Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Answer- Our talks at NPC

Jonalyn's marathon workshop with three other ladies was very well received. Despite the low turn out (which Zondervan expected), the seminar generated enough buzz to get Zondervan's attention.

The ladies emphasized the challenges and surprises of doing ministry as women. The metaphor of a 'stained glass ceiling,' came up frequently as a metaphor that even gifted women can only do so much, not because of their gifts but because of gender.

What Jonalyn and I suspected would happen (though it was not the thrust of the seminar) did happen. When given a chance to talk, those that attended wanted to run straight into the concepts and verses about why women were not allowed to minister with all their gifts. Some were unfamiliar with the 'complimentarian/egalitarian' issues at hand, while many of them were. The real answer to prayer was there was no animosity, no debating, no striving in the discussion. The openness transcended generational and traditional lines.

And Jonalyn's health is superb!

Yesterday afternoon, she mustered her energies into a stellar presentation on the soulish differences between men and women. You can here the beginning of this seminar on the National Pastor's Convention's website (select the song "Why Men and Women Need Each Other's Soul Differences"). The technical powers that be have already uploaded it to perk people's interest. In this workshop, I joined her, offering insights into masculinity and the many things in the church today that are not masculine, but tout itself as such.

We taught the the older and more experienced, people in the trenches of the church. It was an honor (and very humbling) to address them on topics, not about emerging generations, not about how to reach postmoderns (topics that our age group excels in), but a topic that is universal and overlaps all areas of our lives as humans. That they listened well and offered encouraging feedback affirmed us to continue to explore this aspect of appropriate humanness.

A few comment cards shared that we were young with a developing view but on the 'right track.' Others shared that they were mistified that Gen Xers would have the same view they have, even with the generational and cultural shifts. And many at Zondervan have told us they are glad to have us here.

Your prayers are with us in strength and encouragement. And we feel them. Thank you for joining us in this. Now we can begin to soak up the events the next two days for our own nourishment. This morning we heard Gordon Fee give a Bible study (we are indebted to his theological work in several areas!). Chuck Colson will be speaking in about 15 minutes and we'll be popping in on workshops by N.T. Wright today and tomorrow.

It is good to be here.

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