Drive09: Session 3

It was another great day of conversations and learning here at Drive. I missed my breakouts again this morning, because I still can’t walk five feet without running into someone that wants to have a half-hour conversation! It has been great to share stories from Denver, talk about what we’re learning on our journey, and to learn from others who are where we are. Andy’s last talk wasn’t new to me, but it is a message that every leader – inside and outside the church – needs to hear. If you want more, most of the info came from Andy’s book Visioneering which I highly recommend.

Making Vision Stick


  • Vision is a mental picture of what could be fueled by the passion of what should be.
  • Vision is what attracts talent, resources, money, and leaders.
  • Life is difficult on our vision. Success is tough because you’re tempted to do more. Failure is tough, because people doubt the vision when plans fail.

To make your vision stick:

  1. State it simply. Memorable is portable. This will mean that you won’t be able to be complete, but it’s more important to make it simple if you want it to be memorable. The perfect example is Obama’s campaign vision – everyone remembers it was about “Change.” The criticism was that it wasn’t complete, but he chose to make it memorable. The more complex your vision and the larger your audience, the simpler you have to state it. Your vision statement needs to connect to emotion.
  2. Cast it convincingly.
    • Define the problem. What would go undone if your church wasn’t there? You have to help people feel the weight of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
    • Offer a solution.
    • Explain why and why not. Position and present your vision as the solution to a problem that must be addressed immediately.
  3. Repeat it regularly.
  4. Celebrate it systematically. Anything that is rewarded is repeated.
  5. Embrace it personally. It is not enough to talk about doing things, you have to live it. You are the vision.
  • Pay attention to new projects, programs, and products – they can distract from your vision. If you want to keep your organizatoin on task and on vision, be very wary of adding new things.
  • Pay attention to staff and leaders’ prayer requests.
  • Pay attention to complaints. Some complaints you need to listen to and some you don’t. Insider-related complaints are an indication that there is a vision problem.

Drive09: Session 2


Today was a great day of connecting with old friends and fellow leaders from churches planted by North Point. I didn’t make it to any of the breakouts I signed up for, because I couldn’t walk more than 5 feet down the hall without running into someone that turned into a half-hour conversation! God scripted my day perfectly and gave me time with people that I needed to be with more than I needed to sit and take in information.

As always the creative team has done an amazing job of enhancing all the main sessions. One of the coolest things was a take-off on the T-Mobile Liverpool Street Station video. As the session started, people began spontaneously dancing in the audience, and then they taught the whole audience to do it. It was great.

Listening, Learning, and Leading

The longer you’re in leadership, the more likely you are to get insulated from the people you need to hear from and the information you need to get.

  1. As leaders we gravitate to voices that tell us what we want to hear.
  2. The nature of leadership is such that we become insulated and isolated. And the dirty little secret is that most of us like it that way.
  3. Leadership is not about making decisions on your own. It’s about owning decisions once they’re made.
  4. The responsibility of the leader is not to make all the decisions. The responsibility of the leader is to ensure that all the decisions made are good ones.
  5. To make right decisions, a leader must be surrounded by and be willing to listen to the right people

To be a great leader, you must be a great listener.

Here’s why…

  1. You are probably not the smartest person in your organization. You are just the leader.
  2. What and who you listen to will determine what you do.
  3. Organizational decisions are judged by the people in your organization.

Your private decisions will be judged publicly…

  1. Leaders are attracted to environments where their ideas and opinions are heard.
    1. Leaders want to know they have an opportunity to influence their own destinies.
    2. Leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing important to say.
    3. If you want to attract great leaders to your organization, create a system where their voices can be heard.

The man who needed counsel the least (Solomon) had the most to say about it. (Prov 1:5, 12:15, 13:10, 19:20, 15:22)

Problem: Most organizations allow seniority to determine structure.

