I recently attended the Drive Conference at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. Over the course of approximately 48 hours, I heard their staff speak about partnering with parents, attracting great volunteers, learning how to accept correction, developing small group leaders, missions, developing a healthy staff culture, developing worship, managing healthy tension, and student ministry. As Andy Stanley, the Lead Pastor, said; “It’s like drinking from a fire hose.” We also enjoyed some of the most passionate and engaging worship that I have ever experienced.
Even though I learned an incredible amount of fascinating information about how this church lives out its mission; which is the third largest church in America (I never heard them say this or even speak about numbers, instead I found this out through my own research), the thing that stuck out to me the most was the extraordinary amount of joy that poured out of every staff member and every volunteer at North Point. They love to have fun and they love to laugh. Every person associated with this church was smiling continuously and helping me to feel welcome from the moment I drove onto their campus until the time I left. I did not hear one single negative statement or cross word at any point during the three day event.
The joy that these people have in Christ is incredible! It made me question a lot about my own life and ministry. Am I as excited about living for Jesus Christ as all of these people? Can I be as loving and kind and welcoming as they are? What do I need to change in my own life to be able to pour out this kind of joy on others?
As people of faith, our love for God and joy to be in ministry to others should continually flow from our lives! It should be infectious and draw others in. The next time you think I’m looking a little down or hear me say something negative, just remind me; “Hey Stephen, remember Drive??” Hopefully I won’t give you that opportunity!