Thursday, July 05, 2007

National Evangelism & Discipleship Conference - Glorieta

National Evangelism & Discipleship Conference

Glorieta Conference Center, New Mexico

July 16 - 20

Last year I decided to attend the Lifeway National Discipleship Conference in hopes of gleaning some great information on discipleship methods and strategy while developing some key relationships with peers in my field (okay one of my fields). The event taught me a great deal about some of the things we are facing as a convention (denomination) in the future. I took time out to speak with the director of the conference, a man named Jay Johnston. I enjoyed meeting him and, in fact, took time to share a rather frank impression of the conference. (The low point was when a professor from NOBTS, in a class about biblical models of discipleship, wasted the entire time talking about how he won't allow students to come to his class in sandals and unshaven. I guess Jesus would be s.o.l. for that particular professor.)

In my conversation with Jay I noted that very few people my age were in attendance. He agreed readily. In the course of the discussion I suggested doing a series of classes designed to help people deal with and minister within the parameters of postmodern culture. He accepted the idea and actually asked me to teach the elective classes. That is what I get for suggesting. I do the same thing to members of my congregation who think the church needs to start this ministry or that ministry. My first response is: "When can you begin?" That typically weeds them out pretty quick. Well, I agreed to teach, and put together two classes: Ministering in a Postmodern Culture and Engaging the Postmodern in Evangelism.

To be honest, I sincerely hope that this goes well and that the people who attend will at least listen to the attempt to cast a true picture of postmodernism and not the many accusations that abound. We would be in a much different place as a convention (denomination) if we would remind ourselves of the generational differences that continue to hinder us.

I invite you all to at least consider coming to the conference. For one, Glorieta is a beautiful place. For two, I am thankful for the willingness of Lifeway staff to dare to try something new and deeply desire to support them in their efforts. For three, I really want somebody to show up to the class. Some come on and have a good time.


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