James Emery White (President, Gordon-Conwell Seminary) @ 10:06am
we live in serious times.. one of most intruging observations about history.. by Christoper Dawson.. there are 6 identifiable ages of the Christian church, each lasting 3 to 4 centuries, resulting with a similar demise.. each ended in crisis..
we live in a transition, a 7th one.. unique openness to spirituality.. the medieval was wide open to arts and spirituality.. then shifted into enlightenment, rationalism, scientism.. and now it’s a strong swing back to arts and spiritual..
e.g. metrosexual.. redefining masculinity.. think of the possibility of being metrospiritual.. how do you speak into this world? highly recommended Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture, classic book
1. Christ against culture.. if it’s of the world, it’s bad..
2. Christ of culture.. an agreement between culture and church..
3. Christ the transformer of culture.. conversionist solution.. yes, man and culture are fallen.. Christ becomes the converter of humanity.. the goal is to work thru and with culture.. use its own mediums and tools to confront and change it.. the transformation of culture by being transformers ourselves..
we’re used to a Acts 2 model that proclaims the Gospel, used to talk to the Jews of Jerusalem.. but we’re more in an Acts 17 context.. the most cultural engagement is evangelism, but we have to go further.. there’s also a cultural commission.. to engage government, entertainment, arts, etc.. the real Christians are always revolutionaries.. they’re always dangerous, in the best sense of the world.. (refers to his book Revolutionary Times..)
we’ve got to deepen our minds.. form a Biblical worldview, and to know how to think Christialy..
we’ve got to form our souls.. to have something to offer the world..
answering our vocational calls.. following God on the redemptive call..
e.g. Michael Haynes, who was mentoring Martin Luther King Jr.. any real change had to go through leadership.. a generation of leaders.. 12th Street Baptist Church.. one of the leading urban training centers..
Gabe Lyons and Q team explored how to best move this conversation forward and helping it spread.. helping with next steps.. providing subscription to Fermi Short, monthly 15-page essays to have meaningful conversations around..
Clint Kemp | Expressions of the Gospel & Sunsets @ 10:24am
video about bringing beauty to an old park with cleaning up and art installations.. trash turned into treasure.. beauty point to truth, truth point to God..
this project has turned into collaboration with local government.. our culture is young, our country is small.. this is our investment in the culture, and bringing out the beauty of who we are.. as part of the Gospel..
Gabe: you didn’t set out to influence culture strategically.. so how did you get to doing this?
Clint: had a transformative experience.. realized my faith was mostly intellectual.. “we usually don’t wake people up this late at night”.. became more aware of the experience of God all around.. it was crazy.. beauty and justice just started to rise up.. a mysterious journey for our church..
Gabe: this art installation at your church, with 5 big boulders.. what is it?
Clint: it’s a living memorial to values we hold dear.. 30 ton boulders that can’t be moved.. first was grace stone.. red was commitment to aid.. green stone was covered with sea trash.. one covered with copper for economic justice.. one for social justice.. the idea is it’s a prayer walk..
just down the street was a beach totally degraded by hurricanes.. this is where you begin to lose people with the church.. this is where good people around me were better translators than me.. others from community joined in.. struggle with people to get buy-in..
church has a role to shape environmental perspectives.. social policies.. we’re starting to be a voice there.. faith-based stewardship program to get children involved.. partnering with those folks is perceived as weird.. Bahamas is years behind in terms of environmental issues than the US..
being on sabbatical, I’ve had more time to think about being salt & light… I’m starting to feel that [more and more]…
Gabe: he’s on an island, so it’s a lot easier to measure success.. so it’s easier to see how the culture is getting better there.. how would you encourage others trying to do something for/in culture?
Clint: this has to go back to your own heart.. the mystery of faith.. all that God is creating.. think -> “What does it mean to wake up?” [in contrast to] waking up to integration, and get a strategy, and implement it..
4 pieces: awareness.. reflection.. conversation.. integration.. that spiritual flow is happening to us all the time.. this reflection piece is the toughest challenge.. ‘be still and know I am God”…
Rick McKinley | divine imagination @ 10:44am
what could this experience look like in your context.. we get fired up when we hear those stories.. when we look back, we wonder, why don’t we have those kinds of stories going on in our congregation.. we have the opportunity to cultivate those.. discipleship that totally transforms people.. so much that they’re willing to give it up for a big dream.. whether prison or kids who need shoes..
4 ingredients of divine imagination
(1) strong leadership.. you don’t have to be a creative leader.. you have to be a defending leader.. defending the space so people can create.. space for God to say “what if”.. he died on the cross, you lost a job — [big difference].. we live
we live in this age of celebrity pastors.. how about being the pastor of the guy who invented Toms Shoes.. take the back seat, and celebrate what God does through others.. create space
(2) deeply transformed disciples.. quit talking about church.. start talking movement.. who in my congregation that has been so transformed by the Gospel, and talk to them about giving it all up and going on this crazy journey.. we can grow big churches of undiscipled people, but you won’t transform culture..
Jesus didn’t say I needed 30,000 people before I get this thing going.. needing critical mass.. before I go to the cross… think of China, how did the church explode?
how to do make deeply transformed disciples.. read the Gospels… listen to the sounds, smell the smells.. start to imagine again.. listen to this Rabbi who can transform us… pastors who are concerned with making those types of people..
(3) imagining what God could do.. most of the time we find those people, we think about what they can do for us.. there’s only so many ways to reimagine Sunday morning.. how do we collaborate and dream together of what that could look like..
if you start looking at the needs, you can get overwhelmed.. Jesus, you have to be the CEO of the world transformation game.. so, how can we dream together.. what would the Kingdom of God look like, if lived through them.. where would God use them in the city? dream and conspire.. there’s no manual, no book..
(4) find other pastors who you can conspire with.. “I hate Christmas as a pastor”.. what we do at Christmas is we consume everything.. how could we help people to live out prophetically against this.. how do we give a relational gift, the way God did in Jesus.. we didn’t have an hour Jesus and then go back to shopping.. we unleashed people to make Christmas really about Jesus..
what if churches came together to solve the water problem in the world.. Advent conspiracy.. it’s just a small picture of how Jesus came into the world and gives himself away.. when church does that, and act like new life is flowing through us.. then people will be ready to hear about Jesus..