I recently posted about Todd Hunter’s new adventures and running into him at the Dallas Missional Renaissance gathering. Todd is participating in a Conversational Evangelism Conference on May 16th and 17th at Hosanna in Lakeville, MN near the Twin Cities.
Here’s what Todd has to say about the gathering:
“Preaching in large venues worked well in the 20th century. The modern world respected, demanded and loved its experts. If something went wrong with our car we expected to find an expert mechanic. If we suddenly developed a health issue, we demanded expert medical care. It was a totally normal part of life. Add to that the realities of Christendom wherein pastors, teachers and evangelists were those experts in religion, it created an atmosphere wherein seekers could feel comfortable looking up to the religious expert on the big stage. That kind of environment fit the way they sought expertise in every other facet of life.
Today it is different. Most seekers don’t want to be talked down to from a stage in one way communication. They need to talk, they need to tell their story, they need a place to unload all their fears and pre-judgments about religion, etc. This requires a conversation. It requires that we come down from stages and sit with seekers around a dinner table, letting them set the pace and direction of the conversation.
Some people fear that letting “non-Christians” talk will lead to compromise. They say “why would you let a non-Christian go on about false doctrines or wrong beliefs”. It’s not like God is surprised to hear what they are thinking! We create an environment in which they can get it out and then hear feedback from their seeking peers and the guides of the group. We are always amazed by the way the Holy Spirit works in these settings. Some seeker will say something crazy or blasphemous and another seeker will, tone him down or set forth an alternative view, etc. Over a period of ten weeks the Spirit is able to find pure gold out of the dirt and rocks sifted in the group through honest conversation.”
In addition to Todd, some of the speakers will be Dan Kimball, Mark Mittleberg, Jim Henderson and other speakers listed here. You can find the full schedule of events here and here are some of the Big Topics being addressed. Tickets can be purchased here. Future Conversational Evangelism events are planned and you can receive information about them if you sign up here.