Dear Brother Guin,
I was browsing your website earlier today, and I came upon an interesting statement in one of your posts;
“Our institutions should give some thought to where God wants the Churches of Christ to be going — and what is the strategy for getting there. Just imagine if our best thinkers and leaders sat in a room over coffee and prayerfully asked: What does God want next for the Churches of Christ?”
This is a wonderful idea! But I was wondering…has it actually happened yet? If so, what did they come up with? And if not, what’s holding it up? Let’s get this thing started! Who are our “best thinkers and leaders”, can they be convinced to hold just such a meeting (even if it’s through a blog like GraceConversation or by submitting papers to a journal) and if so, would anyone actually listen to them? And if people won’t listen to the best and brightest directly, who do they need to convince for that to happen?
These are excellent questions. The answers are —
Who are our “best thinkers and leaders”?
I have some ideas but don’t feel qualified to say for sure.
Can they be convinced to hold just such a meeting (even if it’s through a blog like GraceConversation or by submitting papers to a journal)?
If my plan is a good one, we’re going to find out.
Would anyone actually listen to them?
Well, we’re too cussedly independent to expect universal agreement on anything. But such a conversation would be be helpful nonetheless, because it would surely initiate other conversations along the same lines and stir further thought on a subject that I think is being largely ignored.
So … here’s the idea —
* Ask readers to nominate those whose thoughts on the future of the progressive Churches of Christ they’d like to read in dialogue with one another.
* Cull the list to something manageable (4 or so?)
* Invite the nominees to participate.
* Set up a live chat here at OneInJesus at an announced time — say from 7 to 9 o’clock on a Thursday night.
* Invite readers to follow along and comment live as the principals talk about the challenges facing the progressive Churches.
* Leave site open for a while for the principals to share additional thoughts or maybe set times for follow up discussions.
This seems better than asking a college to discuss the question at a lectureship, as lectureships are all about preaching and teaching, that is, not really about dialogue. You could have a panel discussion, I suppose, but these are rarely done all that well. It’s just hard to have a discussion sitting side by side in front of an audience. At least to me, live internet chat seems a good way to go. (And OneInJesus would likely produce a much larger audience than a lectureship panel discussion.)
But I’m very open to suggestions. Maybe there’s a better idea out there.
So, dear readers —
1. What do you think of the idea? Is there a better approach?
2. Who should be the participants?