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That’s not like any conference I’ve ever attended

Posted by on Jul 19, 2011 in blog links | 4 comments

That’s not like any conference I’ve ever attended

Bobby at “Deconstructing Neverland” wrote a post called “Two conferences, many differences.”

In the post, he describes (as the title suggests) two different conferences that he’s attended this year. One of the conferences sounds very familiar. I’ve been to many conferences that looked exactly like the first conference that he describes. In fact, it’s because conferences are like this that I’ve stopped going to conferences. (Right or wrong, that’s just how it is.)

But, the other conference sounds different… not really like a conference at all.

Here is part of Bobby’s description:

The conference I was at over this past weekend was entirely different. It was the Threshold 2011 Missional Organic Church conference. It was held in a quaint little conference room in a Holiday Inn hotel…

The focus of the conference was obviously to build relationships. The speakers would share what the Lord had led them to prepare and then they gave out an assignment of sorts that we would then share with those at our table. Yes, we sat at tables of no more than eight people rather than in stadiun style seating in rows. This gave us an opportunity to get to know the others at our table and see what Christ has been doing in their life. This time led right into a six hour break. This time was spent having luch together and spending the afternoon sharing more stories and hanging out with folks who were strangers only a few hours ago and were quickly becoming much more like family…

If the relational aspect of the conference were not enough, the teaching was phenominally different and in my opinion much better. It seemed as though all these speakers intended to do was display the magnifiscence of Christ and lead us to embrace our unity with Him. To yearn for Him, search for Him and feast on Him as never before. This reconciliation between myself and Christ was much more than just sensing a closeness to Him. I realized the powerful truth that Christ is IN me and I am IN Him…

Another major difference between the two conference was the accessablility of the speakers… At the latter gathering, the speakers sat at the tables with the other brothers and sisters until they stood up to speak and then after each session they stayed in the room for hours answering questions and encouraging those who wanted to speak with them. Their accessability was reflective of the relationship we have with our Lord. They were not distant and fleeting but they stayed near and were ready to listen and share themselves with us.

You should definitely read the rest of Bobby’s post.

Sitting around tables talking with one another and talking with the speakers? It sounds familiar… but it doesn’t sound like any conference I’ve ever attended.

However, I think I may be interested in attending a conference next year…


4 Comments

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  1. 7-19-2011

    Alan,

    So you’re a heretical, backslider also! How I would have loved such a conference, as Bobby describes.

    Confession time: After listening to big name, expensive, imported speakers, I often used to think that some of our local brethren would have offered a far better, more valuable, self effacing, Christ glorifying ministry.

  2. 7-19-2011

    Alan,

    seriously, I think you should host your own “conference”. I’d definitely drive up to hear you and Dave Black speak and get to know some of the “assembly” commenters face to face.

  3. 7-19-2011

    Aussie John,

    The greatest teaching is that which is given in the context of sharing life with one another.

    Bobby,

    I had never heard of the Threshold conference, or anything similar, until I read your tweets and blogs posts. But, ironically, I wrote about something similar last year in a post called “Micro-Seminar Anyone?

    As far as hosting a conference right now, as much as I’d like to do it, especially in the format that you describe, I just don’t have time. But, I’m still hoping to come to Savannah.

    -Alan

  4. 7-19-2011

    This is a great conference! I attended it last year. Its put together by Frank Viola, Milt Rodriguez and Alan Levine. They are Organic Church practitioners. They run it every year in Orlando in July and this year it was run for the first time in Switzerland as well. I would recommend it highly for anyone who is interested in moving on from the same old tired and unbiblical institutional church. Its very practical and last year we even had the brothers and sisters from an organic church in Gainesville come and share – it was deeply inspiring.