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    Church Growth Conference Helps Pastors Feel Like Miserable Failures

    "I came here thinking my church was doing all right. Now I see we're so dinky and dumb, it's not even funny," says pastor Steve Irvine of Reno, Nev., who went to his hotel room and cried after each session.

    Several faith-filled conference speakers shared how they grew their churches to tens of thousands of members with various ministry techniques. In the foyer afterward, many participants wore tight grins. Some broke down on the spot.

    After paying $400 to attend the conference, pastor Ryan Delacourt of Eugene, Ore., left feeling "about three tons worse" than when he came.

    "I don't know why I go to these things," he says, noting that his church has been trying to break the 100-member mark for twelve years.

    After the conference some pastors hit the local Cracker Barrel restaurant to commiserate. Some vowed not to return.

    "If I want to be this depressed again, I'll rent Apocalypse Now, or read my e-mails," quipped one.

    OK... an (hopefully) obvious humorous article.  But... have you ever come away from a conference feeling like this?  I think it's all a matter of perspective.

    I'm a big conference promoter. I love going to conferences and seminars.  I'm looking forward to going to the Leadership Summit; and a couple of multi-site conferences yet this year, along with the Innovative Church Conference (one of my favorites) at Granger this fall.

    That being said... why do we go to conferences in the first place?  Hopefully it's not to try to carbon-copy anything.  Past experience has shown thousands of pastors that this doesn't work.  However, I think it's great to sit and learn... learn what works in different places... hear others share how God is working in a certain area... and, yes, maybe find some practical new ideas that can be tweaked in the ministry that I'm involved with.

    If I go strictly to compare my situation with the hosting church's ministry, I've missed the boat, and will probably come home more depressed than before.

    I guess it's all just a matter of perspective.  What do you think?

    (PS -- a little side promotion... check out my website for upcoming conferences near you!)


    This just in from  The "Bigger Church, Bigger Impact" conference wrapped on Friday, leaving participants feeling drained and dejected…


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    1. PASTOR EBENEZER ANNANG on Wed, April 19, 2006


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