Wow, what a night! Brian McLaren in the middle of his generally busy schedule, but with his daughter getting married this weekend, came up from
I had the privilege of spending four hours with him during the day, then we had a pre-meeting get together with our team, and all the guys who blessed us by being on the panel for our summer dialog series – “TALK about church”.
I picked Brian up at Penn Station and we went out to eat and then went to my place and relaxed before the meeting. We talked about so many things. It was just a wonderful time getting to know him personally, and getting his insights or advice on so many things related to the church and to some of my personal struggles. I wondered what he thought about the city, because he often mentions his love of nature in his writing – and surprisingly he said, that if he were ever to plant a church again, which wasn’t likely, that he would like to do it in NYC! That was great, so I knew he would “get” what we were trying to do, and why NYC offers so many unique opportunities.
Then a very special thing happened. As you may know, Brian is working on a new book called, “The Secret Message of Jesus”, about the
Then we headed over for the team time before the meeting. As we met in the room in a circle asking Brian questions, after a while you could begin to feel the energy of people coming in to the lobby outside. I decided to go check and see how long we could get away with staying in the meeting room with Brian, while they congregated in the lobby. There were ten or so people. I went to do a little work on my remarks, and then about I went to check again, and the whole lobby had completely filled up, and it was like they were going to have a hard time breathing soon. So I had to go in and get the guys to end the pre-time with Brian, and open up the room.
Swoosh! It just immediately filled the whole room, and then we just started cramming more people into every corner, and then started spilling over until the lobby was filled also. There was a tremendous buzz and energy.
At the appointed time of Brian and I came in and we started the meeting. What a joy, after a lot of craziness and stress planning and preparing for this meeting, to have such a huge and energetic turnout. Brian spoke for a while then took questions, then spoke for a while more, then I spoke for a bit, and then Brian came back up to take questions.
He spoke on 7 aspects of a new kind of church. That it should be missional, global, artistic, etc.
I shared our vision for Communion of the Arts. The great thing, the thing we wanted, the thing that happened, is that by Brian coming, he was able to pull out of the woodwork all the unconnected people in the city that had an interest in emergent ideas, but who didn’t know each other. Some of those people will join with us, others will know we exist and be able to send people our way. We now have a momentum that we didn’t have before, and we have new relationships that mean everything.
We will start meeting in September (NYC is like