Live Comment here on Session 4!

Okay friends, this promises to be a very personal session. We hope that the Spirit moves in each of us - searching our hearts and letting us know that none of us are alone. He is with us always!

So, what are your thoughts? How are you reacting and interacting with all of the experiences, the worship, & the message?


Ray Pelletier said...

Thanks to all who stood for prayer who are in a storm right now. I was moved by your honesty and am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

All I can say after Jay and Helena's story is WOW! They are the picture of strength and courage and I applaud them for having the strength to continue to trust God through the storm and thank them for continuing to allow God to speak through them in such powerful ways!

Mark said...

Thank you for your story. Our little girl was in the NICU just 12 weeks ago. I have had that lump in my throat this entire conference. Thank you for letting me experience Christ though your story today.
- Stephanie

Elaine B said...

This entire conference in my opinion is just too short... I don't want to go home! :) What an amazing testimony I applaud them for being able to be so honest. What a beautiful story!

dan said...

I'm always amazed how God uses peoples' stories to renew the meanings of songs for us/me. It's possible that I may have participated in one of the greatest times of worship I've ever experienced.

Thanks for the transparency and honesty.

Ray Pelletier said...

Just wanted everyone to know, Donald is going to be answering questions from the Blog comments after this session on a backstage video. We'll post it as soon as we can.

So comment away & ask away! :)

Sam Middlebrook said...

First - EXCELLENT use of that story of pain and struggle.

The hard part for me is this... I want to worship muscially more! I don't get the chance to to sit and worship much - usually I'm on stage leading it, like most of the people who are attending.

I wish we were doing more of it.

Dtbubba said...

That has been a comment from many on my team too. We used to worship through music as well as get exposed to more new music at past conferences. It is a missing element

Jon Becker said...

Donald Miller is nothing like I expected...and truly amazing! What an excellent communicator! I hope this session will be available on cd.

Brett said...

When he responds to blog comments after the session, PLEASE ask Donald to repeat that Shakespearean quote he used in his romantic dinner analogy. I MUST steal it!

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to Romeo and Juliet script!

Jon Becker said...

Is anyone else following the script? :-)

Sean McDermott said...

Question for Donald:

How do we find a balance in this truth and meaning idea?

Obviously, the past centuries have been dominated by a modern, truth dominating mindset. But, how do we avoid the rush to run to the other side of the boat and have it lean just as far the other direction and where we find ourselves living in a meaning only world.

Post-modernism is here but what is the middle ground...

Chris Vacher said...

Donald - great session this morning!

Before I came down here, someone had heard that you were doing a session and speaking at the NC service and said "When will the church get back to being led by theologians?"

After hearing your talk, I have no questions that you are a theologian that needs to be heard by our generation.

What is your response to those who grew up in the left-brain era when they question the validity of right-brain theology?

And yes, that question is a little awkward :) Hopefully you get the point!

DUST!N said...

Unbelievable... really. Such a drastically different and refreshing explanation of Romeo & Juliett that it is hard to believe it's true. Thanks for stretching our minds and hearts (even more than a StairMaster).

I think the challenge for us is not only in restoring the arts to its rightful place, but to carry the forms deeper in meaning.

So much art in church today doesn't delve deep enough. We need more Jacques Cousteaus of the Sea of God. To let loose of the light and life we know to find it anew in the depths of the ocean floor.

There's very little today that we can hold next to Shakespeare or Michealangelo, but we need our own forms of them today.

Thanks for giving us courage to go deeper.

Paul J. said...

I was one of those who stood...hand in hand with my wife (who is my co-leader in worship) as we wept before God and asked for His healing.
Thanks, Willow, for giving us that moment.

Sam Middlebrook said...

Question for Donald:

What would you say (speaking generally, of course) to a broken culture that derives meaning from things that aren't true from a Christian persepctive? How can we honor (and even share in) the meaning that our friends and community members even when we have conflicting truths?

If you're ever in Bellingham, WA again, I'd love to buy you a pint of cold coffee.

Sam Middlebrook
Christ the King Church

Jared Ransom said...

