Thoughts of a Country Preacher

The Monday morning ruminations of a pastor.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thoughts on Tuesday's Acts 29 Event

OK, OK, I know that I’m posting on my visit with the Acts 29 network a little later than I said I would – but hey, its my blog and it operates on my schedule.

When I go to SBC events, I’m struck by the fact that the majority of people are older, well dressed white guys. When I walked into the meeting room I was a few minutes late, and as I walked in I looked around & was struck by the fact that it was primarily young white guys with facial hair and flip-flops. Given that I fit into that category well (sans flip-flops) it didn’t really bother me – it just struck me as odd for some reason.

There were two sessions in this meeting. The first was taught by Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of the Journey Church in St. Louis. He wanted to answer the question "what is missional?" To answer this question, he looked to Acts 2:42-47, and argued that missional churches sought to emulate those things found in the primitive church. Mainly, preaching/teaching, fellowship, Lord’s service and benevolence. All in all, his interpretation was spot on, though a bit basic. I have heard Mr. Patrick speak in the past on similar topics much more in depth. I’m sure time constraints played a big part in this, but none the less the brevity of his discussion made it less than fruitful, unless one was completely devoid of any knowledge in these fields.

The breakout session that followed was of great value. There were two offered – the first designed for people new in their field on learning how to exegete their culture. The second (which I attended) was on transforming the city & focused upon benevolence ministries. The facilitator of this session, a guy named Josh, had clearly struggled with benevolence ministries, had encountered the same problems that I had, and seems to be formulating answers to questions I have been considering myself. Josh argues (correctly in my opinion) that churches should move beyond strictly charity in their benevolence ministries, and begin to focus upon empowerment – or training people so that they can help themselves. Here’s the money quote from this session: "Doing for others what they can do for themselves is charity at its worst. We must believe that every person has something of value to bring to the table." Therefore, church benevolence ministries should focus more on creating an environment of empowerment as opposed to simply throwing money at the problem.


Blogger Bro. Heath said...

I'm surprised Patrick was teaching at an SBC event. I figured his name was pretty much mud with most Missouri Baptists.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Pastor John said...

This was an Acts 29 event, not an SBC event. However, last year he did speak at an SBC event that I attended. Like most people, there are many opinions of him.
Myself, I have a great respect for the man. He has a theological depth that is uncommon among many MBC pastors. Add to this that he has an ability to apply that theology to the workings of his church, and you have someone worth listening to.

8:53 PM  

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