What if Christians saw actions like social distancing and canceled large gatherings not as inconveniences for our individual personal survival but as collective loving of our neighbors together – even while apart? Part of the problem of modern American Christianity is that we have so bought into the myth of hyperindividualism that we don’t understand working as a collective or serving in solidarity as part of faith, ironic considering the literal collective-solidarity images like the body of Christ with many members or many branches rooted in the one vine of Christ.
https://media.mywtenfold1.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2020/03/23134933/nina-strehl-Ds0ZIA5gzc4-unsplash-scaled.jpg17072560Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2020-03-23 13:50:492020-04-03 13:45:26The Christian response to Coronavirus isn’t “Keep Calm and Jesus On.” It should be “Let’s Love Our Neighbors, Together (Even If From a Distance!)”
https://media.mywtenfold1.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2020/03/12164215/nordwood-themes-kRNZiGKtz48-unsplash-scaled.jpg17062560Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2020-03-12 16:45:482020-04-03 13:49:33Resources for Doing Church Digitally: A NEXT Church Response to COVID19
The truth is that we need to be light on our feet and open-minded to creativity and innovation; to new ways of considering how to connect with people and adapt to culture; to interpret theology and biblical understandings with the myriad of lenses available to us.
Next Church executive director and this year’s Next Church National gathering preacher Rev. Jessica Tate is a voice urging this movement.
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Dr. De La Torre’s keynote is what I am most looking forward to at NEXT this year, not because I will enjoy it the most but because I am convinced he will speak to me words of discomfort and hopelessness that I need to hear in order to sit in the dust and ashes that properly fuel the gospel.
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Dr. Blount also taught me about the power of proclamation (even though I never took a preaching class from him) – how to make the gospel relevant, how to use stories and metaphors to illustrate a difficult-to-articulate biblical concept, how to awaken your listeners to the awareness that even we, broken as we may be, have within us the capacity to make God’s kingdom a reality, here and now.
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The National Gathering of NEXT Church is perennially inspiring, fun, and motivating. Yes, there have been speakers who jolt us and spark new ideas. The 2020 National Gathering – in particular – promises to make us uncomfortable.
Keynoters Mike Mather, De’Amon Harges, and Miguel de la Torre will make us decidedly uncomfortable in Cincinnati March 2-4, 2020. And this is very good.
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With 700 amazing church leaders descending on Cincinnati for the 2020 NEXT Church National Gathering shaped by that Joshua passage, the team tasked with inviting key-noters, preachers and testimony-givers for this conference knew that our invitations needed to go to people actively involved in relevant ministry. The team needed these speakers to help us look to the future, to reflect on the way in which God has worked in them and through them, and to give us a word of challenge to ignite our witness, hope, and power in God.
https://media.mywtenfold1.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2020/02/29172255/tyler-lastovich-oPr5CMZSOJQ-unsplash-scaled.jpg15362048Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2020-02-05 13:56:392020-02-05 13:59:57Listening to Living Stones