Yesterday I was at Willow’s youth leadership conference called Shift. A full day but lots of fun. I’m not a youth minister, obviously — nor was I a very good one when I gave it a whirl, but if I were one today these kinds of conferences would be a highlight.
As always, conferences like this are an opportunity to meet new people as well as talk to Jesus Creeders face to face. Another highlight was having 4 of my students (Brittany and Nick, Andrea and Eric) from North Park attend my sessions.
We began with the 7:45am “Cup of Coffee” and the topic at our table was “Emerging church and questionable theology”. There were six or seven of us and we had a good chat about the problems of emerging and the importance of listening hard enough to know what “emerging” is all about. Those at the table with me were thoughtful and had insightful things to say.
Then at 9am I did a talk on teaching the Bible to the emerging (postmodern) generation. I focused on features of the postmodern reader, the development of ironic faith among emerging Christians (more on this later — I’ve got something in at Christianity Today and will wait for that before I say much here), and then I looked at learning to read the Bible as Story — shortcuts to reading the Bible as Story and the elements of the Bible’s Story.
After this (at 11am) I did another breakout on “Missional Jesus” and here I focused on the Lukan thread, asking the audience to think along with me as we envisioned how Mary, Zechariah, John Baptist, and Jesus understood “missional.”
Other than these sessions and the many good questions — both during the sessions and afterwards — a highlight of the day was lunch with Dan Kimball of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz. When a New Yorker came up to Dan to say hello, he mentioned he was from Brooklyn or the Bronx (the same still for me, sorry), and Danny said, “The Ramones are from there.” Vintage Dan.