Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Elephant in the Room

I apologize for the lack of content this week, I'm away on business travel and my hotel doesn't have wifi. Also please forgive my typos as I'm thumbing this in on my phone.

Regardless I want to put something up to follow up on yesterday's Elephant Room 'conference' hosted by James MacDonald (http://www.theelephantroom.com/). I didn't watch from one of the satellite locations, but I tried to keep up on twitter.

For background, the Elephant Room is a forum for pastors and ministers from different traditions, methodologies, and even core doctrines to sit around a table and "talk it out". The intention is to display Christian love without all the bickering and name-calling that now, thanks to twitter, we hear about far too often.

I just want to list off some of the tweeted quotes. With a limit of 140 characters, I wasn't able to catch the context of these quoted, but found then worth sharing nonetheless. I encourage you to share your impressions based on the quoted and even better, if you watched the conference I'd love to hear your thoughts.

First some context, and again I didn't catch the context of these statistics, but they are worth having fresh in your mind as you read on. "3500 people leave the church every day and don't join another. 6000 churches close their doors each year. Only 2% of churches are growing through conversion (as opposed to growth via children growing up and professing their faith)"

-Mark Driscoll: we're not trying to be Calvinists, we're trying to be evangelists (but what if we disagree on the nature of the gospel that is the core of our evangelism?)

-James MacDonald: the whole gospel
to the whole world with our whiole heart

-Steven Furtick: Presenting the gospel creatively is not watering it down

-Results don't define theology (I didn't catch who said this and I'd love to hear the context because there has to be more to this quote)

-They will know you are my disciples by your love -MacDonald (which is all well and good, but why did you kick out @PirateChristian and @EBenzBlog and threaten to call the police on them?)

-T. D. Jakes: I'm not going to force my theology into my denomination. (there was a whole session on the relevance of denominations with the rise of church networks. I really want to see a replay of that.)

-Let a mans fruitfulness, his confession speak for him -MacDonald

-Constant destructive rhetoric is hurting the church -MacDonald (maybe, but I'd argue the preaching of cheap grace, the emphasis on being seeker-sensitive, and the lack of the call to discipleship hurts the church far more)

-We don't say something privately but we'll speak up publicly and lob grenades -Furtick

-Wayne Cordiero: You can teach what you know bit ultimately you wll reproduce who you are (perhaps my favorite quote from the day)

-Jack Graham: The way to get the walls down is to take the roof off and let God in (I really like this one too)

-Structure can decrease as maturity increases -Cordiero (hmmm, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this)

-Real boldness is to stand with somebody even if it costs you something-Furtick

-I want to see young pastors passion to reach others exceed their passion to review books -Driscoll (or to write best-sellers also)

Like I said, I'm limited by what I found on twitter. The Elephant Room was a trending topic yesterday and is still buzzing this morning. I'm hoping to find some wifi later and see if there are replays anywhere. In the meantime, discuss away.

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