Thursday, November 10, 2011

MLC 2011 notes

I am finally getting around to looking over my notes from the 2011 Missional Learning Commons held Oct. 28-29 in Chicago (at Northern Seminary). These aren't really even notes, they are more just random jottings that I made. So don't expect much. Some are just personal observations from me, and some are quotes (or what I remember of quotes) made by some of the speakers. And one of the problems with the MLC is that they don't always introduce the speakers, so I don't even know who most of them were. The "main" people that I do remember were: Mike Breen, David Fitch, Ben Sternke, and Matt Tebbe. Everything here deals with 'discipleship'... So... here goes some randomness...
  • Most intense points of discipleship come when we're pushed to our weaknesses, rather than playing to our strengths. (sort of agree/disagree)
  • Imitation plays a big part in discipleship. "If my life looked like (who), that would be ok."
  • The culture of our formation is important (Breen): parents, geography, friends, people who invested time in us, etc.
  • "People usually most open to the gospel are refugees" (Breen)
  • The thing Jesus is looking for is -- who's following you.
  • Do you know who your disciples are, and do they know you're discipling them?
  • "Does the gospel you preach naturally lead to people becoming disciples?" (Dallas Willard?)
  • "The gospel you're preaching is going to result in the disciples you're getting" (Sternke)
  • "Missional people don't fall out of trees - they have to be formed" (Fitch)
  • "Discipleship is considered 'extra credit' for too many, and it's not... it is what the gospel is about." (Sternke)
  • People who are taught that forgiveness is the gospel don't become disciples... because they see no need for discipleship. They are what Dallas Willard calls "vampire Christians" - they only want Jesus for his blood. (Sternke)
  • "Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning." (Willard)
  • Breen gave this really nice description of the gospel - that I can't really remember. Something about... "Jesus is the king. The kingdom is Jesus in charge. We are involved by either being for it or against it; with the king or against the king. Life is defined by Jesus and his rule. The question is how we are involved in the kingdom (protagonist or antagonist).
  • Sometimes we're too eager to explain things and we're not content to plant seeds.
  • "Most of us don't have ears to hear, we have ears to sort" (Willard).
  • "Jesus was asked over 180 direct questions, and he only answered 3 of them." (Tebbe) (so don't tell people what to do, but ask questions).
  • The Christian life is not my own, but it belongs to the community.
  • Discipleship is part of community, not meant to be done one on one. (Breen made this comment when I was not around, so I don't know the context of it).
  • "The practice of reconciliation is the single most forming thing you can do..." (Fitch)
  • Colossians 3:15 - "rule"=referee/arbiter (teaching people to listen to the whistle; or else they're breaking the rules)
  • The word "disciple" is not mentioned beyond Acts. Discipleship is taken from Rabbinic tradition. In the epistles the language - the process of imitation (or metaphor) - changes from Rabbinic to "Father/Child" language. Training/nurture in a more parent/child relationship is in repeatable/predictable patterns. (Breen - interesting stuff).