The next speaker was Justin Anderson. He is the pastor of Praxis Church, who hosted the Boot Camp. While he was a great speaker his message was mostly towards the pastors in the group, regarding preaching. So, I took the opportunity to listen without notes. One thought I did take away from him was figure out what kind of preacher you are. Are you a 15 minute preacher or a 45 minute preacher? Figure it out and preach within that time…your church will thank you.
The speaker following Justin was David Kinnaman who is the president of the Barna Group. The Barna Group is “a visionary research and resource company located out of Ventura, California. Mr. Kinnaman was intriguing to listen to with all of his facts and statistics. I really enjoy those types of details and so this really appealed to me. His message was titled The Future and The Surge.
My biggest take away from this talk was his statistic about “adultolescence” as he called it. His statement was the there are less people making major life transition by the age of 30 than there were in the past 40 years. What he qualified as an adultolescent is someone who has not made major life transitions nor cares to make those transitions. There were numbers and such but I don’t have them and wish not to misquote.
Also, the confidence in leaders has greatly decreased. Leaders in the country and leaders in the church are not trusted people. What people think about Christians isn’t good and we must respond to that in some way. He spoke of the next generations of Christians and asked the question of how we are planning to teach them how to live in this world and not be of this world.
And then he made this really cool analogy of us being like exiles. His statement was “Gospel surges into the the world through exile – people able to navigate two worlds.”
I think it’s easy to forget that I am an ambassador in this world. It is my chosen responsibility to represent God and the gospel. How I do that is important. Why don’t we act out of the knowledge?
Okay I’m going to make a reference to a concept I learned in Mary Kay training. And I may go on a tangent but stick with me for a second. In Mary Kay it is my goal to sell people on the idea that Mary Kay is the best product for skin care, which it is, and I have to be clever about achieving that goal. I first attempt to make a connection with the potential client, I then have place to introduce them to the product. Once they have been convinced that Mary Kay is the best selling skin care line they want the product and I can offer it to them. I have to make sure that my skin looks great in order to be an authority on the subject. So I use the product every day and use every part of the line that I wish to sell. I make sure I am qualified to speak on the subject before I approach her. WHY, don’t we approach the gospel with the same meticulous thought? Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can’t walk up to pople and hit them on the head with my Bible and hope they get “saved”. That’s like me walking up to a woman and slapping her in the face with my Timewise line and then telling her she wants it. It isn’t going to work! I have to make a connection with her first before she’ll even listen to me. I have to ask questions. I have to take the time to get to know what her needs are before I can offer her anything. If you try to offer Jesus to someone who thinks they have everything you’re going to use a different tactic. It takes time. It takes energy. It take listening. But if you put in the time the connection is more likely to be made. I could go on and on about this idea, but I feel I should stop there for now. My point is this…ARE YOU MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE BEFORE YOU TRY TO INTRODUCE THEM TO JESUS? If you’re not, it may not work. I’m just saying.