of 2009.
And as a testament to the diversity in The Nines lineup, after Jethani had finished talking about measuring success by faithfulness and not seeking legitimacy in numbers, we had plenty of "bursting barriers" guys and others still plugging away on the church growth mantras (which should by now be debunked, as America has more megachurches than ever but fewer Christians).
Greg Surratt and Pete Wilson, two multi-site guys I love and consider friends (even though they may not claim me :-), gave good solid talks that belied just how on fire their ministries are right now. Humility speaks volumes.
Amy Hanson gave a calm but incisive talk on ministry to, by, and for the senior citizen crowd, a positive and cheerful rebuke of the church's idolization of youth that was probably lost on many because it was too gentle. Her 9 minutes were likely the most innovative 9 of the whole day -- I mean, which of these fauxhawked hipster pastorpreneurs even talks about old people in anything but dismissive terms these days? -- but I'm wiling to bet most in the Nines crowd tuned her out as soon as they saw she was a) a woman, b) not gesticulating "dynamically," and c) talking about old people.
In all, I thought The Nines was a neat experience and opportunity. I'm thankful to Leadership Network and all those who gave us 9 minutes of their time for making it happen -- and making it happen online and for free. It was a great gift.