Sunday, January 23, 2005

Regional Origins Experience - Orlando

Here is a recap of my time at the Regional Origins Experience - Orlando. At least I think that's what they called it. First off, I had tons and tons of notes. I wrote almost non stop during the entire sessions (that's just the way I take notes.) However, I didn't feel like just pasting those notes here, for a few reasons: First, there were context specific things mentioned. They would make no sense to you readers. Second, you probably aren't interested in everything. So for what its worth...

Wed night from 7-10
Thursday from 9-4
Held at Discovery Church, Orlando, FL.
(see their cool student ministry thelement)
Held inside The Gallery(not their 900 seat auditorium), a kind of coffee house/cafe area with a stage.
One of the Discovery Church bands led worship before each session, very well done and had everyone well engaged in worship
About 200 people there.
50% church planters and senior/lead pastors
50% the rest of us
About 10 of us from the NorthEast (Boston, New York, Baltimore (5))

Session 1 - Alex
Session 2 - Erwin - Q&A
Session 3 - Alex
Session 4 - Erwin - Q&A again
Session 5 - breakouts - church planters; volunteers; people from the NorthEast

It seemed to me that the conference was really a get together for church planters, to get more and more people tied into the Mosaic Alliance and for those people to have conversations. The last session was so that people could meet up with the Mosaic Alliance Navigators, a team of people around the country that are resources for church planting. They also met with us from the NorthEast, since Alex would like to target Boston, New York and DC. He also asked us if we thought an Origins Experience Conference would work here on the East Coast. We also asked him if they would come to Baltimore to do the same kind of thing. They were totally open to that.
The actual venue was very intimate - almost face to face. I was able to meet both Erwin and Alex, introduce myself, shake hands, etc.
The time Erwin spent speaking was unreal. He did two sessions of Q&A, totally crowd driven - whatever questions we had. His answers were never easy, short, to the point. He elaborated on just about every one of them. A top notch communicator, he joked, told stories, totally engaged the audience.

* On reading the Bible:
- 'What is God talking about?'
- the emotion, not just the ideas
exegete the emotion
what is counter intuitive?
we cut off the sharp edges of Scripture - we make it wholesome
we filter thru the 'Christian' worldview
David was a pervert
Abraham was a weasel

- read the Scriptures with a pagan mind
allow yourself to be surprised
what is the subtext?
read it as the antagonist
for too long, we have read the Bible as the protagonist
We are always David not Goliath
We are always Israel, not Egypt
We have been trained to be the protagonist

The Bible cannot be interpreted unless you are obeying
theology for theology's sake will move to perversion

* On cultural diversity:
99% of churches in LA are homogenous
it has nothing to do with LA

- have friends who are not like you
- can't diversify unless you love them
- we currently reach followers instead of leaders
be a leader to reach a leader

* On communicating:
preach to instrinsic needs
- community
- destiny
- meaning
those 3 great themes are present in all good stories, legends, movies

Important when preaching -

* On evanglism:
"It is harder to get Christians into nonChristian activities than to get nonChristians into Christian activities."

When he leads someone to Christ, he gets them to call 3-5 of their friends right away, that day, before they go to sleep. Get sharing the Gospel into their DNA right away.

* On mysticism:
"Everyone who meets God in the Bible is a mystic. Most evangelicals would call that psychotic."

* On discipleship:
"Discipleship is what happens before a person is converted not after."
adults only learn in crisis - create positive crisis experiences - in ministry context

* On 20 somethings:
"20 year olds are not anti-authority, they are anti-irrelevant."

* On Mosaic's childrens ministry:
by 6th grade, every kid has gone on a missions trip to another city
have spent time learning about cultures
have spent time in a Muslim mosque and a Buddhist temple

Alex did a session at each beginning, Wed night and Thursday morning. A few key ideas from his talks:

* Jesus invites the disciples to come follow Him, but there is never anything mentioned about Heaven.

* The minimum structure needed for a new movement is the person who MUST.
Are you a person who MUST?
You have no choice - you just HAVE TO
(see this newsletter too)
"A person will live without if you give them a reason to live and die."

I also met a few cool people that are doing the stuff, it's pretty awesome. One of them was Paul Gomez from NewHopeNewYork, for some potential stuff with students in NYC again. He is also a Mosaic Navigator.

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