I flew in to sunny Orlando, Florida today to attend the Exponential East 2016 Church Planting Conference. The point of the conference according the marketing materials is “How to Become Level 5 Churches”.
“Five” is the level you reach after you church was really terrible, decided to evangelize, of course then becoming a church that multiplies. Level one is known as subtraction or, a church that subtracts. Also known as a church on the decline soon to be phased out.
The first guy that got up to speak was Erwin McManus. Erwin was lead to Christ by his mother in this church (First Baptist Orlando, a church the size of something only dreams are made of). Now Erwin is the pastor at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles. I later spoke with Ed Stetzer and he was clear that he did not agree with what Erwin had to say but was thankful that at least he does know the Lord.
Below is a fancy photo of a quote he said that I stole from Twitter.
McNamus’ speech was cringe-worthy at best. His main point was that we must bring humanity back to humans through faith. We must have faith and then we will be human once again. The church can make the future of the earth a better earth, as long as we have faith.
I was mainly disgusted and being that this was the first speaker, I became worried this entire trip was a big waste of time. I thought I might be spending the next two days listening to goof balls talk about BS that makes me want to throw up.
Luckily my worries were useless, because after Erwin said something fancy and made the crowd go wild, he stepped down, and in his place was the legend himself, Ed Stetzer.
Ed Stetzer seems to be actually basing his material on what the conference is supposed to be about. If you know anything about Ed, you know that he is well-versed in this church-multiplication discussion. He has written several books about it and is currently selling his brand new updated version of “Planting Missional Churches”. He claims that it is 50% new content, so if you are interested, give that a listen. Below is also a picture that I stole from Twitter, this time of Ed Stetzer.
Ed hammered home what must be said, apparently, to churches today. “If we want to reach the lost, we must be intentional”. You would think this thought would be obvious, but apparently not. He listed stat after stat basically all showing the same thing, churches that try to evangelize, grow.
That is why I named this blog what I did. Ed was hot, Erwin was cold. Ed’s talk was full of quality doctrine, based clearly on scripture. Erwin, obviously the cold one, had material based on some odd interpretations, making a brand new Great Commission, instead of making disciples of the entire world, he’d rather make disciples that make the world a better place. He might as well rewrite the bible while he’s at it.