Recently, I posted on The Q Conference (original post), the $725 /person culture-shaping event hosted by Fermi Project. Jeff Shinabarger, a co-creator of the conference, commented on that post explaining that, "we obviously don't have everything figured out and its always great to hear concerns or doubts from people, along with potential solutions to the concerns." With Jeff's encouragement, I'd like to continue to explore the important issues the subject stirs up.
We're at the dawn of Reformation within the community of Christ-followers & Revolution within Western culture. Intentionally participating in this Reformation / Revolution means understanding its nature, a nature that strikes me as a powerful 1 Corinthians 1:27 reality, in which, "God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
Because it is a grassroots movement tied to the dynamics of postmodernity, this Christian Reformation / Cultural Revolution isn't about what people build but rather how people live. It's not about isolated moments of decision but rather progressive relationships. It's not for professionals but rather for the diverse "everyone". Any method intended to spur such a movement on must be intimately tied to the rhythms of lifestyle, relationships, & common community... not institutions, isolated moments, or professionalism. The Q Conference, with its high price tag & dominant white-male lineup of speakers, seems disconnected from the rhythms and essence of the present Reformation / Revolution.
Perhaps a better solution for motivating, educating, and challenging leading persons might be to arrange a "virtual conference" made up of the best & most pertinent messages of a variety of diverse presenters that are integrated & placed onto DVD or a website for download. Then, communities around the nation & world could affordably gain access to the discussions at hand & host their own discussions using whatever facilitations guides are made available with the conference itself. this way, local communities can experience the event within their local relationships & local missional contexts.
I'll give a small example of this dynamic in action. I've attended Willow Creek Community Church's Leadership Summit on their main campus for years. This last year, however, I took my church's leadership team to a local hotel & arranged a two day virtual conference using the most relevant sessions from the 2003 WCA Leadership Summit DVD package. Between enjoying the hotel's free full-breakfast & enormous hot tub (features the on-site conference never offered) our group worshiped, prayed, & watched sessions by Erwin McManus, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, & more... using the companion WCA workbook downloaded from their website. After each session, we engaged in roundtable discussions on the concepts & potential applications in our local context. The event was immersive, affordable, local, & flexible according to our particular desires!
(... and did I mention the hot tub?)