Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Un-Conference?

Matt Chandler once said, "One of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the Scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that."

Well, now, apparently, we do.

Check out The EPIC FAIL Pastors' Conference.
The idea for this conference came from two sources: A blog post from J.R. Briggs, a pastor at Renew Community in Lansdale, Pa and the wildly popular site

A few dangerous questions were asked:

-What if we offered a space that is gutsy, hopeful, courageously vulnerable for pastors to let go of the burden to be a Super Pastor?

-What if we could hold an event that was free from the thrills and frills of other pastors conferences?

-What if we came together as epic failures and sought not successful models or how-do’s but instead celebrated faithfulness in ministry because of the reality of Jesus?

-What if we were reminded that we’re not responsible for being ‘successful’ in ministry, but we are responsible for being faithful to the calling that God has laid out for us – regardless of the outcome?

-What if we had a conference that was not led not by famous pastors who are household names, but by scandalously ordinary ministers and leaders who are faithfully attempting to join with God – even in the midst of glaring obscurity and anonymity?

That post attracted more hits than any other post that J.R. had written in seven years. People from all over the world began contacting J.R. through the blog, email, phone and text messages saying, ‘I’m in! Where do I sign up?” We knew we had struck a nerve. We were on to something significant.
Visit the site linked above for more info and to register.


reed said...

well, i'd love to come to that conference!

Gordon Cheng said...

It's an interesting concept, but there doesn't look like a great deal of clarity as far as what they stand for doctrinally. They quote Henri Nouwen, the Roman Catholic priest and are backed by the Renew Community, which doesn't give a lot away for an outsider trying to work out whether, for example, they want to persuade people of justification by faith alone. A commitment to the Nicene Creed is good but, except on matters Trinitarian, quite vague.

Jared said...

Gordon, obviously caveat emptor applies to any conference opportunity.

A. Amos Love said...

Really a great idea...

Yes - Admitting we are failures - and turning to Jesus is freeing.
Apart from Jesus we can do nothing.

I think one of the major failures I had to admit was...

I really didn’t study the scrptures when I desired to be a "Pastor/Leader."

It wasn’t until I was ordained, and had my papers, did I discover

The “Title” and “Position” of “Pastor/Leader” is NOT in the Bible.

In the Bible...
I found NO one “called” - “Pastor/Leader/Reverend.”
I found NO one with the “Title”- “Pastor/Leader/Reverend.”
I found NO one “ordained” - “Pastor/Leader/Reverend.”
I found NO congregations “Led” by a “Pastor/Leader/Reverend.”
I found NO “Pastor/Reverend” being hired, or fired, by congregations.

When you believe the lie you start to die...

It took four or five years but eventually had to rip up those papers.

My choice was - either I go along with the crowd and NOT make waves...

Or - become a “Disciple of Christ” learning from Jesus,
being a “Servant of Christ” and NOT a “Leader,” being “His sheep,”
hearing “His Voice,” and following Jesus.

What is popular is not always “Truth.”
What is “Truth” is not always popular.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice;”
and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.

Anonymous said...

Sign me up as well.

Anonymous said...

where does that Matt Chandler quote come from ?


Jared said...

Anonymous, Matt has said variations of this a few times, but these lines come from his DG Pastors Conference msg a year or two back called "A Shepherd and His Unregenerate Sheep":

scotty said...

sounds good - when and where?

B.A.R. said...

@A. Amos Love

"What is popular is not always “Truth.”
What is “Truth” is not always popular."

Yes, but that which is unpopular isn't true out of necessity, either.

Jared said...

AAL, read Hebrews 13. Must've skipped that chapter in your search for and not finding anyone referred to as a leader of a congregation.

Here's v. 17:
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."

I'm all for organic ministry, but fans of the anti-institutional church lose me when they start throwing out stuff that's clearly in the Scriptures, like church elders/overseers.

Elizabeth said...

if the stories of Jim Elliot et al were in today's context, they would have been considered epic fail - no converts and 5 deaths, leaving behind widows and orphans.

but you would have to agree that their ministy bore fruit in ways beyond our expectations.

Anonymous said...


That was me anonymous re where the quote came from

Thanks for that


Jared said...

AAL, I am not permitting your most recent comment b/c it is hairsplitting ridiculousness. Take your soapbox elsewhere, please.