There has been some great discussion around Session 3 on some of the blog posts during and since the conference. Thanks to all of you who are asking questions. Thanks to everyone for the authenticity in your words. Thanks for the graciousness in your responses. I hope that we can continue to work this out together.
We recorded each of the panelists immediately after the session taking the conversation further and reacting to your comments & quetions. Here are video clips from Dan Kimball with Sally Morgenthaler and from Shauna Niequist. We'll follow up in the days ahead with a second clip from Shauna & others from Efrem Smith, David Loveless, and Brian McLaren.
It is tempting to move from this discussion & not deal with the truths we have been confronted with ... let's not do that ... let's keep encouraging, pushing, and inspiring one another to reach out beyond ourselves & the walls of our church.
My heart grew heavy as Dan discussed what people think about all of us and the church. When I have received criticism about the church or a service I have been a part of, people have told me to not take it personally but I think the key to growing is for us to take Dan's findings & our 'negative' experiences personally.
We need to ruthlessly examine how we are living - what we say, what we don't say, what nonverbal signals we are sending, how we spend our time & how we don't spend our time. It breaks my heart to think that I, in any way, keep people from seeing Jesus as He truly is.
We asked the panel to share anything they wanted to add to the Session 3 discussion or to address 3 specific issues that were sent by conference attenders by email or in the blog comemnts.
First, how do we reach out to homosexuals in our community? How can we let them know that they are welcome in our church? Second, what can we do so that 18 - 30 year olds want to come? How do we need to change so that they want to stay? And lastly, how do I change my church?
Listen to what they have to say & tell me what you think about what they said? What do you think was most helpful and what do you think still needs to be explored