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Monday, November 27, 2006

re:create 2007!

Everyone wants to be part of something special.

My friend Tom invited me to be part of the re:create conference in Nashville (specifically Franklin) in 2002. I had little idea what I was getting myself into. I knew nothing about the conference at the time except for the mystery that Tom created for me. I can be somewhat of a cynic when it comes to conferences. They have always left me wanting and/or depressed and/or angry. My deep disdain for “conferences” almost kept me from going but, I trusted Tom when he told me re:create was “different.”

Fast forward 6 years . . . Thank God for Tom’s persistence. I became part of a group that has changed my life and continues to impress, shape, encourage, and inspire me. re:create has become my “noose-loosener”, my connection to like-minded artists, a network of support, and a source of some of the most meaningful relationships I have on the planet.

re:create is unlike any conference you have ever attended. I promise. As a matter of fact, I don’t even put it in the same category as a church conference. Putting re:create into the same category as “conferences” is like insulting my mom. I take it personal.

Imagine if a think-tank had kids with a secret society—that’s closer to re:create. If a rock concert had kids with a book club. If a brainstorming meeting joined forces with Disneyland. Going out for a night on the town with Jedi Masters. If a counseling session was designed for Playstation 3. Now we are getting closer.

You can all visit the website at www.recreateconference.com to learn everything you need to know about re:create. Follow all the links. Read what people are saying. Learn about the speakers. Then, believe me when I tell you that the surprises that are planned this year are as big if not bigger than what is revealed on the site. The surprises never cease to amaze me. The mystery of re:create is part of the magic.

World-class speakers/thinkers/theologians/artists/influencers/artists + surprises= re:create.

For the first few years, re:create was an invitation-only gathering that had a ceiling on attendance somewhere around 30 people. Last year, Randy Elrod—founder and architect of re:create-- decided to open it up to a handful of others This year, Randy has moved re:create into a new dimension.

On February 5-8, 2007, re:create will once again take place at the Cool Springs Marriott just outside of Nashville, TN. However, the think-tank has been expanded to include two other groups so that THREE groups will meet simultaneously for

1)refreshment
2)encouragement
3)diffusion of ideas

re:create I will again convene (7th year!) for churches with a weekly attendance of 2000+
re:create II is added this year to accommodate churches with a weekly attendance of 1000-2000
re:create III is designed for churches with a weekly attendance of 0 up to 999

Breaking groups down by attendance will ensure that discussion is appropriate for the kinds of things you deal with in your church. Nothing is more frustrating than going to a conference where someone is talking about the struggle they are having trying to be creative in their state-of-the-art mega auditorium with fifteen projectors while you are wondering how to creatively project onto bed sheets since that’s all your church can afford—or vice-versa.

I am very excited that I have been asked to host/moderate this year’s re:create III!

I am excited to share in this wonderful event this year because . . . I know what awaits you. I have lived the re:create conference experience for six years and rely upon the relationships I have built through re:create.

I am one of three pastors who share in a team leadership model at Westwinds Church in Jackson, Michigan. Each of us on Coriolis (our leadership team) has a specific area of focus.

My area happens to be “Experience.” Experience is a way to describe everything you see, taste, touch, smell, and hear at Westwinds from the parking lot to the interior including all the arts ministries as well as the branding and “vibe” of everything Westwinds.

I have worked in this general area of ministry for nearly 20 years. I have been part of church plants that started with 14 people to churches of nearly 3000 people and everything in-between. In all of those scenarios, I have been passionate about what the church has to offer and what the artist has to offer the church. It is for this reason I am connected with re:create.

Are you an artist? Musician? Creative team leader? Production person? Stage manager? Songwriter? Poet? Writer? Pastor? Do you have a heart for the church and believe in doing whatever it takes to make church a relevant place for people today? Are you somehow responsible in some way for “making the magic happen” at your church? Do you want to be stretched creatively in order to offer your church the very best you can?

I believe this is going to be the best re:create yet. Get registered today!

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