Saturday, July 31, 2010

Infusion Conference Reflections

Yesterday, I posted that I would be attending an Infusion Conference this weekend. I did so last night and this morning with 5 others from CCF. The experience was helpful on many levels. My reflections are not all positive, but I have elected to share them anyway (although I realize the risk in sharing negatively online). Here are some of my responses to the event listed randomly. When I refer to the speakers, am referring to Frank Viola and Alan Levine. You may remember Frank Viola as the author of Pagan Christianity, which I posted several blogs on. Here goes:
  • The speakers are wounded and hurt by their past church experiences (as long as 25 years ago) and it comes out in their sharing very strongly. That saddened me for them.
  • This event felt (to me) like a platform for two men who are angry at organized church to share their frustration with a room full of people that feel the same. The bitterness I sensed in the room didn't feel God glorifying (and maybe I am no better for writing that here).
  • Their books are flying off the shelves because people are finding language for their frustration with church...but they are also finding excuses to drop out of church and feel justified in it. So, while I deeply appreciate someone like Frank writing the tough (even true) stuff that he does, it is being broadly misused (whether he likes it or not).
  • This experience seemed to confirm that "traditional house church" is not for me any more than "traditional institutional church" is. I really don't think that spending 6 years with the same 6 people cuts it...on many levels.
  • I am more convinced now than I have ever been that there are gifts, strengths and beauty in every color, taste, style and size of church....that are all needed in the body of Christ! Additionally, I think that we are nearing a time when we will discover some form of hybrid model of institutional/simple/house church that takes us to a new place and I am excited to be a part of finding and living it.
  • The final thing that this weekend showed me was this: For those of us that feel called to rethink, reimagine, and explore something new and different, the best thing that we can do is to keep a Jesus heart...gracious, humble, gentle, teachable, attuned to the Father and the Spirit! If we think we are better, we may end up bitter.
And what is the point of it all?

JESUS transforming people so they will worship and love him!

Welcome your comments and questions. There was so much more I could have said.


Kevin Bucher said...

wow, looking forward to hanging out in shnghi bro. Now more than ever. We will have some good conversation. planning on being there for several days. flying out on the 21st. i think. kev

Noah said...

Awesome, Kevin. I look forward to thinking through this stuff with you. And we are thrilled that you all are coming to Shang! See you soon, my friend. We will be there Sept 4-18.

Syeve Shank said...

I have seen some of the same things. That is one of the reasons I apprecaute LK because of his balance and Jesus centered views.

Noah said...

Syeve- thanks for your comment. Who is LK?

Radaph said...

Thanks for your honesty Noah, and your courage... Wondering how much "enlightenment" different parts of the church can stand until refocusing on Jesus. It seems another version of seeker-sensitivity ... just a different sort of seeker.