A couple of weeks ago, Letha and I were privileged to attend the Verge Conference in Austin Texas. This was a “missional community conference”. 2,400 Church leaders from around the country came together to dialogue about our responsibilities and opportunities to share the love of Christ outside of the confines of our churches.
We had an excellent time. The weather in Austin was yukky and I broke my laptop computer while we were there, but the conference was well worth the hassle.
In my heart, I am processing what we heard and saw there. Challenges were issued that need to be addressed. Speakers told us that we need to put the direction of the Spirit ahead of what is popular in our churches. Those who led sessions told us that we may have to let go of our big church buildings if we plan to really reach our communities. We were told that we should give more to unreached people groups in strange countries than we do to our programs. These things are challenging to hear and even more challenging to implement.
My head is still spinning but I am getting used to it. I had some great discussions with some of the staff at Maranatha about what this may mean for us. Although they were not with us at the conference, they “get it” and seem excited to process the concepts.
I would like to thank the organizers of the event at The Austin Stone Church. Fantastic structure and leadership! Thanks, also to the speakers. Some of the best were: Dave Gibbons, Alan Hirsch, Neil Cole, Frances Chan, Ed Stetzer, Hugh Halter, Dave Ferguson, Matt Carter, John Burke, George Patterson, Jeff Vanderstelt, David Watson, and David Garrisson. The music was amazing, provided by Arron Ivey and band. You guys did an incredible job, thanks!
The Missional concept is not just another fad that will pass through the American church. This thing is real and has the potential to bring sweeping change to the way we do church. Whatever happens to the American church, I plan to continue to adjust my approach. Jesus wants me to be missional.