The first talk at our annual regional conference convention was given by our current president of the region. Andrew pastors a church in Muncie, and is also a good friend of mine. We are also in an accountability group together that meets once a month. He is a great young guy.
Andrew started the conference by talking about the term "discipleshift." He said, to him, it has to do with changing our approach (as church leaders, and a denomination) to discipleship. He said over and over that discipleship is not hard. He then used Matthew 11 as his main text to talk about "What Making Disciples Means." He had three points:
1. It means getting to know people. The people we live around; people we work with; people we see on a regular basis; people in our lives.
2. It means being vulnerable. We need to allow ourselves to get hurt - and not retaliate. (vv.2-6;19b).
3. It means liking people, and loving people. (vv.18-19).
He also talked about the doubt that John and Thomas had, and how it wasn't a bad thing. He said, "We need Jesus to be who he said he was going to be, or we're in trouble." (based on the passage and the 'doubting Thomas' passage). Again, this stuff is not hard; but we need to be intentional about living in the way of Jesus.
He is pretty inspiring, and you can tell he speaks in a multi-racial context. It was a good talk and I enjoyed listening to him preach.