Sam Warren, a former pastor and now the national director of Christian nurture in the Advent Christian Church invited me to give two workshops and be a plenary speaker at the Triennial meetings of the denomination. So, Saturday morning I drove down to Naperville and had a wonderful time … meeting Sam and speaking and listening.
I’ve said this before, but it deserves to be said often: invitations to speak often give more to the speaker than to the audiences. This was especially so for me. They were as interested and provoked as anyone else about the emerging movement; they had great questions for me as I laid out a few ideas from our forthcoming book, The Blue Parakeet. And I felt a special unction in speaking Saturday evening about a Jesus Creed that leads to a missional lifestyle. The music and worship was rich.
One of my favorite parts of such events is eating and drinking coffee with folks. Sam and I talked about his education and teachers at Gordon Conwell, during the days of Ramsey Michaels and Andrew Lincoln and David Scholer, and he shared with me the struggles the denomination is having with the 20 and 30 somethings. My sense is that more and more of us are learning that instead of trying to figure out how to win such folks back to different kinds of churches we should be encouraging these young believers to be faithful and missional and trust them to work this out for themselves.
So many little things happen … a great conversation with Gordon Isaac, a church history professor at Gordon Conwell; the many who told me that our explanation of the emerging movement helped them understand their teenagers or 20 somethings; the very kind remarks of the many who asked me to sign copies of my books.