As most of my readers know, relationship is very important to me. I believe that God works through our relationships, both with other believers, but also with those who do not believe.
When we were planning the upcoming seminar, “Developing a Biblical Ecclesiology“, we did not want to simply teach about the importance of relationship, we also wanted to model the importance of relationship. In fact, the decision to make the seminar more relational was natural to who I am as a follower of Christ. This was not something that I had to think hard about or even to strategize about; it simply flowed out of who I am in Christ in relation with other brothers and sisters.
While the seminar sessions begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, in reality, it has already started. We are already talking about the sessions and the panel discussion, not simply in order to plan to content. Similarly, I’m hoping to get together with some of the people from Roxboro in the coming weeks to begin building relationships with them.
On Friday night – the evening before the seminar officially begins – our family and several other people are travelling to Roxboro. We will have dinner and spend the evening in the homes of some of the brothers and sisters there. Hospitality is very important – though rarely practiced – among the church, so I’m excited about this opportunity for our new friends in Roxboro.
The next morning, before any speaking begins, we will again get together to hang out and have breakfast together. I’m looking forward to more fellowship around the table, and again the hospitality that the church in Roxboro will show toward us and others who will join us.
I will speak for about 1 1/2 hours in two sessions. This time will be very interactive and will be adjusted based on what I learn about the people from that area in the weeks and days before the seminar. Soon, I will write another post soon about my goals for my speaking time, so I’m not going to include much information here. I simply wanted to point out that while I may be the primary speaker, there will certainly be opportunities for others to take part in these sessions.
Following those two sessions, we will have a panel discussion. This will be a time for Q&A as well as for others to offer more input as they’ve had time to think about some of the things that I’ve said and some of the Scripture passages that we discuss. The panel will include other brothers and sisters in Christ who will answer questions and help people think about the church.
When this panel discussion is over – sometime around 12:30 p.m. – the seminar will officially end. However, we are planning to invite everyone to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch. Again, around the table, we will continue to discuss these issues and build our relationships with one another.
I’m hoping that through these times of eating, meeting, and fellowshiping, we will all begin to form some long-term relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ from Roxboro and the surrounding area. With modern communication and transportation, it will be much easier to maintain those relationships that it has ever been before.
As you can see, this will not just be a seminar about relationship, but will be a relational seminar. As much as possible, we will share our lives with other people as we encourage them to share their lives with us and with one another.