February 24, 2014

Focused Session #3

READING THE HOMOSEXUAL TEXTS – REDEMPTIVELY

Speaker: Bill Webb
Room: Ohio

What does it mean to read the sexuality and homosexuality texts of Scripture redemptively? If someday it is discovered that sexual orientation has a genetic component, how does that impact the question? Would Jesus or Paul use the OT term “abomination” to describe homosexual behavior in our present-day world? Moving from the sexuality we find within the ancient biblical text to a well-reasoned contemporary Christian sexual ethic is by no means an easy or straightforward. This seminar will attempt to work through certain key biblical parts of this labyrinth.

BOASTING IN OUR WEAKNESS & THE POWER OF THE WORD

Speaker: Mandy Smith
Room: America B
Paul didn’t minister in spite of his weakness. Ironically, his ministry was empowered by weakness. If our brokenness or lack can make God shine, how are we shortchanging him by pretending we’ve got it all together? If our lives are the place where God’s Word meets this world, do our lives need to be perfect to reveal his Word? How can even our weakness and brokenness reveal His perfect Word? Through story, times of reflection and creative exercises drawn from Mandy’s book, this workshop will show how “Bringing the Word to Life,” heals to the worn out and restores the perfectionist.

THE GOALS OF MISSIONAL PREACHING

Speaker: Al Tizon
Room: Missouri
The well-known adage, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time,” is true for preaching as well. The fact that the language of objectives and goals is not used very much in homiletical discussions should be of concern to us. What do we hope to accomplish in our preaching? This workshop discusses seven goals, which when striven for, help determine the theological, ethical and practical—in a word, missional—shape of the church.

DEBATING, DECIDING, OR DISCERNING? SEEKING SPIRITUAL DIRECTION IN THE COMMUNITY OF THE
SPIRIT

Speaker: Alexander, Keasler, Holsclaws
Room: Minnesota
The New Testament account states that the church is a new society, led and ruled by Jesus. This means that the church makes decisions in a way that is unique and peculiar. This workshop explores what it means and looks like for the church to be a “pneumocarcy” (rule of the Spirit), rather than a “democracy” (rule of the majority) or an “autocracy” (rule of one). What does it mean for a local community of faith to discern God’s will together? How can the church listen to God’s Spirit and come to a place of consensus around potentially divisive issues? Can the local church make decisions in which they say “it seemed good to us and the Spirit”? (Acts 15)

DWELLING WITH THE WORD IN LITURGY

Speaker: David Bailey
Room: America A

Worship is not only expression, it is formation. When we only see worship as expression, without considering how our practices of worship forms us, our community can be shaped in a way that we do not intend. In this workshop, we will explore how we can let the word of Christ dwell in our communities richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

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