How to Make the Most of Sticky Teams (and other conferences)

It’s conference time again here at North Coast Training, and your pastor is probably wondering if the team should go again this year. The argument is pretty simple: If you’re doing the same conferences year after year, then you’re not learning anything new. You see the same speakers, hear the same talks, and go back to your church the same. Here’s the thing: the Sticky Teams Conference is different. But first, here’s some context to why I am writing this today.

I had a phone call yesterday with a friend who is on staff at a large megachurch in Orange County, and I asked him, “Is your team coming this year?” His response was telling: “We have a new lead pastor who doesn’t see the value in the same conference we went to last year.” It’s a response that is typical, not surprising, and yet wrong for in this context. Five minutes later, I knew I had to write about this and help him (and others) out.

Three Ways to Get the Most Out of Sticky Teams

  1. Take advantage of the “no green room” policy. Any megachurch conference will let you see pastors Carey Nieuwhof, Albert Tate, plus the North Coast Church pastors Larry Osborne and Chris Brown, but name a conference where you can walk up to them, ask a question, and get an answer? It’s not really out there, so the opportunity is yours if you want it. These guys are friends of mine and I am telling you: they WANT to help you. That’s why they’re here. It’s not about money; it’s about the Kingdom.
  2. See what the vendors are really about. The vendors are there because they’re the best in the business. They’re there because they’ve been fully vetted. They’re there because Larry and his team trusts them. They have products, services, and wisdom to share with you. You’re in Vista for a reason, so maybe see what they’re about. We’ve got Tithely, Compassion International, and several others (plus yours truly) who want to set you on the right path.
  3. Take the classes you need to take, and do a few for fun. There is a ton of experience and wisdom at the conference, and it’s all meant to hit you where you’re at and help bring you where you need to be. Whether you need to attend a class on how to grow the church or on discipleship, something on sermon-based small groups, or need to learn the principles of effective management, the classes are for you. And if you’ve never seen Chris Brown walk through his preaching workshop, you’re seriously missing out. But take what you need (and want), do a few for fun, and don’t stress about making sure all your time is allocated. Your brain can only take so much information in, but budget your time (and energy) effectively.

Sticky Teams is not just another church growth conference.

You can go to Amazon and buy the best books on leadership if that was the case. This is a conference that helps you create and sustain a church culture that is growing forward with practical wisdom and experience that will work for you. If you’re are recovering from conference burnout, then this is the conference for you, whether it’s your first or tenth time here. Your staff needs space to be and feel appreciated, and everyone needs dedicated time to learn from others who have been there and done that.