Well, the road trip's almost over. (is it still a road trip if you fly?) My flight leaves at 3 today...which, in our world, means heading towards the airport around noon. Until I drop of the rental car and navigate my way to the right shuttle to take me to the right concourse to check in and go through security and stand in line to get my seat...yada yada yada. It dawned on my on the way out here: I don't like to fly. I'm not scared to fly...I just hate the hassle.
It's been an interesting trip - my first glance at the Vineyard structure (some would call that an oxymoron). I find it refreshingly simple and relational, although not without it's idiosyncracies. For a young organiation, there is a fond fascination with the early years, and the early years were so recent that everyone's got a story about something John Wimber did or said. I felt pressured to make up my own story to be cool. (Yea, me and Wimber were out at Burning Man and his Hawaiian shirt caught on fire...). It's kind of like Woodstock - if every baby boomer who claimed to be there was really there, the crowd would have been 10 million. If every conversation attributed to Wimber in these circles was actually had, the poor man would have never slept - he would have been up all night on the phone just to get all the conversations in. I think it's good to be jerked back to reality - that all structures are going to grow quirky. That's unavoidable, and doesn't mean structures are bad...you just need to find one whose quirks you can live with (and who can live with yours).
Yesterday, I had a fun conversation with Happy Lehman, who, for the moment any way, was living up to his name. I met Michael, a church planting coach from frigid Duluth, MN who seemed to very glad to be off the ice here in Phoenix. The staff of the North Phoenix Vineyard has been great - they pretty much quashed the idea of getting anything done this week and have literally served the meeting attendees selflessly. At one point I asked for a data port and was ushered into an office in the admin part of the building, given a connection, and asked "do you need a pen? paper? anything else?" Nice folks who have worked hard this week. I think it's fun that their church looks a lot like Chipotle.