I'm blogging live (almost) from the 2008 Inside-Out PGF Conference in Long Beach, California!
This evening's activities were pretty powerful, an excellent kick-off for a few days of what should be some serious Presbyterian transformation.
Dinner was great - and I'm talking the fellowship, not the food. I sat at a table with some folks from Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, who were all wearing a button that said "I have a story..." So, naturally trying to avoid the obvious, I asked "What's your button for?" They explained that if I was willing to share a story, they would tell theirs and I would get 2 buttons, one for myself, and one to give to someone else.
They shared how their church had started building homes for homeless families in Tijuana. They would just show up one weekend, and say, "You're gonna have a house!" Pretty powerful. I shared about the Presbyterians in Syria who are faced with hardships as well, and how in spite of being marginalized they can be a powerful missional witness in their villages.
The main session was pretty rocking as the worship team from Bel Air Presbyterian Church led us in a few songs. I couldn't help but think about how so many people people are coming to PGF in the shadow of General Assembly, and yet we sang on: "shine your light in..."
Alan Hirsch was bound to be controversial, but I think he definitely hit a lot of good chords with everyone. He really put the challenge out in the open, and it will be a lot of fun to wrestle with some of the ideas over the next few days. Hopefully we won't be held to a chalk line like a bunch of mesmerized chickens either, but instead we can prayerfully kick each other in the rear as we discover what it means to "radicalize in order to missionalize."
I'm sure everyone walked away with the images of Jesus that Hirsch presented burned into our minds: Spooky Jesus, Buddy Jesus, Sunday School Jesus, Bearded Lady Jesus. But the idea worked - Jesus is now hopefully back at the center of our thoughts as we explore the "missionally responsive, culturally adaptive, organizationally agile, multiplication movement we're called to be."
We'd love to hear your thoughts from the first day, as well as ways your church is putting a renewed emphasis on missional discipleship. Stay tuned for a recap of Day 2!