“I loved hearing about all the leaders who did such big things for God. The whole idea of ‘Dream Big’ is making me think, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I start a movement? These leaders of the faith didn’t wait. So what am I waiting for?’”–Exponential registrant Misa Hernandez, youth leader, Aurora, Illinois
Exponential East 2017 kicked off today! We heard from multiplication leaders who introduced this year’s “Dream Big” theme—focusing on the power of identifying a big multiplication dream and reawakening the wonderment (including the magic of snow in Florida from illusionist Harris III) and courage to pursue the specific vision God has given you and your church. Below, we’ve collected the day’s top highlights:
- Power, promises and presence. Matt Chandler encouraged the crowd of 5,000 church-planting leaders to “get your gaze back up” and to look to the power, promises and presence of God: “If you’re camped out, rooted in the promises of God, you will not dream small, generic dreams.”
- Three future-changing questions. Sharing regrets of waiting 12 years to plant their first church out of Community, Dave Ferguson challenged leaders to ask three questions he wishes he had asked himself and his team during that time:
- Who are the leadership residents on your church-planting team?
- What percentage of your budget will go to multiplication?
- When will we plant our first church? “Why did it take us so long?” Dave said, “I think it’s because we never asked the question ‘When?’ We had the vision, but we didn’t dare to put a date on the calendar. Asking the ‘when’ question will lead you to answer the ‘who’ and the ‘what.’”
- Missing your bigger dream.
Albert Tate warned leaders of becoming so stuck in the comfort of our success that you miss the bigger dream. He reminded leaders that we’re not in the church-building business, but rather, disciple making: “When that truth sinks in and we realize the huge harvest around us, we’ll never be satisfied or content with building one church.”
- Inspired to dream. Ed Stetzer took the crowd on a historical journey of North American church-planting movements, giving examples to help leaders dream a dream others have dreamed. From Francis Asbury, D.L. Moody and William Seymour to Aimee Semple McPherson, John Wimber, Chuck Smith and Ralph Moore, Ed shared how these leaders trusted and sacrificed to follow Jesus’ call. “Too many people are waiting for a pipe dream—not willing to sacrifice for God’s dream. The question for all of us is, ‘what’s your movement today?’”
- Where there is no vision… Vision clarity strategist Will Mancini introduced us to the concept of “generic vision,” explaining that we’re kept from our goal not by our obstacles but by a “clear path to a lesser goal.” He challenged leaders with the reality that where there is no vision, people cherish something: “If you’ve not done the hard work of identifying your multiplication dream, your church will cherish something lesser.”
- HeroMaker 2018. We announced and kicked off next year’s Exponential theme, “HeroMaker,” and surprised the room with 5,000 HeroMaker T-shirts!