7 Reasons Why We Loved The First Sticky Faith Summit

Brad M. Griffin | Mar 22, 2011

Today’s guest blog post is by Matthew DePrez, Now Generation Pastor at Frontline Community Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Matthew’s church is one of 16 churches in our 2011 Sticky Faith Learning Cohort. Here’s a peak into how their church is processing and applying the content.

About two years ago, our church made a drastic change in the way we process ministry. It had to do, in large part, with the research that the Fuller Youth Institute unveiled to the world about Sticky Faith. This set our church in a direction that has forever changed us. It only made sense that when our church was invited to participate in this years Sticky Faith Learning Cohort, we would instantly jump on board. After processing the first Summit at Fuller for a few weeks, here are 7 reasons why our church loved the Sticky Faith Learning Cohort Summit:

1. Clearer Vision - The Summit moved us from looking at what is working and forced us to ask the question: Is this the best our church could be doing? In a lot of cases, we had to answer No. It really helped us to strategize what is best for our church, not simply coast through ministry models that have worked in the past (and may still be effective), but wont bring us into the future.

2. 60-Second Sticky Faith Ideas - This may have been worth all the money, 2 canceled flights, and 4 flight delays getting there and back. At the beginning of the Summit each church shared one 60 second idea on how theyre providing Sticky Faith in their context. Some of the ideas were absolutely brilliant. After looking back, I know well be using at least 5 in the upcoming year.

3. The Presenters - When you are around people like Chap Clark, Kara Powell, Brad Griffin and Scott Cormode for 48 hours, you simply get excited! The way all of them combine their research with actual practice is great. The more I hear about FYIs research, the more I desperately want to hear their ideas.

4. Intimate Environment - Because there were only 16 churches, the questions, dialogue and push-back were great. It made for manageable discussion times that didnt feel overwhelming, and everybody felt like they could share. The intimate environment also came through in our church-time. Because we were required to bring team members (we brought three) the discussion during our church-time was invaluable.

5. Equipping Parents - We are finding that this is the beginning of sticky faith. This topic probably hit home more to us than any other point at the Summit. We have to figure out how to properly resource and equip parents at home. Weve got some great ideas cooking and we would have never taken the time to process equipping parents like we did if it hadnt been for the Summit.

6. Other Churches - As I said before, our church has taken a major shift in the way that we are processing Intergenerational Ministry and Sticky Faith over the past two years. In a lot of cases we are processing brand new ideas. As a result, it has felt lonely at times. Really lonely. Weve wondered if our ideas were crazy or if other churches would laugh at what we were trying. Being around 15 other churches that are focused on asking the same questions was a breath of fresh air. I didnt think I would ever feel that. For the first time since our major transition, I dont feel alone anymore. There are other churches taking way more daring steps than we are and there are churches thinking the same exact thing as us. Because everybody in the room was focused on the same thing, it immediately gave every person and every church a sense of credibility.

7. Pasadena is in Southern California and Southern California is warmer than Grand Rapids, MI, in February - I love Grand Rapids. But it is also really cold. February 2011 was the snowiest month in Grand Rapids in years. The day we left it was 2 degrees with 40 mph winds and the night before we were gifted with 3/4 of an inch of ice. Needless to say, going to Southern California in February wasnt bad.

Overall, we were so pleased with the first Summit at Fuller. We cannot be more thankful for what we were taught, the people we met, and the things we processed. In the meantime, we will be busy making changes and praying that Sticky Faith would cover our students lives. We cant wait for the 2nd Summit!!

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.

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