Last night I spoke at the 2nd Annual Foundation Briefing on International Missions. Very nice people - and a good spirit. Some of the foundations here are VERY conservative and I was a little nervous that they would freak out when i showed them some images and video of how the emerging church is looking around the world. I have to admit - It was very brave of them to invite me and open themselves up to the more organic, alternative, emerging side of what God is doing in the next generation.
Thanks for your prayers and thoughts - and all of those networks that have answered my questions over the last 6 months about what is going on. We are a small part of the body of Christ but we are ministering a very large chunk of the world's population, and the ones who are the innovators and change leaders. The traditional church may not understand it all, but they see the heart is the same, and the gospel is the same and that ties us all together.
I set up a website for the folks to access extra resources and to link to the groups and events that I spoke about; Its a work in progress and should be completed soon. Its called EmergAnt
The temptation was to give a nice message, inspire and inform without giving the full picture. The other was to give a more accurate picture and fill them in on THE SKINNY on the emerging church around the world - warts and all. I went with the second option. I showed them what was going on - the things i like AND the things i don't like.I talked about the dangers and criticisms as well as the opportunities and the resources.
I am still not really sure if i did the right thing. I feel good that i told the truth. Some people were a little surprised that our family is a on a cruelty-free diet and we no longer eat at McDonalds - at least not the chicken anyway - did you know that up to 30% of chickens die in the process in some countries? I also mentioned that some in the emerging church will not buy products made in countries where factory abuse takes place, and some refuse to wear brand names on their clothing. All examples of how we are following Jesus - of course it was just an example, not necessarily a recommendation.
But generally, the people here were REALLY encouraged to hear that God is raising up new people around the world to tell the story of Jesus and see new communities rise up in places where traditional churches cannot go or even understand. They were really encouraged and a few of them would like to receive regular updates - The Boaz Report
Stephen Douglass was here from Campus CC - I used to read his books on leadership.
Jerry Rankin gave me a BIG handshake and smile at the end - nice guy!
I think it went OK.