INSPIRATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE WITH A UNIVERSAL HUMAN MESSAGE
I never thought attending a Christian conference would present me with such an abundance of culture and progressive thinking. This weekend started out with a talk by Gabe Lyons, co-author of the book “unChristian,” describing perception research into how the world views Christians. This research was conducted the same way a company conducts market research to understand brand perceptions, awareness, etc .
His research suggests, among other things, that people perceive Christians as having lost touch with culture and creativity – they are sheltered…out of touch with reality. These opening remarks began a weekend of inspiration, insight, and an exposure to some remarkable individuals who prove such an argument couldn’t be more wrong.
THE ULTIMATE FOCUS…THE HUMAN MESSAGE
How will you use your God-given talents, abilities and opportunities to cultivate learning, creating, building, and serving? And…how can you accomplish these goals in such a turbulent world?
In light of the wealth of information provided to me, here are a few of the highlights accompanied by links that will expand upon anything that you may find interesting.
Along with the Homepage, Jubilee offers a wonderful Blog with pictures, video and profiles of speakers and events.
ENLIGHTENED ORGANIZATIONS…AND THE PEOPLE BEHIND THEM
I eventually will write multiple blog posts about this weekend. Specifically about the Enlightened Organizational practices I saw in the likes of keynote speakers:
- Jessica Jackley Flannery, co-founder of kiva.org and – Featured Here on poptech.com
- Bill Strickland Creator and Founder of the Manchester Craftman’s Guild – Featured Here on ted.com
These two organizations take a completely different look at SOLVING poverty through the enablement of individuals and cultivation of their talents. Look for posts under the “Enlightened Organizations Best Practices” column in the next two weeks for a more detailed glimpse into the great work of these two individuals.
CREATIVITY AND CULTIVATION
Andy Crouch, author of the book Culture Making, took a look at the creation of culture in a new way. He broke down the pieces of a “good story.” A piece of literature, music, film or TV show that really makes us view the world differently and offers enjoyment needs to be rooted in the “form” rather than the content.
Too often creators get caught up in the characters, location, and specific scenes rather than the timeless human themes that all of us can identify with. Going back to the simplicity of human emotion through the rising and following action of a story is just one of the ways culture can be created.
He brought the discussion back to Christianity, and the perception that Christians can’t create good culture, because they supposedly denounce anything with themes such as sex, violence, and profanity. He argues that we shouldn’t get caught up in these petty matters of content, but rather, focus on the form…the true meaning behind the story…the ultimate ‘home-hitting’ takeaways.
The session was brought to a close with a discussion on simplicity. Culture doesn’t need to be something completely brand new, but rather RETRIEVED and remade. Sometimes the same 4 simple chords that have been played in music FOREVER, can be seen and used differently to create something never heard to the human ears.
This conference is geared towards college students, many of whom are attending, among other schools, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh . These students are not studying theology; they are studying business, science, technology, art, music, literature, mathematics, economics, anthropology, philosophy…and the list goes on. Although this gathering incorporated a lot of worship, it is really about something much more. It is about us as humans, regardless of your belief, realizing that we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on this world. We need to recognize that we have a lifetime ahead of us; of learning, creating, building, and serving.
It’s time to take the talents given to you and put them to use…
What will you do with your talents?
This post hardly sums up the thoughts,prayers, ideas and insights that encompassed the weekend. Please feel free to click the links, and check out the the keynote speakers and musicians. Send comments about other inspirational experiences, religious or non-religious. And as always, as a sound engineer…I can’t let down the fact that I love any opportunity to witness live production.
Along with a receiving a BS in Marketing at the University of Pittsburgh, Nick enjoys spending time with service and Christian organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, an organization focused on themes of learning, creating, building and serving.
Work Hard, Take it Easy