My Thoughts On The Elephant Room
Last week I had the chance to participate in “The Elephant Room,” an event hosted by James MacDonald that actually put the conversations that often take place backstage at conferences out in front of everyone. (Here is the video they played before the conference began...it’s awesome!) As I reflect on this experience I have the following thoughts…
#1 - I have a greater love for James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, David Platt, Greg Laurie and Steven Furtick than I ever have had in my life…I was honored to be among these great men of God and I took lots of notes as the Lord significantly used them to challenge and encourage me. I seriously admire each one of these men and the work that Jesus is doing IN and THROUGH them.
#2 - Christians can disagree—period. However, it’s the way we disagree that matters (Jesus said something in regards to this in John 13:34-35.) In the conversations that took place there was a significant amount of disagreement on things…but the disagreement was done face to face, in love, brother to brother…and the attacks never became personal in nature.
#3 - At the end of the event there were still some points at which all of us did not see eye to eye on…but the love, respect and encouragement DESPITE the disagreements were so refreshing. Like James said in his post about the event…“We all believe and love the gospel of salvation alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and we all hold to the authority of God’s Word and are seeking to be in submission to all it asserts.”
#4 - The amount of respect that we had for one another made it easy to receive criticism from another person. Church leaders cannot (and should not) listen to everyone who has an opinion and a twitter account…but they should have godly men and women in their lives who love Jesus and His Word that can challenge, encourage and even rebuke them when necessary. I will always listen to people whom I respect…always…even if I do not like what they happen to be saying to me.
Once again, it was a great event and I am thankful the Lord used it to stretch me.