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Month: June 2012

Conclave Session for Church Communicators Dallas 2012

Join the Conclave Session in Dallas, prior to the Echo Conference the night of July 23rd and July 25th. If you’d like to be considered for the Roundtable, please apply here.

What is a Conclave Session?

The Conclave Sessions are an ongoing project to gather thought leaders and church communication experts to leverage best practices and talk through challenges. Our Sessions are filled with individuals from growing and influential churches with something to say. “As iron sharpens iron,” Proverbs says, “so one person sharpens another.” This is an opportunity to share with and learn from some of the brightest in the field.

View an example Conclave Session Agenda from the Dallas 2011 Roundtable.

What are Past attendees saying?

What are Past attendees saying?

“It was a great opportunity to learn best communication practices from other churches.”

“I liked how the social atsmosphere coexisted with productivity and focus.”

“I really enjoyed the networking and open conversation. I loved that it felt like everyone was really comfortable.”

“I loved the opportunity to talk with other church communicators. Even though there was a structure to the roundtable, we could “go with the flow” if a topic really captured our interest.”

“I enjoyed getting to have a “safe” place to talk about some of the issues that I am dealing with.”

“When you get around people who are similar to you, have the same passions, or are just great people, you can’t help but be inspired. After just a few hours with the people at this round table, I walked away inspired. Which was something I really needed right now!”


Why Past attendees suggest you should attend?

“Great place to make connections with other church communicators. They would walk away with some great take aways and practical resources.”

“The connections you make with the people of the Roundtable will become priceless assets to your ministry.”

“It was a great way to have meaningful conversation with others that share the same responsibility as myself to tell the most amazing story ever told. If I can learn to do that better, why would I not want to be part of that? I made some real work related connections, but also some friends in the process.”

“If you ever have the opportunity to be apart of a legit roundtable like this, DO IT! Just being able to network with the other people like you who will be there is worth it.”

Going Deeper: Preaching the Gospel & Your Identity

I posted an article in 2006 entitled, Preaching the Gospel to Yourself.  This article spoke about what I was learning regarding seeing the ‘sin beneath the sin’ and exposing the idols of our hearts.  This gospel preaching stated that often we can go after the symptoms of sin (eg. anxiety) but miss the powerful idol that causes these sins to surface in all sorts of ways (eg. the idol of seeking other people’s approval).  Since then (at least based on a Google search on preaching the ‘gospel to yourself’) tons of articles now appear that were written on this topic, including books being written. Preaching the Gospel to yourself has become a more common term used by Christians. In fact, in ours and many communities, ‘gospeling’ has become a verb that we remind one-another this freeing news of how Christ lived for us and allows us to ‘go up the slope of faith’ rather than be enslaved to idols.

But, what happens when after “preaching the gospel” to yourself, you find patterns of sin deeply embedded in your personality that causes you to feel frustrated that change is not happening?  In my journey, seeking to deal with these idols, I’ve felt I haven’t had the transformation I’d hoped.  Often some idols seem so deeply embedded that we think, “they are part of who I am”.

Why is this?  Based on recent experience, for some idols that drive our heart, often when we were young, identity-level formation takes place based on sin and becomes woven into us.  (Often it occurs between the ages of 5-8 when our belief systems are being established consciously and unconsciously.)   Typically, because of a sinful situation where we felt wounded, we make a vow that  becomes an idol that opens up a stronghold in our life.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say you are raised in a home where your parents separate and while living with your mother a new man enters the home and abuses you emotionally.  These series of events create a turbulent environment and at this moment, in your heart you say, “I would never let my children experience something like this.”  Now, this wound is like a muscle knot in your back, as you grip onto this vow tightly, you lock-up and your whole body adjusts to this vow.  Even something ‘good’ as protection in your own hands becomes a powerful idol that enslaves you to “make sure you have control in your life to save you from chaos.”  As you grow up, you have children and become overprotective out of this ‘good’ desire for your children, but ultimately smother them with fear-based parenting.

As I’ve seen and heard others who’ve gone through this process of identifying these wounds/vows, it can take hours to navigate this discovery process in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where it came from and subsequently months to unpack.  In all circumstances (for me at least), it has led to a specific childhood memory (wound) that was a powerful shaping event in establishing this false identity and idol in your heart.  This requires seeing the wound beneath the idol, beneath the sin.

For example, let’s say you were wounded because you were put in a threatening situation and felt unprotected by your father (remarkable how most of the issues involve fathers) and so you make a vow in your heart to not let this happen again and seek control.  So because of this lack of control when you were a child you now have an idol of control that causes you to be angry when things aren’t in your control.

For these recurring idol struggles, I am suggesting we need to add a layer deeper to the earlier post I referenced.  I am also learning that things tend to get worse  before they get better.  It can feel like sin is happening more often when you began to realize these wounds. I believe this is because you will go from being unconscious to conscious in an area that once was ‘just part of who we were.’  So, from the example above, we go from unconsciously angry to consciously angry when we realize the wound and in this moment need to apply the gospel and re-form our identity in Christ.   All of this is very difficult work and requires a vulnerability with others that is scary.  I am learning as we seek to understand where our powerful idols form that they have caused me to live out of lies of who I am versus my true identity in Christ.  As we go through this and recall these wounds, a helpful question we are asking is; “where was Jesus in this moment?” when we were wounded.  In this we seek to see Christ and  re-consider these circumstances in light of who He is and who we are in Him.

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