Vineyard National Conference Tales: Workshops

Most of yesterday was spent in workshops…only the ones that I really wanted to go to got lumped together on Thursday. ūüôĀ

Some quick notes on the two workshops I attended yesterday:

1) Families – a fairly decent workshop about¬† joining with families in teaching their kids versus trying to tell parents how to do it or simply doing it for the parents.¬† For example, one church stopped hosting a very successful vacation Bible school program because they noticed that parents simply dropped their kids off and didn’t stay.Instead they started a program teaching and helping parents learn how to read to their young ones.

For me the one thing that came to mind is the possibility of hosting a Love and Logic class in Sweet. This is a class Em and I have been wanting to do ourselves but we could not find a group to do it with – so originally we thought about just buying the books and reading them by ourselves. Now I’m wondering if we – i.e. the PRV family – should not host a community class for all parents…¬† Granted, I don’t even know if anyone besides us want to do it… well, it is worth praying about.

2) Alt. Church – this was slightly more interesting, if not confusing. The crazy thing was as I was listening to the speakers, I kept thinking about how their alt church sounded a lot like my ‘regular’ church…. so much so that after the workshop I asked the main leader, “If this is alt church, what is ‘regular’ church?”

In a nutshell, ‘regular’ church is defined by a focus on Sunday morning – how many people are coming, how big one’s children ministry is, how to get folks to the sermon that day, etc, etc.

‘Alt’ church is focused on joining with the community/neighborhood throughout the week.¬† Living and breathing with folks around the church building Monday through Friday – it is about being part of that community¬† – showing Jesus to people outside of Sunday – it is about BEING the church.¬† Attendance on Sunday morning is less important then the behavior change of people following the Living God.

Yeah, I’m spoiled.

To me, ‘alt’ church IS regular church!!!¬† How could you NOT engage your community? How can followers of Jesus NOT embrace those who are suffering with no adgenda except to love them like Jesus?

sigh…unfortunately, there are many – far to many – church who are just about Sunday morning and the 3 “Bs” – budgets, butts in the seat, and buildings. Lord, may we all shift to becoming alt churches!

Before I end, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Tri Robinson of the Vineyard Boise for he is the one who taught me that church – real church – is about loving folks outside of Sunday. He is the one who taught me….well….he taught me alt church.