For all my friends on the East Coast, I’ll be spending a few days presenting, talking, listening, and hanging with church planter types at a conference in the Washington DC area put on by Ecclesia. The gathering is February 12-14. It is called Practicing the Gospel: An Ecclesia National Gathering.
One of the things I am looking forward to is hanging with Alan Hirsch – he’s down to earth, insightful, brilliant, encouraging, challenging. As for my part, I hope to explore the practices of preaching, communal formation, and spiritual disciplines as they function within a missional mindset. My thought is driven these days by a new book I’ve been writing out of my own theological work, church planting mentoring and pastoring. The driving concern of the book is how do we lead communities of character which exhibit peace, mission, justice, and holiness as a people, embodied in our character so that our witness becomes indisputable in our everyday walk. How are we as God’s people shaped by the very marks of Christ so that as a people as well as individuals we embody His character wherever we are, work, play, family, neighborhood, among the poor, walking among the rich too. I think the way we speak about Scripture, justice, church and salvation, and the way we practice preaching, community and sanctification as communities has everything to do with the way the Spirit shapes us as people. It is out of this that true irrefutable witness is born. So I hope to explore the kinds of communities we are leading in these ways in my part of this conference. I hope you come!