Yesterday I was able to attend a live streaming of The Elephant Room at Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, OH. If you have never heard of The Elephant Room it is simply where a group of well-known pastors from different backgrounds and church styles come together to talk about the things most church leaders are debating behind closed doors. Elephant Room Round 1 took place last year and I was able to watch the DVD set when it came out. This year I was able to go watch The Elephant Room Round 2 live through a live stream. I cam away from the event yesterday encouraged, convicted, and challenged. It was simple a great event where men who love Jesus and the Gospel came together and put aside their differences to have the conversations we usually have behind closed doors. The amount of unity, love, and respect that was demonstrated by these men was amazing! I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes and points these men made throughout the day. Before I share the quotes and points, here is a quick run down on the pastors that were a part of the event.
Jack Graham-Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church. Has served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mark Driscoll-Preaching pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.
Steven Furtick-Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.
Crawford Lorritts-Senior Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, GA.
Wayne Cordeiro-Founding Pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii.
James MacDonald-Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel and started The Elephant Room.
T.D. Jakes-Senior Pastor of The Potter’s House.
Conversation #1: With a Little Help From My Friend
What is the future of denominations.
“Denominations that do not do missions should go away.” JG
“A denomination is a para church ministry, it should come along side local churches.” JG
“A lot of money is being given, but is work being done?” MD
“Are we going to be kingdom builders or empire builders?” WC
“Don’t take overseas what you are not doing locally.” JG
“We are not trying to be Calvinists, we are trying to be evangelists.” MD
Conversation #2: Can’t Buy Me Love
What essentials should be part of the Gospel presentation.
“Sharing the message creatively is not watering it down.” SF
“God has called me to preach the Gospel, not critique it.” SF
“Preaching is sharing truth through personality.” JM
“If people meet Jesus, is there a wrong way to do that?” MD
“It’s easier to be a critic than a preacher.” MD
Conversation #3: A Hards Day Night
How can a pastor handle the pressures of ministry and burnout.
“Everyone is susceptible to burnout.” WC
“What fuels you on the inside can destroy you on the outside.” WC
“Pastors dont forget their pastors, they forget they are human.” WC
“The Devil cannot steal your ministry so he steals the joy of your ministry.” WC
“The Devil cant push you off the ledge, but he will try to do something that will make you jump.” WC
“You cannot critique what you have not seen.” TJ
“I try and have relationships that complete me not compete with me.” TJ
“Your wife should be your number one accountability person.” JG
“Your identity is not your ministry.” MD
Conversation #4: Ticket to Ride
What are the “majors” of Christian doctrine that we must agree on.
“The nature of God is a mystery.” MD
“None of our books on the Godhead will be on sale in heaven.” TJ
“Stumbling to explain God is worship.” TJ
“If we dont do a better job at communicating we will not survive.” TJ
Conversation #5: Come Together
How do we pursue racial harmony in the church.
“The way to get the walls down is to tear off the roof” JG
“I believe some churches are dead, and should be dead, because they are full of hate.” JG
“When I know you, I can love you.” JG
“You can’t integrate your ministry until you integrate your life.” TJ
“The church is not doing as good as the world is doing with integration.” TJ
“We serve a God who challenges us to be uncomfortable.” TJ
“The lack of moral courage in the church is appalling.” CL
“If you are serious about being used by God, you must understand God is bigger than you.” TJ
Conversation #6: Help
What do we do when a pastor or church leader fails morally?
“I’m a steward of the integrity of the church and the message.” CL
“When we confront others over sin, there should be tears in our soul.” CL
“It’s not only confession that heals, but repentance.” WC
“A mans marriage will go silent before it goes south” JM
“You can tell a lot about a mans marriage from the countenance of his wife.” JM
“Restoration to fellowship is different than restoration to leadership.” JM
“I have never talked to someone who has failed morally that was not consistent in his time with the Lord.” CL
“Ministry is not a right, it is a privilege.” JM
“It’s not about the messenger, its about the message.” JM
Conversation #7: We Can Work on It
What responsibilities do we have to local pastors who exist outside our theological boundaries, but within the body of Christ?
“I’m still fired up about the doctrines, I’m just not angry about it.” JM
“People say they are defending the Gospel, but they really are just being crappy friends.” SF