I just got back yesterday from a two day hangout at the National Pastors Convention in San Diego. I journeyed out with Shane Hipps and basically shadowed him at all of his events. It was an amazing time of hanging out with friends and meeting others who I’ve greatly admired.
For some reason that I’m not totally sure of, most of my close friends happen to be pastors. Maybe it’s a coincidence, I’m not sure, but for some reason I really am fascinated by who they are and what they do. Based on my observation it’s hands down the most difficult and demanding job I know of.
My take away from these past few days was that both Rob Bell and Shane Hipps haven’t done nothin’ yet. Watch out! And another theme that really jumped out at me through various conversations and observations that there are two completely different conversations taking place in Christianity today. One version is concerned with defending the religious assumptions rooted in the all important “either/or” duality that blankets American Christianity. The other conversation has already mourned the death of the previous conversation and has turned to page to a completely different set of questions. Maybe I’m terribly wrong, but this conversation is actually interesting and compelling. It is rooted in possibility, not duality.
Witnessing this dialogue in person this week has somehow relieved me of some of my bewilderment and frustration for the other conversation that seems to be losing more of it’s relevance with every tick of the clock.
I went in bracing for major bum out but I return to the desert more optimistic than ever and I must admit, it’s a bit shocking. Not even all the garbage in the conference retail store could bring me down. 😉 Tom Wright’s book title, “Surprised by Hope” comes to mind.