Monday Morning Insights

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    Seriously.  I Feel Strongly About This…

    Seriously.  I Feel Strongly About This…

    Untitled Document

    If you would, please allow me a couple minutes to take a trip down my personal memory lane...

    If there is one thing that drives me as a leader, it is helping other leaders be more successful and see better results in their personal ministry. For me, this has taken different forms over the years...

    As a worship leader for over fifteen years and an early internet geek, I was frustrated that there weren't any websites that had much to do with worship. My first online project was a website called (remember when we used to call worship leaders 'ministers of music'?!) Most people didn't know what a website was back in 1998. I'm not sure I did. But I did find out pretty instantly that helping and interacting with leaders was something that was not only fun, but personally gratifying.

    For the next few years, I switched my focus to helping churches and leaders connect in staffing relationships. In 1999, was born, and I was able to see God really use the internet to strategically place hundreds (probably thousands) of leaders in local churches all across the country.

    In 2003, started as an email newsletter, then as a blog in 2004. MMI has introduced me to an unbelieveable number of incredibly talented and Spirit-filled people who are doing some incredible things for the Kingdom of God.

    I did a little research and found out that I joined Twitter on April 2, 2007. I had no idea just a few years ago how much this platform would change the way that many of us in the church world communicate with each other.

    And in 2008, I joined the staff of Leadership Network. It has been a perfect match for me, allowing me to use my skills to help multiply the impact of high caliber leaders.

    All this is not to mention all the other things I've tried, services I've experimented with, and miserable failures along the way. The failures are too numerous to mention here.

    Last year, I was part of another thing that I think has been a highlight of my church leadership career... it was a little experiment that we did at Leadership Network called The NINES. The idea was simple: we'd ask a ton of speakers to share for 9 minutes on 09/09/09 for what we thought would be the first ever, totally online conference for church leaders.

    We asked about 85 people, hoping to get twenty or twenty-five people to speak. We ended up with nearly 80! Practically no-one said no! When all was said and done, over 20,000 church leaders watched on September 9th of last year. Thousands more have watched the archived videos.

    But what was more exciting and 'game changing' for me was this: the number of people with a common life purpose all saying that the day at The NINES was really beneficial to their personal and professional ministry. Some communicated that there were some life-changing take-aways from the day. Others said it was like trying to drink from a firehose because there was so much great information that was shared.

    One of the things that I appreciated about The NINES was the diversity of the speakers. There were speakers that everyone knew (they were the big names) and speakers that nobody had ever heard of (who were some of the highest rated). There were speakers from the United States and Europe. There were men and women. There were many different ethnicities represented.

    We were able to take different current technologies and merge them together to create not just an online event but an online experience and community for thousands of church leaders. It was an exciting event.

    That's why we decided to do it all again this year. And why we decided to try some new things to make this year's NINES experience even better.

    For example, this year, YOU could be one of the speakers by submitting your own video. Or, you and your church can host a NINES viewing party for free!

    Best of all, we're making The NINES experience available this year again for FREE! (There are a couple of paid options that I think you should take a look at as well that will enhance your experience).

    The theme this year is "Game Changers". We have over 100 confirmed speakers that will share the big things that have literally changed their lives and their ministries over the years. I think you'll really enjoy the day, and find some interest insights that will help you moving forward in your ministry.

    Of all the things that I've participated and helped lead over the years, I think The NINES has great potential in helping you as a leader. That's why I'm dead serious when I say that I think you should take a moment RIGHT NOW, and do the following:

    1. Mark off your calendar for the entire day on September 9. If you have an assistant, have her mark the entire day as 'full' and you as 'unavailable'.

    2. Register right now for The NINES, so we'll know you're coming! Don't worry... there's a free option.

    3. Make it a learning day for your entire staff. If you are the head hauncho at your church, then I would encourage you to make this a staff learning day. Seriously... when can you have this kind of learning opportunity for your staff with no travel, no airfare, no hotel, and NO COST? If you're not the grand pooba at your church, suggest to him/her that having the staff participate in The NINES would be a great learning day that would pay off in many ways (use your imagination if you have to!)

    4. Consider hosting a group site for The NINES. Seriously. What impact could a day like this have if you were to ask your pastor friends and leaders from churches in your city to attend at your facility? If you're all serious about reaching people for Jesus, then this seems like a great opportunity to further the mission of Christ in your community!

    Over the next few days, we'll be announcing more and more of the people who will be sharing on The NINES this year (so far, we've announced Perry Noble, Francis Chan, Sam Chand, Eugene Cho, Alan Hirsch, Brad Lomenick, Jaeson Ma, Kem Meyer, Stacy Spencer, Ed Stetzer, Greg Surratt, Carlos Whittaker, Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren. You can subscribe to our RSS feed to get the latest, or follow our updates on Twitter here.

    Please, take the time to register now.

    Have a great week!

    Todd Rhoades |


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    1. Peter Hamm on Mon, July 26, 2010

      I hope it goes well, and I hope I can attend. But a whole day is very hard for me to schedule that time of year.

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