New York, New York!

Had a great day today!

The conference didn't start till 1:00 p.m., so I took the morning to do a little sightseeing. I took the bus and the subway to get into Manhattan. I had intended to go straight to Ground Zero, but misread the directions the hotel gave me, so I ended up at Times Square.

Which was totally fine. I hadn't been at Times Square before, so I walked around a little, took some pictures, and then jumped back on the subway after about ten minutes.

It wasn't far to Ground Zero. I had been to the top of the World Trade Center on a short trip to New York when I was in college, so I was anxious to see this place again.

When I stepped onto the street from the subway, the first thing I saw was that iconic cross made of two steel beams that had been fused together in the heat of 9/11. I saw it and got choked up.

Half a block down the street was Ground Zero. It was amazing to see. I looked up at the sky and tried to imagine how high I would have been standing on the top floor of the World Trade Center fifteen years ago. I spent time looking at the artwork in the viewing area. I read the timeline of events on 9/11. I looked at pictures that had been drawn by children for their daddies and mommies and aunts and uncles who died that day.

That last part was the most emotional part for me. As a dad, I kept thinking about my son Micah. I never, ever want to lose him, or be lost to him. I can't imagine the pain of losing your daddy or being the spouse left behind.

I spent about half an hour at Ground Zero, and then took a cab back to my hotel so that I could get to the conference on time.

The conference itself is great!

It's being led almost entirely by Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas, pastors of The Journey Church, a church that launched in Manhattan in early 2002 and now has around 1000 in attendance.

Here's what they've talked about so far:
  1. The Journey Story - how The Journey Church got started
  2. Introduction - Launch large, Launch quickly, and Launch from the outside in
  3. 8 Contrarian Ideas - 8 church-planting ideas that may not seem intuitive, but are true
  4. Calling - Do you know for sure that you are undeniably called by God to start a church?
  5. Strategy - Developing a launch strategy
  6. Funding - Raising funds to launch a church
  7. Staffing - building a staff from scratch
Like I said, great stuff. Information that applies mostly to new churches, but much of which is also transferable to existing congregations. I'll fill you in on some more of the details from these sessions in the next week or so.

Tomorrow, I'll be at the conference from 9:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m., and then I head back home to Cincinnati.

Till then, enjoy these pictures from my trip to Manhattan this morning.

Aw, yeah! The view from my hotel room in Queens.

Times Square

Had to prove I was there!

Ok, as a native Californian, it's just kinda weird to see a Quiksilver boardriders store in downtown New York. Not exactly for hodads (since there's no surfing in New York--that I know of), but can you say "poser"?

The Cross.

One of the children's pictures.

Construction at Ground Zero


DGH said...

Holy Cow Markus...man I wish I was with you for this event...we have got to go together next year and the year after that somewhere, heh....nice view form the hotle room, ha ha ha...

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