Thursday, November 06, 2008

Symposium Day One (cont)

I am reminded why I love UGST so much. Having been away for three years, it's easy to forget, but it is such a wonderful place. And Symposium is like an entire semester crammed into two days. Here's the crazy thing: as wonderful as the sessions are, the best part about it is the in-between. What I mean is during lunch, during breaks, during dinner, and at any down time there is discussion and dialogue seeking to apply the academic topics being presented in a real-life context. Everyone is talking with everyone else. "Ok, that was an interesting idea, but could it work in the church I'm a part of?" and "How could I utilize these tools to better reach my community?"

Theology simply cannot be theology if it only remains in the ivory tower. Even the deepest of concepts must have application. But at Symposium, the focus is not on hearing an expert tell you how to utilize an idea in your ministry context. Rather, the focus is on presenting an idea and inviting you to explore in community how that might look in your ministry context. I mentioned earlier the presentation on the KJV. If you are the senior pastor of a 70 year old church that has used KJV since it was founded you might apply the ideas in one way. But if you are a youth pastor in a church of new converts you will be dealing with entirely different issues. But both voices are allowed to explore together. As iron sharpens iron, so attending UGST Syposium with so many wonderful and smart people sharpens the mind.

Josh R

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