  1. A seniority structure limits access and thus impedes the flow of ideas.
  2. In a seniority structure, title and position, rather than insight or creativity, determine who sits at the decision-making table.
  3. Eventually, a seniority structure leaves the seniors in charge.

Solution #1: Create a system that allows you to get the brightest and most strategic-minded people to the decision-making table.

  1. Ask yourself, “Who would I like to sit down with on a regular basis to discuss the issues that impact the future of our organization?” Resist the temptation to fair. “Fairness ended in the garden of Eden.” Don’t aim for fair or you’ll be unjust. Do what’s right, not fair.
  2. Make that your decision-making body for a year.

Solution #2: Create systems that allow you to listen deep into your organization.

  1. Aplications:
    • 3-month/12-month employee evaluations
    • Elder meetings (monthly)
    • Stewardship team (bi-monthly)
    • Ministry Team Representatives (quarterly)
  2. Resist the urge to lead every meeting you attend.


  1. What we don’t want to hear is generally what we need to hear.
  2. Who we don’t want to hear from is often who we need to hear from most.
  3. You have some really smart people in your organization. Figure out how to leverage their smarts.
  4. Remember: leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing important to say.

Takeaway for New Denver Church:

  • We have to get the systems in place soon to regularly involve people from our core group in decisions. I need to finish crafting the structure the local leadership development process we’ve discussed. I’d like to start that by the fall. We need to find stewardship team people, potential elders, and potential ministry team representatives.
  • How can we continue to learn from the right people – both inside and outside our organization?

Q 2009: Day 3

img_0231Here are my notes from day 3 of the 2009 Q conference. Overall Q was, again, an amazing experience. I was challenged in a variety of ways, but here are a few specific things I’m thinking about as I return to Denver:

  1. In what ways am I “privileged,” and how can I leverage that for creative power not for my own benefit.
  2. What would it look like for a church to pursue community integration and sustainability (social, economic, and environmental)?
  3. I was awakened to the reality that the existence of nuclear weapons should be morally reprehensible to the world. A world with any nuclear weapons is not safe.
  4. I need to continue to be reflective with my use of technology to ensure I use it and it doesn’t use me.
  5. How can I support the arts in Denver, and how can New Denver Church embrace and empower artists within our community?
  6. How do I embrace counter-cultural living personally, and how can we lead people at New Denver to do the same – to see themselves as shaping culture within their sphere of influence?

Same deal as yesterday – I may come back to edit and add my thoughts, but for now here’s my raw notes.

Dr. Stephen Graves – Ensuring Social Entrepreneurship Success

  • Four stages for enterprise development:  Concept –> Launch –> Prove –> Scale –> Concept…
  • Concept: Language the Dream
    • They can come at anytime. Usually it is when we come face to face with a real need.
    • This phase is about first capturing the words around the idea.
    • We also have to size the dream.
    • We then have to monetize the dream. There is no shortage of good ideas, but there is a shortage of people who have figured out how to monetize them.
  • Launch: Put Some Resources at Risk
    • Launch alert 1: Don’t be impulsive and shallow in the pursuit of your dream.
    • Lanch alert 2: Don’t be presmptive and arrogant about your self-contrived plans.
  • Prove: Determine if you have something that will endure
    • You don’t have to prove everything, just the right things.
  • Scale: You don’t always have to expand.
    • Think health, not size.
    • Add a new multiplier.
    • The bigger the vision, the more talent required.

Mike Rusch – The Cobblestone Project

  • Began with a question, “In a community where there are a few belivers, is it possible that everyone there could live without need?”
  • Ideas birthed: Neighborhood food drive, haircuts for women/kids in shelters, laundry for love

Chris Seay – The Irony of Church Marketing

  • Began with a concern that the church had compelled people toward faith with fear for too long.
  • We have now replaced motivation of fear  with a motivation of consumerism. We have bought into the sin of our culture – greed and consumerism. The air we breathe is consumerism. We need to look around and ask ourselves as the church how we’re contributing. E.g. A church in Houston advertised on cartoon channel that they were giving away a Wii on Sunday.
  • Desire is a normal part of reality. The question is what we desire.
  • Some churches have gone to sensationalism and played on people’s desire, and it may work temporarily. But in the end it’s a gimmick, and people will see through it.
  • “How can it be that we [the church] can utilize marketing, which is at its core much like pornography. It plays on the base desire of people. Marketing is the pornography of consumerism…People want to give their lives and resources to something that matters.”

