Why I Want to Go to VERGE 2012

So there I am checking my Twitter feed on Tweet Deck and see a friend tweeted about this VERGE Conference 

2012 contest.  It sounded great to me, but I had to write a blog post and retweet stuff.  So here I am giving you the shpeel as to why I want to attend VERGE 2012.

Since Verge began I’ve wanted to someday make it to a conference.  Their focus has been on developing missional communities, churches that act like Christian churches — being the presence of Christ in their communities through outstretched arms of grace, without being judgmental, but just pointing to Jesus.

Having grown up in a very traditional conservative denominational community (praise the Lord that is beginning to change), mission has always been something you do “over there”, but certainly support it financially and prayerfully.  While that is vital for any ministry to succeed, I had always felt while growing up that God wants me and the church to be missionaries in our own backyard with everyone we meet.  And I never believed that that meant to be bible thumpers and God’s morality police, but rather love them as Jesus would.  And in so doing begin to be part of God’s plan to bring healing and renewal to relationships and communities.

This was a key component when my wife and I were planting a church in Grand Junction, Colorado.  But now years later since we’ve left, it has become evident how quickly churches fall into the “comfortable pew” when mission is not kept before them.  And now that I’m the senior pastor in a long established 107 year old little country church, I am even more aware of the DNA of entrenchment.  But these folks are different in that they want to be more missional.  We’re 10 miles from town and they want to find ways to shorten the distance between our little church and the town of Alamosa.  We recognize that we live in one of the poorest communities in the country with the two poorest counties just south of us.

In my last post “Building Bridges” you read that we have taken on some big initiatives to move us out of our comfort zone and into our community, but there’s still so much more we can do and be.  As the pastor I yearn for ways to ignite our folks to be church in such a hurting world.  The church adopted a pretty intense vision, but I believe that’s because they yearn for this missional heart too and are not quite sure what that means or how to get there.

I know that this is the primary focus of the folks who organize VERGE and the speakers who attend.  So it makes total sense that I win this contest and get the full package and hopefully bring one or two people with me ;-).

Maybe you want to go too.  Check out this promo video.

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