Seeds Conference 2015 | Main Session 1 – Willie George

Hey everyone!

If you’re new to the site: Welcome, glad you’re here!

I’m fortunate enough to be attending the Seeds Conference at Church on the Move (COTM) in Tulsa, OK this week, and I though it would be fun to bring you guys along for the ride.  Over the next few days, I’m going to be posting some recaps here for the Main Sessions, as well as the breakouts I attend.

I hope you’re able to get some takeaways from my notes and observations, and if you’d like to watch along online, you can check out the Stream Pass for the conference by CLICKING HERE.  This is the next best things to being here . . . outside of these recaps of course.  : )

Anyways, I hope this is helpful, and feel free to share these with your team to help stir conversation and to inspire your team to take steps to do all we can to reach people and help them know Jesus.  With that, let’s dive into Main Session 1, featuring our host pastor, Pastor Willie George of COTM.

Seeds Conf - MS 1

Music Recap

Seeds Conference (search #SeedsConf on Twitter, Facebook, etc to follow along) kicked off tonight, and it was no disappointment.  In juxtaposition to last year’s opener, they started out with Jordan leading Sinking Deep with Marcos simply accompanying him on piano (a real piano mind you, no small feat to mic that as well as they did, kudos to Andrew Stone & team).

The house lights were up, Jordan was leading, and it was a perfect introduction to our time together.  The band came out at the beginning of the first bridge, which further built the “we’re-in-this-together” vibe, and killed the remainder of that song.  Always good to be in a room full of worship leaders with a bridge like that.

Your love, so deep, is washing over me
Your face is all I see, You are my everything
Jesus Christ, You are my one desire
Lord, hear my only cry, to know you all my life

The night got rolling after that, going into You in a COTM original arrangement (I assume), going right into a welcome from COTM Executive Pastor, Whitney George.  Love how the band seamlessly supports these speaking times, proving clear and crisp segues.

This move right into a great set of In Sync, It is Well (Bethel Version), & No Longer Slaves.  This last tune was POWERFUL, and Andy did a masterful job of not only leading the song, but PREACHING this song by the way he led.

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I think it was a perfect decision to start the conference out by reminding each and everyone one of us that we don’t belong to God because we are on church staff, we aren’t redeemed because we lead worship, but that we are held by our Father because we are children of God.

Message Recap: Willie George

Pastor Willie’s message tonight was basically about the importance of asking Why.  Its good and right to know the what and the how, but its much more important to know the why behind something.  This whole conversation happens in the context of CHANGE in the church.

Specifically, he talked about churches who haven’t seen growth or life in a long time.  These churches have lost momentum, and are basically waiting on revival.  The thing is: Revival is already here.  People are being saved, marriages are being restored, but those who are choosing to engage with what God is doing are experiencing revival.

Often times, change is required for revival to fall in these churches.  However, if change was easy, every church would thrive.  Change is hard because it requires that we cross over man-made boundaries that had been set in place for only a generation. 

Pastor Willie mentioned the Unholy Trinity of Change, or why people tend to not like change:

  1. A very strong sense of loyalty to a previous mentor before them, who may not even be around or alive anymore.
  2. A deeply held misbelief, where they are mistake and are committed to a mis-truth.  They haven’t allowed themselves to consider something else.
  3. A concern about a disapproving fraternity, or friend group.  They are afraid what their friends, peers, other pastors are going to think.

He spoke about how some churches are slow to change, others are quick to change.  Some get stuck on a tradition that wasn’t rooted in biblical truth, while others don’t even know why they do something to begin with, they just have ALWAYS done it like that.

Then he dropped this bomb:

WHAT we do & HOW we do it has little impact

if we don’t know WHY we do it.

He said, when things are going good, we tend to focus exclusively on the what and how.  The next tip, trick or process that will help us do what we do better.  However, the only time we tend to ask why is when things are going bad.  Guilty.

In the remainder of his time, he focused on the importance of asking Why.  That it is a question that should start the process rather than be haphazardly forgotten.  He also briefly mentioned the importance of passion, and how it is a catalyst for change that can be used to help reach people.  Without passion, he said, the what and the how can become mechanical. 

He went on to talk about how blessed we are to live in an age where we can see what other churches are doing like never before.  We can learn from each other, adopt practices and techniques.  However, he warned to beware of intimidation by observation.  He said, “No matter how much God blesses somebody else, he still has something great for me.”  #Preach

He concluded by emphasizing the importance of contextualizing things rather than simply adopting them.  This is where asking the question WHY becomes so important.  If you do something simply because someone else did it, then you’re just copying them.

God doesn’t want copies, He wants reproductions.  Reproductions are a lil of this, a lil of that, and a lil of us.  Take the time to understand the WHY behind your implementation of something so that you can keep your authenticity.  

These last two statements sum up the whole heart of where Pastor Willie was coming from tonight:

  • You change your culture in order to reach people, and you do it by starting with the WHY.
  • The greatest anointing flow from people who understand the WHY.

So much gold here from Pastor Willie, grateful for his leadership, hospitality and teaching.  Also, he is ALWAYS walking around the conference meeting people, hanging out, and being exactly who you see on stage and off.  I love seeing that kind of stuff, and really respect him for being 100% himself.

Really looking forward to tomorrow, so off to bed for me (after a quick call to my 8-month pregnant wife, HOLLA) to wake up fresh for a big, full day tomorrow.  Check back for more Recaps to come!

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