Heather Larson – Justice in the Suburbs

  • What would it look like if all our churches woke up to the issues of compassion and justice? What if everyone in our church, not just a passionate few, woke up and became concerned with the needs in our world?
  • Heather began with the Red Cross and became convicted that if she was going to be part of meeting the needs of the world she wanted to do it through the church.
  • opening the church for the homeless, Safe Families (program to supplement the foster care system), celebration of hope (focus on need for food and clean water)
  • At celebration of hope 14 people committed to buying a solar-powered water system that will provide water for a village for a decade.
  • My thoughts/questions:
    • What is the long-term impact of symbolic/educational gestures (solidarity diets, events for awareness, etc.)? Does it really help build a culture of compassion?

Gabe Lyons – Being Countercultural

  • We are now in the middle of a post-Christendom context. The church has moved to the periphery of culture. Tolerance and embracing all religions is the value of the day.
  • Relevance – relating to present-day events or current state of society. Relevance has been the goal of the church the last 10 years. The problem with relevance is that it is a followership mentality. It puts us in the pursuit of culture.
  • 1980: Business drives culture, churches take on business principles.
  • 1995: Arts, entertainment, and media drive the culture. The church reacts – focusing on media, professional musicians, etc.
  • 2010: The social sector drives culture. The church is reacting, pursuing a desire to engage in social needs.
  • If we are constantly chasing culture, we will never catch up.
  • The alternative to being relevant is to be countercultural. Counterculture – A culture that has ideas and ways of behaving that are consciously and deliverately different from those of society.
  • The advantage of being countercultural is it allows us to be authentic to who we are – to be grounded and centered.
  • “He who marries the spirit of the age today will be a widower tomorrow.” -William Ralph Inge
  • Ways Christians have tried to be countercultural
    • Separate and form a subculture. Often we’re not creating anything new, just copying the culture.
    • Dissent and condemn culture.
    • Being countercultural for the common good. “The church against the world, for the world” – The Hartford Declaration
  • Recognize the world’s natural inclination towards decline (Rom 8:21-22).
  • The Christian works to restore and renew all things in a world of decline. Wee seek the common good – the most good for all people regardless of race, class or religion.
  • Attributes of Christians who are countercultural will focus on:
    • Being restorers.
    • Being sacrificial.
    • Thoughtful about technology adoption.
    • Concerned with the public good.
    • God-centered transformation.
  • Living counterculturally gives people a physical expression of what they long for spiritually.
  • Instead of following culture, we move toward the church leading culture. This is what the world longs for – to be made right, to restore what is broke, to experience being fully human, the way God created us to be.

Max Kampelman – The Power of Ought

  • The human mind has the power to build or to destroy. Our challenge is to protect ourselves from the power we have created through the understanding and master of the atom.
  • Our safety and the safety of  all civilizations requires the total elimination of all nuclear weapons. That must remain our national goal.
  • It is simple to state what “ought” to be.
  • The Declaration of Independence is the shared common set of ideas in America. Yet when it was written not all people enjoyed the rights of the declaration. The ideas set forth there must have seemed idealistic and unrealistic in the face of slavery and the supression of women’s rights. The Declaration of Independence became the “ought” for our country.
  • Our current goal should be to establish a common “ought” for the human race. This should include the elimination of nuclear weapons.
  • An effort of sanity on our part will communicate to the world that we must all be part of trying to achieve a common peace. This must be what America represents. We have the swords, but we seek a world without swords. We must lead the world into developing a decisive strategy to move from a world that “is” to a world of “ought.”
  • “The church must express its commitment to the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.”

