Q Conference Post 2 – Jon Tyson session

The first speaker of the Q Conference was church planter, Jon Tyson.  Born and raised in Australia, he was the young adult pastor in a mega-church in Orlando and a couple of years ago started Origins Church in Manhattan. 

I’ve met Jon a couple of times (even brought my youth group to see him, and yeah, I know, our kids are so lucky, I mean blessed, to have a guy like me taking them to a guy like Jon.)  and really appreciate his humility.  He speaks with a lot of wisdom and brings great ideas and insights to his audience whether it be on Sunday mornings or to a group of fellow leaders at a gathering like this.

Here are a couple things he said that got me thinking:

“We have incredible fruit in our churches on an individual level but there is little cultural fruit”

       So true.  The success of our churches have been on that individual level.  We all know people who have radically changed their lives through the power of the Gospel and through the discipleship and encouragement of their local church.  What we haven’t heard nearly as much are the stories of churches that have had similar impacts on their communities.

       Thus the long-term causality has been the minimal effect the church has had on the culture.  We’ve retreated from it, been told it was evil or worldly.  For a long time, the church was only a refuge and not an agent of transformation and now many of them are becoming monuments.

“There needs to be a return of the city

                        Return where cultures are created.

                        We have a mandate – we’ve been commissioned … (gospel)

                        Accept our responsibility – Christ did this like spiritual acupuncture, he took those moments                         and points …           

                       Engage the world …“

       Jon and later fellow NYC pastor Tim Keller, called for a return to the “city”.  This was more then an anti-suburban cheer but was more of a vision-casting of the hope and need of a city.  I’ve always loved many parts the city, (and I enjoy certain parts of the burbs too.  Who knows what is in store for us? But back to Tyson and Keller.) but the idea was to be a part of the city.  To see it for it’s potential, to see it’s not only worth saving, but worth loving.  They didn’t say this, but all the emphasis that we put on the burbs, maybe we can be as faithful in the city (or attempt to be). 

       We read things like this and we react because the cities do not have the best public schools, have more crime, polluted, crowded and expensive.  But we all know that at the end of the day, generally speaking, we live where we want to live.  We don’t want to live in the city.  I found myself convicted on this yet again.

       Cultures are created in the city.  That line alone is a lot to think about.



He called for the need to create “a holistic theology relevant to our time”.

– Not sure I can put these thoughts into words yet.  I find myself nodding ‘amen’ but that’s all I got so far.  Yes, things need to change.

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