Thoughts from Encounter (Jesus Culture Conference – Redding, CA)

These are some notes that I took at the conference that I went to this year. There are some things that I put in here that the speaker didn’t say, but came to me as I was listening, or analyzing my notes. They are of a more personal nature and I was going to remove them, but then I felt like God want me to leave them in case they might speak to you or help you relate in some way. I hope and pray that you can be encouraged as well.

Please keep in mind that these notes are partial, and so some thoughts are not fully developed. Please don’t be offended by anything in here, or feel like it’s a bit off the deep end, or unbalanced, because the chances are that I only recorded the things that stretch me in my current walk with the Lord. The thoughts that were delivered by the speakers were very balanced and biblically base.

I’ve italicized the new notes that were added after this post was originally created. 


  • We need to see us as God sees us.
    • Banning told a story of owning  1987 Chevette that was falling apart and a complete wreck for the most part. He also knew a man that was incredibly wealthy and owned a Lamborghini that was one of only three of its kind and worth $1 million.
    • All too often we see ourselves as the beat up Chevette, when God see the potential for so much more.
    • God wants to take the mustard seed we give Him, and recognize the significance that God has placed in us for explosive growth in revival.
  • Parable of the mustard seed.
  • Think about how incredibly big God is, and how small we are… We are most definitely the mustard seed.
  • Banning talked needing to realize that we are all “game changers”.
    • Even though it looks like we are down by 40 points in the 4th quarter of this fight against the enemy, God is looking at His bench knowing that He has a bench full of game changers that will completely turn things around.
    • He made the comment that no one will be sidelined at all.
      • I realized that I struggle with being on the sideline and that I have a fear of being sidelined indefinitely.
      • I struggle to believe that I have any significance in the overall plan that God has for revival in this world, more specifically, America.
      • One of my struggles is with this paradox that we truly are insignificant, however, we are significant because of how God views us.
      • I struggle to know how I should view myself – as I really am? Or as God supposedly sees me?
      • I’m afraid that if I let go of the view of myself as insignificant I will somehow become prideful and lose my way.
      • And yet I’m afraid that if I don’t gain the view of myself as significant that I will not see the things come to pass that are dreams in my heart for revival and a resurrection of the bride of Christ.


  • 3 things required to sustain a move of God.
    • Integrity
    • Excellence
    • Balance
  • Daniel (First person of the Jesus Culture according to Mario.
    • Daniel was taken captive by Babylon and forced into a very dark world of magic and mysticism.
    • The king tried to fully submerge Daniel and his companions into the culture of the Babylonians by offering them their food, women, clothing, etc.
    • They said “No.” and were successful in proving to the king that living the way God called them to was more effective than their own culture dictated.
    • Eventually the king had a dream that no one else was able to not only interpret, but repeat back to the king even though they never heard it themselves. Daniel was able to do this by the power of God and effectively began changing the culture of Babylon in his time.
    • This is what we are called to do in our culture.
  • To be like Daniel, you have to have something unfair happen to you.
  • “Before God can use a man greatly, He must first wound him deeply.” – A.W. Tozer (Click here for a good article to go with this quote.)
    • Your pain, hard times, and wounds are the seeds of your greatness.
    • God uses each of those things to bear fruit in your life.
    • If we do not submit to this process, we will not grow and will remain ineffective.
  • The church is not called to live with a sword in one hand and a piece of luggage in the other.
    • Basically meaning that many people have the view of the end times that we are trying to ward off the devil and the world with a sword in hand, but really we’re backing closer and closer to our escape (the rapture) and don’t really have a commitment to be who Jesus calls us and enables us to be.
  • Isaiah 60:1-3 “Arise, shine; Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.”
  • Self-pity is the single most dangerous drug in the youth culture.
    • Many people are addicted to this and refuse to turn from it and therefore die from it.
  • “When the pain of being average overcomes the fear of greatness you will go to the next level.” – Mario Murillo
    • This quote was so powerful to me because it describes where I am at. I am so sick of having an average youth ministry. I’m so tired of having an average walk with God that produces little fruit. It has become painful as week after week I see lives unchanged and still on a path of destruction, even though I have done my best to present truth. My best to present truth does not leave room for the Holy Spirit to move in power. That is ultimately what we need. And if I do not sacrifice what I need to sacrifice, and move closer to God in holiness, then I will never become who I need to become, so that that Holy Spirit can move through me in such a way that others are drawn powerfully to Jesus.
  • It is time for the Gospel to be presented fully, with miracles, signs, and wonders.
    • This generation will not be won over by sermons alone.
    • These points pretty much flow with the quote that Mario had above.


  • When you operate outside your anointing its exhausting.
    • This was just a side point that Pastor Kris kinda just threw in there, but I really liked it. It challenges me because I tend to try to do everything that I can, rather than what God has anointed me to do. I really want to make sure that my life is focused around what God has called and anointed me to do, rather than just doing whatever I possibly can do. That will exhaust me and ultimately reduce my effectiveness.
  • Live by your stances and when the circumstances change you will live by your identity and who you know yourself to be, not what you want to do.
    • By “stances” he was referring to our principles, what we live by. So if we live by our principles, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we will not change and bend to the whims of the moment. Very powerful.
  • You are the defined by virtues you embrace, not the temptations you resist.
    • Your attractions do not define you.
    • These are 2 points that really spoke to me because they come against shame. Just because we are tempted, does not mean that we are in sin. We all know this, but we often times still bear the shame anyways.
    • This especially applies to those struggling with same-sex attraction, homosexuality. They are so ashamed by their attractions, and yet that is not what God wants. He wants them to realized that their attractions do not define them. God’s Word defines them. When people believe that their attractions and temptations define them, they act according to that. When they understand that they are above their attractions and temptations, they will not live according to them, but rather they will live according to truth.

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