Rick McKinley – Where do we go from here?

  • An economy of scarcity is driven by fear and desire.
  • “For so many years we’ve tried to meet kingdom needs with empire values.” We run our churches through the values of perform, produce, and be popular. As you use your power to achieve some kingdom value, you wonder why you’re tired.
  • In a global recession, has God heard the cries of the oppressed in the world who serves the desires of our consumer culture.
  • God’s invitation in the Exodus narrative is to lead Israel out of bondage and into freedom. This is a scary journey. Leaving the imperial values of production, performance, and popularity forces supernatural dependance on God. In Exodus God provides daily through manna.
  • We find ourselves leaving the empire, leaving the scarcity and entering into God’s abundance.
  • Our story is not about meeting kingdom needs with imperial resources but abandons ourself to God. The world needs Jesus, not another program to fix it.
  • The dream moves beyond the invitation and creates a radical new humanity.
  • Jesus is alive and in the midst of the community. In that community there is his abundance.
  • What would our organizations, our families, look like if our response to the world was, “Silver and gold we do not have, but I give you what we have. I give you Christ.”

Q 2009: Day 2

img_0229I decided to save myself some time and just blogged my notes today. I may go back to edit and add some observations, but in the interest of time here’s my unedited notes.

Catherine Crouch

  • The more we understand about the scientific world, the more we are aware of the purpose of our creator.
  • Studying the creation engenders humility. The moments of discovery are rare.
  • In science, observations are taken and models are built to explain and interpret data. Models are built by us but also shaped by a community.
  • Faith works the same way. We begin with a framework from our own experience and observations, but our framework is also shaped by community.
  • Science requires collaboration. Advancement happens through a community of scientists working together. It requires generosity. Scientists are must be willing to share without the promise of any personal gain.
  • Science requires risk. As with any creative work, it requires taking chances in order to see progress. It is a reminder that our advancement is not our own work but from God. There is no assurance of success. We have a promise that God will bring some success and even redeem our failures.

Gregory Burns – Iconoclast Thinking

  • Iconoclast – someone who tears down icons or traditional ways of thinking.
  • Thinking differently is very difficult to do.
  • Three dynamics that play into thinking differently:
    • Perception – The brain takes input from our senses and constructs something we can make sense of. It begins with physical reality, but the rest takes place in our brain. Imagination runs perception in reverse. Your brain generates the input itself. Imagination is therefore connected to past experience.
    • Fear – The amygdala is a primitive part of the brain. There is only one real fear – the fear of being alone. It is so ingrained in us that this fear inhibits our creativity. Experiments on visual perception and nonconformity have shown that our desire to be part of a group will change our brain’s perception.
    • Social Intelligence
  • What can you do?
    • Perception/Imagination – Novel environments, travel, new people
    • Fear – Neutralize fear in workplace, recognize fear of public speaking, training, exposure, habituation
    • Social Intelligence – Golden rule, familiarity, when all else fails get a partner

Blake Mycoskie – TOMS Shoes Update

  • Given over 140,000 shoes in the last 3 years. This year they will give away over 300,000 pairs of shoes.
  • Discovered a disease in Africa that can be prevented by wearing shoes.
  • AT&T is extending the commercial they made to 1 minute and premiering it on American Idol

Micah White – Culture of Consumers

  • Adbusters  exists to expose that our mental environment is polluted by our advertising.
  • Americans are exposed to anywhere from 300 to 2000 ads.
  • Micah wrote an article called ‘Commit Facebook Suicide.’ Facebook is interested in demand generation. They want to create demand by allowing your friends to know what you consume.
  • NYT reported recently that we spend 8 hours a day looking at screens. “The screen is our friend, not the people we interact with through it. We spend more time with the screen than our friends.”
  • Book reference: iBrain
  • Adbusters do campaigns to “jam” advertising. E.g. “Buy Nothing Day” – they do a campaign to spend one day without buying anything (usually the day after Thanksgiving).

