Well...in case you've missed all the commotion on my Twitter and Facebook, we are in the final sprint to our Annual Leadership Retreat.
In 2002, I came on staff "part-time" at NCC (that's when Mark Batterson's scheme to trick me into ministry began), and my very first responsibility was to plan our very first leadership retreat.
We've done it ever year. Without question. Until about this moment when a nagging little question haunts us in the wee hours of the morning...somebody remind me why we are doing this again?
Hauling pounds and pounds of bananas. Setting up lights and stages and screens and banners. Stuffing bags with odds and ends. Super secret rehearsals at weird times. Not sleeping for nights on end. Making dozens of ridiculous videos. Investing literally hundreds of staff hours for a 22-hour experience for our leaders. The question usually comes around 2:17 am when we wonder why we are struggling so much over a song choice or an edit to a graphic or a 5-minute schedule change.
And then we remember. This is about who we are and what we believe in our guts.
We honor and appreciate leaders. One of our core values is "everyone is invaluable and irreplaceable." So yeah...we are going to go the extra mile to make it the best experience we can for them. That's why our A Team (administrative team) goes into overdrive to make this happen.
We create culture. Another core value- We expect the unexpected and expect our leaders to do the same. Leadership Retreat is about creating and carefully protecting our unique NCC culture. That's why we deputize our Proteges to create welcoming environments and "groove lounge" experiences.
We believe in doing it right and doing it big. We believe in big vision. We believe in right execution. At Leadership Retreat we cast big vision; and we are going to cast it in the right way.
We are creative. The church ought to be the most creative place on the planet. That conviction is rooted deep in our guts. That's why we our media team and worship team go into overdrive.
We are disciples who make disciples. Ultimately, this is what we are about. Leadership Retreat is a time for us to reconnect with God-- to make sure our hearts are pure before him. And a time to reconnect with his primary calling on our lives-- to hand craft other disciples.
Leadership Retreat is the part of my portfolio that I love the most, that humbles me the most, and that I expend the most of myself on. For the next few days, I'll be blogging about it. What we do. How we do it.