Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Day #1 part duex

As I expected, Jon Tyson had some great insight to share with us about what is "around the corner" for the Church and the culture. Here are some highlights:
- We are never called to change the world, we are called to create it.
-How will the church recover our influence? What are you doing that is in the vein of the early church that is provocative to our culture?
-Better lives being talked about in your congregations is how to reach our culture- not better services.
- We need to re-urbanize the Church. Christians need to return to the cities where the culture is being formed (IE NY, LA etc)
-Unless the church gets involved at the point where culture is created instead of standing downstream at being angry at it, we will have no impact.
-Your job is not just to do it for yourself on the weekends but to raise up as many as possible to think creatively.

This may sound like a jumbled mess to those of you who aren't here to hear it for yourself and it feels out of context but trust me, he was very motivational for those of us in church positions with a heart for bringing light into the culture.

After that we had a surprise visit and concert by Matthew West. He shared about his recent journey with God through a vocal surgery and how the fear of losing his career led him to a stronger faith that God loves him not because of what he does but b/c of who he is.

Then lunch time. This year we have been going out to eat less b/c there are over 100 people attending this time around so its harder to manage. Today our lunch was brought into the hallways of the hotel and we created our own baked potatoes and salads. Yum!

Then I sat in on a session with a professor from a few California universities named Thom Parham. Here are some of those highlights:

- Jesus said you would have an abundant life not a simple life.
- Christians are the new homosexuals in the acting industry. No one wants to be one but they all want to play one.
- It’s not the handing off of truth that get people to think, it’s the wrestling with the truth. (IE Jesus answers the who is my neighbor question with a story. He doesn’t dictate the answer- he lets the audience come to it on their own.)

The basic gist of his talk was that we need to be involved in the process of recognizing spiritual truths in films. Not only should we be watching these films but we should be creating them. As Christians we know the most Truth-filled story there is, and yet we are allowing Hollywood to do the job for us. We need to get involved whether through writing our own scripts or by hosting a class in our churches around the time of the Academy Awards evaluating and discussing the nominees and how they represent the cry of our culture. From there we need to come up with ways the Church can meet that need for our culture instead of letting it resonate only through movies and actors who have no tie to God, the ultimate Comforter.

Today we also got to experience something really cool from the creators of THE VOICE. Its an interpretation of the New Testament in script format, complete with individual parts and narrations. It looks like a really cool way to infuse Scripture with drama into services. Afterwards we got to enjoy a beautiful song by Jill Baggett (Sp?) that was soul warming. I am now determined to teach myself how to play and sing it on my guitar when I get home. It just seems like one of those songs that will comfort me in times of doubt and would be good to have around when I need something encouraging to sing.

For dinner we went to the Factory/Building 8 where we were entertained by songwriters, tornado warnings and each other while eating our catered Asian cuisine with sweet tea. A special treat was that we ran into my friend Iz, who cuts my hair once a year when I am in town and had made an appointment to see on Friday! What a gift to share hugs with her! I also managed to find a comfy couch in the back to settle into so that I wasn't completely uncomfortable the whole time in a metal chair :)

All in all a great day. I am trying to keep up with my postings but be patient with me. I have little time to process it all, let alone transfer all it's meanings to you guys! More to come...

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