Unscripted highlights of the #BestWayToLead Conference

Imported Truth from the Unscripted Voices of Mark Driscoll, Dave Ramsey, Perry Noble, Lysa Terkeurst, Steven Furtick, and Brad Cooper

Three of us showed up at NewSpring Church for Perry’s 2016 Leadership Conference last week.  Drove through the night.  Slept in a cheap hotel.  Rushed in a bit late to a distant row in the balcony.  Squeezed past three conservative observers who didn’t seem delighted to have us climbing over them at each break.  They peered over the rims of their glasses; I hoped i didn’t slosh my coffee onto their leather bibles.  

We settled in.  I reviewed the schedule for the day observing the precise details the marketing crew far from overlooked.  I love paper and pencils, print and fonts.  

Perry Noble spoke.  Lisa Terkeurst.  Mark Driscoll.  Brad Cooper.  Steven Furtick.  Dave Ramsey.  Music dispersed throughout.  

At the end of the day, we drove through snowy mountains toward home.  Thick, wet, snowflakes shimmered in headlights and smeared across the glass.  Wipers squeaked.  Thick, wet, words of six sinners and saints silently fell from the dark sky and smeared across my mind.  Truth squeaked unscripted.  A raw edge, unedited comments, and guttural sighs that the mic wouldn’t let slip by unnoticed. 

I suppose Perry unintentionally set the stage for the five that followed by his willingness to be fully real, as usual, along with the spirit in NewSpring’s auditorium that proclaims no one is any better than anyone else.  So in that spirit, each speaker, well prepared I’m sure, had a moment of unscripted truth that was caught and proclaimed by the ever spreading, never erasing, technology of today.  And that was my favorite part.

Steven Furtick* said

YouTube plays in the background, probably to mask the silence so I don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside my heart.

A raw-edged truth: I know I’ve got stuff to deal with in my heart but I don’t want to.

Lysa Terkeurst* confessed

my reaction would not be of love so God waited.  He withheld the breakthrough I was so earnestly seeking until He knew I would give a reaction of love.

Truth: no matter how godly the world thinks I am, I still can react in a way that brings sorrow.  

Perry Noble* reminded us that

Beth Moore once said, ‘if we cannot give each other grace, then there will only be 12 of us left’… I believe his (Driscoll) best days are ahead of him.”

Truth: all the great preachers of the world need equally as much grace and it’s not a question of if they will screw up, but when they do will their colleagues bestow on them the grace that Jesus teaches?  Not seven times, but seventy times seven.  

Mark Driscoll* said

“You (Noble) and I together are a little bit of a risk factor… but you were kind to me.”  I’m either at tremendous peace with God or I’m checked out. 

And in reference to politics, 

“I can say it because I don’t have a staff.”

Truth: kindness trumps logic and reaches deep to our morrow to build us back up.

Truth: sometimes when our souls are so conjoined with the Almighty, we appear drunk or absent from the world.  It’s because we are in His world.

Truth: even with the ideal team around us, we still will be judged - in this world.  

Brad Cooper* encouraged us

As leaders ask lots of questions.  Perhaps the reason kids are always asking, “WHY?” is because they have yet to develop the self-awareness and egotistical mindset that builds our pride as adults.  Kids aren’t yet prideful like us.

Truth: Jesus knew the whole of “You must become like a little child to enter the kingdom” while we are just brushing the tip of the iceberg.

Dave Ramsey* fired out,

“Capitalism chews up lack of excellence and spits it out.”  He told us to have logic, but at the end of the day, bust it and get up and Run!

Truth: culture’s mediocrity and apathy poisons biblical work ethic. 

Truth: safe logical decisions can stifle God-given passions - especially if fear has not first been overcome.

Their outlined 60-minute sermons were great, yes, but it was the one-line, fired up, unscripted, laughable, cryable, raw-edge truth that brought them off the stage and face to face with thousands of mirrored sinners whose skeletons are offered a moment to come out unashamed.

* These are NOT word for word quotes from the speakers, rather the paraphrase from my memory three days later.  Each one gave a fantastic presentation and my hope in writing this blog entry was to share some of the wisdom they shared with us.