Q Gathering Portland Day One

This week I’m at the Q Conference in Portland as part of a seminary class I’m taking this semester. Q is absolutely one of the best Christian conferences out there (Q stands for questions). I’d describe it as a mix between Leadership Summit, TED Talks, and The Idea Camp. It is a small conference that allows for a lot of dialogue and conversation between attendees, so not many people are able to be a part of it. One amazing piece of the conference is meeting the people sitting next to me. They’re all amazing creators in culture with ideas and creativity; humbling to be around so many gifted people.

I thought I’d share some of my notes from a few of my highlights from the day (this doesn’t include a lot of the notes from other sessions). One highlight was being led in worship by Joel Houston. Yes please!

If you want my full notes from any specific person or session just use the Contact tab up above to get in touch with me.

Feel free to share your thoughts or questions based on any of the notes I took.

Steven Garber // Vocation is Integral
  • What’s the relation of vocation and faith, to the Missio Dei?
  • Vocation is integral not incidental to the mission of God.
  • Bad books always lie, most of all about the human condition.
  • How can we be sign posts in our world? With theological conviction, praying for people of all vocations, pursuit of learning.
David Kinnaman // Prodigals, Nomads, and Exiles
  • 3 types of people:
    • Prodigal- I was a Christian, no longer a longer Christian. Lost from Christ. 10% of people
    • Nomad- wanders through faith, believes in Christ loosely. Lost from church. 50% of people.
    • Exile- calling doesn’t match their faith. Lost from calling. 10 to 40% of people.
  • Are we prepared for the questions of people on these journeys?
  • We’ve had a mass production model rather than an apprenticeship model for youth ministry and discipleship in the church.
  • Trends in churches reaching these people well…identify gifts in people and match them with mentors in those specific areas. Life on life apprenticeship.
  • To be a good witness about truth, the church has to be involved with Christ’s purposes in this world. Not just talking about truth but embodying it.
Jason Locey & Tim Willard // End Veneer (new book just released)
  • Veneer: Thin piece of wood that goes over an inferior piece of wood for flooring. Makes it look better than it really is. We all have a veneer.
  • The language of culture…
    • Consumption- what we consume communicates things about ourselves to those around us. Example: Mac.
    • Technology- the way we act in social media communicates things about ourselves to those around us. We become who we imagine ourselves to be.
    • Celebrity- exposure equals validation
  • The whole world looks perfect because everyone has this veneer.
  • A new way forward: the language of God.
    • Relationships, love, and abiding.
  • Love: John 13, reverses a cultural norm. Act of servanthood.
  • When we pour ourselves into other people, the muck of life fades away.
  • Language of culture seeks to serve self. Language of God seeks to serve others.
  • “The church must be forever building, for it is decaying within and decaying without.”
  • You can’t work to unveneer something unless you yourself are unveneered. Authenticity can be a veneer.
Seasons of Service (My favorite part of this was seeing Portland presented as a city benchmark for how schools, government, and churches can work together to serve people. Truly truly amazing. Portlandia leading the way with churches.)
  • Mayor of Portland Sam Adams- What we agree on far outweighs what we disagree on. On school partnerships: the quality of volunteers from churches is unmatched. Filled a need previously unaddressed.
  • Diane McKeel- Human trafficking is also a domestic issue. Churches provide input from inside the neighborhood.
  • Ken Weigel- Sex trafficking is an ongoing issue that we can be a part of just cleaning parks. Agendas must be laid aside to work together. Collaborations is based on constructive clarity. We partner in the ways Jesus is already at work, not being Jesus ourselves.
Gabe Lyons // Christian/Muslim Relations in the West
  • Approach one: clash of civilizations is inevitable. no understanding. Promotes fear, excludes Muslims.
  • Approach two: build relationships, interfaith dialogue. Common unity.
  • Approach three: build relationships that maintain exclusivity but make efforts around joint efforts for the common good.
Conversation w/ Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (picture) Just to be clear, I don’t agree with everything he said, just posting notes from the conversation.
  • There is only one religion, the worship of God. The crime of religion comes when we worship religion and not God.
  • Shariah law in America: Muslims are required to abide by the law of the land where they live. Shariah is based on common laws between faiths, love God and love others.
  • On radical Islam: no tolerance for it, no place in Islam for it. Islamic leaders need to have a good relationship America.
  • On America’s role in terrorism: discourse and policies from America has created anger in the Muslim world.
  • We need to go beyond being trapped in our false perceptions. We are locked in this negativity, we must see beyond it to mutual love of God.
  • Would he take a do over on the pursuit of a Ground Zero Mosque? Perfect timing for a political firestorm with right wing Republicans. Originally created to be like a YMCA. Overall dream is still alive. Still glad he went down that path. Title as “Ground Zero Imam” fuses his American and Muslim identities, sets up positive future possibilities.

An awesome first day.

(Here’s the notes I have from Day Two at Q Portland)