David Crowder

  • Order/Chaos
  • Limited/Limitless
  • Story of Pythagoras – perfect right triangle (3/4/5), study of the mathematics of music.
  • Over time in the evolution of music in the church there is a move toward the limitless/chaos, and then there is a desire for the limited/order. There is no reason to think that will not continue.
  • We are currently in a period of restraint. We have simply embraced pop music. Pop music is the “lowest common denominator” of  music.
  • Where we are heading is toward a pursuit of the limitless/chaos –  irrational numbers (3/3/SQRT(18))

Tim Keel – The Gospel Revisited

  • There is a growing awareness and concern that we have domesticated the Gospel.
  • One domesticating force is the modern force of reductionism. To reduce is to observe a complex reality and remove it from its context.
  • Rather than living in the narrative of our lives, our neighborhoods, our communities and seeking an understanding of how the Gospel works itself out in our stories, we look at “successful” churches and strip their methods from their context, expecting it to “work” for us.
  • We have more of a commitment to the systems and our understandings of the Gospel rather than the person of Christ. Some of our modern epistemological arguments are costing us our ability to see God at work around us.
  • In the western church we are experiencing a crisis of imagination. Many of us are not even aware that imagination has anything to do with the Gospel.
  • Imagination:  The faculty or action of creating external objects not present to the senses.
  • This is Jesus’ call to the disciples: “Behold, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” It is a call to live according to a different, alternative reality. It is no small thing to do this – to awake from the reality of our world and live differently.
  • Modernity traded story for proposition.
  • “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” -Mark Twain
  • What is the context of the Gospels? It is the Old Testament narratives. There are four OT frameworks that shaped Jewish imagination:
    • Creation
    • Exodus
    • Exile
    • Priestly
  • Jesus interacts regularly with these four Jewish narratives.
  • The origin of the Gospel is the OT. It is the good news of God’s restoration of peace and shalom (Isa 40-66).
  • In the Exile narrative, good news is the movement from exile to restored relationship with God. Luke’s Gospel is full of Exile language. Jesus’ mission was brokering the restoration of God with the marginalized.
  • Salvation in the Exodus story is the movement from slavery to freedom. Matthew and Mark’s gospels are full of Exodus language.
  • The Gospel is also a retelling of the Creation narrative. John’s gospel is full of creation language. The resurrection is a profoundly creative, actually re-creative, work.
  • The Priestly narrative is the most familiar to us as it pertains to the Gospel. It is not a story of dynamic movement. It is the transaction that moves us from unholy to holy. This is the story that Jesus engages with the least, and when he does, he subverts it. The church has been obsessed with the priestly story. Why? The priestly story is most easily reduced: “Sin has separated us from God, and we require a sacrifice to reconcile us to him. Jesus died to pay that debt, and trusting in him reconciles us to God.” This is a true and necessary (hallelujah!) perspective of the Gospel, but it is not complete.
  • Salvation is not just fall and redemption. It is creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. This is the narrative.
  • We have made one aspect of the Gospel and made it the entire Gospel and ignored the themes and stories Jesus himself focused upon.
  • We are the location of God’s restoration and his agents of recreation.
  • The culture around us is obsessed with the themes of creation (what does it mean to be human, what is the nature of our sexuality), exodus (how do I escape my addictions), and exile (how do we bridge the separation of racial division).
  • People are curious about spirituality, not as a transaction, but as a journey. We keep making it about the transaction.
  • The traditional evangelism question is, “If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?” It doesn’t work. People are struggling to make meaning of their lives. So what if the question became, “If you knew you had 20 years to live, what kind of life would you live?” Jesus has a compelling answer to that question – Wake up, and follow me. Find purpose in God’s recration work.