It is so powerful to see True authenticity. I truly respect Jay and Helena so much for being so vulnerable and opening up their brokenness to us. God was, and is moving through your openness. God Bless.

DUST!N said...

Here's a question:

We're seeing a semblance of art resurfacing in church, but it seems we still give it lip service in comparison to the Renaissance.

My question is, in your opinion, what is holding us back?

Is it lack of financing (church commissioning artists, families like the Medici's of the Renaissance, etc.)? Societal pressures? The implication that "Christian art" is lesser than other art?

I honestly don't know, but I'd like to hear thoughts.

Tandra said...


I am attending a community college in conservative Idaho right now. There have been times in my journey when i questioned the entire idea of truth, especially studying modern art. Thank you for your honesty as an artist, and the times when your definition of truth (i.e. Jesus) brought home to me the reality of what art is.

My question is... how do you explain truth in the art world when so many artists are trying to subvert truth or to create truth? How can what i create be truth when everything else seems to be relative?

Thanks again for your honesty

Mike said...

Great, wonderful, engaging, powerful. Thanks Donald. This conference far surpasses what I expected. Thanks to all who put so much work, and more importantly heart into it.

Amy said...

Hi Donald- Thank you so much! You have such a good way about you when you speak.
I have a question sort o funrelated to your teaching- it's about Blue Like Jazz- Could you tell me abotu the monk-confession booth thing that you all did out in Oregon? There are a group of us going to a parade next week to do outreach, and I am pushing for us to don some robes and set up a booth. Do you think it would work in a non-collegesque setting? What did you say that worked well? Was there anything that did not work?
I know that is sort of a long question...if you don't want to answer it now you can e-mail me at

Anonymous said...

Tagging off of Dustin's comments:

Support of artists in the church seems to be a huge but untapped and untouched subject. We can't fuel arts in the church with "starving artists" so to speak. Coming from a musician perspective who worked professionally in Chicago, until I was on staff at a large church as a full time music director, I had to juggle my volunteering with professional work at night, very often on weekends of course in and around serving at church. Sometimes it was impossible. I'm fortunate now not to have to do outside work, mostly do to the area I live now there is less of it, and I'm well supported by my church - and most of all I moved to a much less costly part of the country partly in order to do this. But I so miss the big city culture and church I once served in.

But frankly, most volunteer musicians/artists are barely skimping by in life trying to scrape out a living as it is, let alone serve in church. I still know full time music directors in very large churches that still, even while living very modestly, smaller house, - buying used cars, living in lesser suburbs, wives working, still have to take wedding band work and other jobs on the side to make ends meet. Sadly, most artists, musicians, etc. have to consider serving in church "on the side" of what they have to do to have any kind of stable life and even a family.

What can be done about this in the church? We support missions and anything that's seemingly more "needing" if it's overseas, or in impoverished areas of the US, and of course rightly so. But what about musicians in the church who increasingly in many ways have fewer and fewer opportunities for an actual living off of their craft? What if the church or well to do individuals fully supported artists - adopted them so to speak? I know this is way outside the box and frought with logistic issues - but what if? The musicians in the OT temple were given instruments of the highest quality made from the rarest of woods. They were given rooms in the temple because they were called upon day and night. To me, this sounds as if they were pretty well supported. Is this valid?

My craft as a musician is very costly. I have a college degree in performance that cost money. I had private lessons. I have equipment to purchase and keep up with. Maintainance. I have to have a larger car to haul gear. I have to pay extra for insurance for my instruments. I continually look for ways to keep up on my craft - whether that be magazines, books, CDs, concerts, lessons, master classes, conferences, etc. I can't just be a "player" any more, so I also have to write, compose, produce and arrange music to stay competetive and in demand. So I need a computer, a home studio, midi and keyboard gear. You name it. It's not cheap. (vocalists sure have it nice to just carry their instrument with them wherever they go!)

Anyway - I think you all get the point. Am I asking too much?

Church - are you listening?

- John

Ray Pelletier said...

Hey guys, we are going to open up discussion over at "Your Response to Session 4?"

John - I'll post your awesome comments there.