I’m in Orlando at the National New Church Conference. Also know as Exponential. http://www.exponentialconference.org/ We (Roberto and I) are enjoying our time learning, connecting, and networking with other new churches and pastors. We have learned much. Or, at least attempted to, there is a lot here, my notebook is as full as my belly (lots of good food too!). Probably the best part of the conference for us has been our relationship with Vantage Point Church and Lead Pastor Mark Lee and Worship Leader Tom Lanning. We are of the same heart, philosophy, etc. and we have had a great time learning from Vantage Point.We have also laughed hard and shared some funny stories from our two month old churches. Vantage Point started the same Sunday we did February 10, 2008. Lots in common and we look forward to learning and growing in the future together.

Tonight I hung out with Rick Warren. I got to talk to him about Seven San Diego and share a little bit about that. Rick shared the latest things going on with him and ministry and he took time for Q and A with a group of us church planters. It was a nice surprise. I also got to catch up with my good friend Scott Hitzel who started Saddleback San Clemente Church.

I’m not sure why Rick gets so much criticism other than it’s probably because the church is so large and anyone out on limb will get shots taken at them. I’m pretty sure it was Aristotle who said,”to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.” Certainly not the route Rick has taken. It’s great to be around him and sense his heart for the lost and hurting in the world.

Last night we all went to the Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors playoff game #2. It was a thriller with Orlando winning by one 104 to 103.

We followed that up by going to the Waffle House this morning, or as we call it here seminar WH 101. It’s been a while since I crawled into a err..went to a Waffle House. During my baseball days on the road the Waffle House was like oasis in the desert. Generally the only thing open at 3 in the morning when we’d pull into the next one horse town. Oh the tasty waffles. The only problem is you put on 3 pounds the second the door swings open. By the time you sit down you’re pushing 5 extras. You walk or get carted out of there 10 pounds heavier and happier than kid at a park with a bat and low hanging pinata.