Shane Hipps & Micah White

  • Shane does own a cell phone. He is not against technology. Technology is the inevitable expression of man’s creative impulse – to hate technology is in a sense to hate people. But it is important to understand the implications of technology use so that we use it, not it using us. A phone becomes a crying baby – when it cries for attention we must attend it. However, a phone is not a baby; you don’t have to attend it.
  • What is good and redemptive about technology? Shane: “To answer that seems redundant. The benefits of technology are obvious, and it’s why we’ve adopted it. I focus on the darker or hidden side of technology, because no one is focusing on it.”

Forum – What Healthy and Unhealthy Trends Exist in the American Church Today?

  • Chris McDaniel (Trinity Vineyard Church), Alan Hirsch, Shane Hipps (Mennonite), Sherry Thomas (para-church training for women), Jon Tyson (Trinity Grace Church), Charles Lee (New Hope), Heather Larson (Willow Creek), Jonathan Dodson (Austin City Life), and Gideon San
  • Jon Tyson: Concerns – Absence of conversation about spiritual warfare, video venues.
  • Heather Larson: Video venues are not ideal, but at Willow it is working. People are coming to Christ and growing in their relationship with Christ.
  • Alan Hirsch – There is much to be hopeful about in the American church. If there is any hope for the western church it will come from America. Concerns: We are addicted to results, and there is too much focus on celebrity.
  • Charles Lee – Concerns: Technology is a concern, but it can also enhance relationships.
  • Alan Hirsch – With respect to technology, there is a place for absence and a place for presence. Absence improves presence.
  • Chris McDaniel – Concerns: Over-emphasis on relevance. Lack of church planting.
  • Jonathan Dodson – Concerns: We assume the essentials of the Gospel, but in fact our bond is mission.
  • Gideon – Concern: There is an emphasis of focusing on upper levels of culture (arts, government, science, etc.). The problem is these centers of power are not neutral forces. Jesus also said that the first will be last.
  • Heather Larson – Concern: An inordinate amount of energy that goes into finding the “right” model.
  • Shane Hipps – Concern: The lack of spiritual practices beyond the cognitive. There is a lot of darkness in the world, and we are like unplugged light bulbs sitting around talking about the fact that there’s no light. We need to plug into the source.

Q 2009: Day 1

img_0228I am mentally exhausted. This is my second year attending the Q conference, so it is not unexpected, but there is no way to prepare for the mental onslaught that is Q. What is Q?

“Q is a gathering where church leaders and cultural influencers from the fields of business, politics, media, education, entertainment and the arts are exposed to the future of culture and the church’s responsibility to advance the common good in society.”

Each presenter is given 18 minute to present a thought or concept. What that means for attendees is that Q is a steady stream of presenters and ideas, and an explosion of resultant thoughts, ideas, and emotions. I will try to capture and distill the essence of what I heard today along with a few ideas and questions the presentations evoked in me.

David Taylor & Lisa Hickey

  • David is a writer and former arts pastor at a church here in Austin, and Lisa Hickey is the event producer for the Austin City Limits music festival.
  • They each shared their love for the city of Austin and what makes the city unique. The saying “Keep Austin Weird” is an expression of the value the city of Austin has for being different – e.g. valuing diversity, valuing the arts, valuing green space in their city, and valuing local businesses.
  • My Thoughts/Questions:
    • What are the things I love about Denver?
    • What can I do to value the arts in Denver?

