Velocity is over but…

Those who know me tell me I’m addicted to conferences, twitter and facebook. So in the afterglow of Velocity, I’m thinking…

what it is about conferences that I love so much?

Hearing live speakers, passionate about their topic is certainly compelling and challenging. My thinking is always stretched, even if I don’t agree 100% with a speaker. I love the opportunity to ask questions in a breakout session where the goal is practical takeaways. But I don’t think it’s just the additional insights, or the gained new perspectives that draw me to the next conference.

What really inspires me is meeting all the people doing Kingdom work! From the volunteer support staff to the potential pastor; the worship leader to the vendor; the ministry ‘nuts and bolts’ to the well-known speaker. Each and every one of these people inspire me! All have found a place, or are looking, in the collective body of Christ.

my Who’s Who list

You may, or may not, recognize the people I connected with. But to me, their friendships/connections are the breath of life at a conference and beyond. I met a few people offline for the 1st time that I already knew so well from twitter that it was like running into an old friend: Aubrey Howell, Lloyd Owens, Brett Crimmel, Michael Trent. And I met some for the first time that I hope to remain friends with online: Nicole Hawker, Jenni Catron, Tricia Crimmel, Jenny Rodder, Bobby Williams, Josh Husmann, Tony McCollum, Dave Travis, Shawn Lovejoy, David Putman, Jeff Redding, Alan Hirsch, Jody Forehand, J. Michael Smith, Mark Clement, Michael Stewart, Carlos Whittaker, Jan Paron, Jeff Kestner. There were many I had already met but I just loved seeing their faces again: Sherry Surratt, Jeff Wright, Chris Mavity, Casey Graham, Larry Osborne. If I missed anyone, please don’t tell me, it would break my heart. Seriously.

I’m super excited about being at Synergy 2010 Tuesday where I will meet more online friends and reconnect with long-time friends. If you are coming, please let me know, or find me, and say hi. I can’t imagine this ever getting old!

twitter, facebook and blogs

These are just the tools that keep us connected and allow relationships to grow between conferences. See you online!

Missional Velocity – Alan Hirsch

Missional Velocity

For a guy who claims to not know statistics, Alan Hirsch used both a number line and a pie chart, and lots of statistics in his session – the math major in me was cheering. But the impact was staggering. Below is just a snapshot of my in-session notes.

Cultural distance – cultural barrier to the communication of the gospel

  • language
  • world view
  • race/history

church still lives in the idea that the church is central to society, but now many subcultures exist

have to become cross cultural missionaries again

attractional church grows less effective as cultural barriers increase

extractional – attractional church in a missionary environment Enable people to reach folk where they’re at

church expects people to cross all the cultural barriers to come to church instead of going where they are.

probs of church cannot be resolved by the same kind of thinking that created the problem in the 1st place

can’t sell a Christendom approach to a non-Christendom world. Look at Europe.

America: 40% of Americans would be attracted to the contemporary model of the church.

95% of churches are trying to become what will only reach 40% of the population.

the 40% is not increasing, its decreasing

if you can’t imagine it, you can’t do it. Einstein

Going into a new people group… need to ask questions

What is church for this group? What is gospel for this group?

Don’t presume you know the answers.

Missiology produces ecclesiology.  Do mission, and church happens.

Reformational approach (Pharisee, tongue-clucking) – make them feel bad before you make them feel better.

Creating Missional Communities – Velocity Pre-conference

Michael Stewart, Pastor of Missional Community at Austin Stone Church, not only explained the tri-perpectival Gospel (adapted from Tim Keller), he had us read and discuss the material in small groups. What better way to present on a topic about small groups. But these aren’t just any small groups, they are what Michael refers to as “Missional Communities.”

What is church?

  • a service
  • spiritual family
  • community

Austin Stone found that the “One-anothers” referred to in the bible just couldn’t be accomplished on Sunday morning. The structures in place weren’t facilitating mobilizing people toward mission. So the question was, “How do we engage people in the mission of God?” They decided that about 33% of their ‘missional’ communities were actually missional, and they needed to help the other 67% deconstruct their idea of church and the consumer mentality that existed.

Alan Hirsch’s communitas definition – “If you shoot for community, you geth neither mission, nor communtiy. If you aim for mission, you get both.” Hmmm.

Jesus said, “Follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” We are meant to be Missional (sent).

Everything we struggle with is a gospel issue. Missional Communities embrace the Tri-Perspective Gospel as foundation to Mission.

3 perspectives of the gospel

historical/doctrinal

good news vs good advice – need to give people the good news, not just ‘how-to’s
Jesus lived the life we should live and died the death we should have died.

personal/sonship

we are a new person in Him
gospel is not just a truth about us that we affirm with our minds, it is also a reality we must experience in our hearts and souls
we ‘know’ by grace “Think on that grace until you are changed into generous people by the gospel in your hearts.”

“Sonship” “We are more flawed and sinful than we ever dared believe, yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope at the same time.”
the gospel is radically different than religion. Religion operates on the principle: “I obey, therefore I am accepted”. The gospel operates on the  principle: “I am accepted through Christ, therefore I obey.”

kingdom/social aspect

The gospel is not just about individual happiness and fulfillment. It’s not just a wonderful plan for ‘my life’ but a wonderful plan for the world. Those who receive salvation are not the strong and accomplished, but those who admit they are weak and lost. A complete reversal of the values of the world with regard to power, recognition and status.The gospel liberates us from bondage to the power of materail things and worldly status. The way to real power is to give up coercive power and serve others. The way to get rich is to give it away. the way up is down