Alan Hirsch

  • Alan began by presenting Ralph Winter’s model for articulating cultural distance. Basically this is just a way of identifying the significant cultural barriers between a person and their ability to receive the Gospel – m0, m1, m2, m3, and m4. For each step there are more cultural barriers.
  • Alan argued that the primary way the western church attempts to reach people outside is generally only effective for those within one cultural step. That is, the typical church will only reach people of similar language, cultural, and socio-economic background – people like them.
  • His belief is that currently 35-40% of the American population is within one cultural step of the church. So the maximum effectiveness of the church is to reach 40% of the population. He says that the church growth movement is the only churches being effective doing that.
  • Alan coined the phrase “attractional” to describe these churches but now believes that “extractional” may be a better term. He observes that the church extracts people from their cultural context and actually enculturates them to the church. This violates the missional nature of the church to go to the lost and “become all things to all people.”
  • The problem is that he believes America is headed toward the secular future that is Europe’s present reality. He sees the decline of church participation in the U.S. as a sign that the church is moving from the center to the margins and that the number of people within one cultural step of the church is rapidly declining.
  • Alan challenged the audience to consider that while the attractional/extractional church is still reaching people, there need to be pioneers who imagine a new way to engage those far from God. The decisions we make now will affect the future of the 21st century church.
  • My Thoughts/Questions:
    • Is it possible to take the best of what we are doing with attractional church and begin experimenting with new ways to engage culture? What would that look like?

Mel McGowan, Joel Kotkin, & Dave Goetz

  • This was a fascinating discussion about the history and future of the suburbs.
  • In short, Kotkin (an expert on city planning and not a Christian) represented a future which will continue to see growth in the suburbs. Yet, the suburbs need to reinvent themselves to find their own cultural identity. Churches must play a major role by creating sacred space to go with increasing social, residential, recreational, and commercial space.
  • We must look at sustainability differently – social, economic, and environmental.
  • Dave Goetz shared his view as a believer that there are some destructive addictions present in the suburbs:
  • Dave asserted that we live a “bloated” life that is our false selves.
  • Spiritual growth is a journey from “beginning Christianity” to “progressive growth.” Churches have created lots of beginner Christians, because they have focused on programming. You can’t program the transition from “beginning” to “progressive” – it only happens through suffering. To transition there must be a death of self.
  • Dave asserted three primary suburban addictions:
    • An addiction to the success of our children
    • An addiction to comparing my life to my neighbors’, focusing only on the positive desirable aspects of my neighbors’ lives.
    • An addiction to my busy life.
  • My Thoughts/Questions:
    • As a church planter, what would it look like to think about issues of sustainability and community integration as we pursue a home for New Denver Church?
    • I’m not sure the suburban addictions are necessarily suburban. Perhaps they seem more intensified by the suburbs, but they can exist in an urban context as well.

Andy Crouch

  • What if we succeed at culture making? The result is creative power.
  • Creative Power – The ability to propose a new cultural good.
  • Rent (in economic terms) – The excess income you can command for doing what you would do for less. E.g. A 15-year old David Beckham would probably agree to play soccer for $100K per game for the rest of his life. Last year Beckham signed a contract that pays him more than $1.4M per game. Therefore in economic terms Beckham is receiving (theoretically) $1.3M in rent.
  • Privilege – The continuing benefits of past successful exercises of power.
  • How much privilege do we enjoy every day without even knowing it?
  • We can observe Jesus’ relationship to power and privilege in the gospels. Anytime Jesus exerts power that begins to bring privilege, Jesus flees. His exercise of power is not to bring him privilege. He refuses to live in the benefits of past creative power.
  • An example of privilege – The green room at an event like Q. Is it power or privilege? It depends on how it is used. If it is used by a speaker before he speaks to prepare it is an exercise of creative power. If it is used after he speaks to receive the benefits of speaking already completed, it is privilege. All of America is a green room. Do we use it for our privilege or more power?
  • It all comes to risk. We have to put the benefit on the line for the benefit of others. We must be willing to risk the benefit of success.
  • My Thoughts/Questions:
    • In what ways do I enjoy privilege? How can I turn that privilege into creative power?

Tyler Wigg-Stevenson

  • The security of the post-9/11 world has changed from a posture of detrrence. It needs to become morally reprehensible to possess nuclear weapons.
  • The Christian community has an opportunity to inform people of the need for nuclear disarmament.

“It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.” -George Washington to the Constitutional Convention, 1787