Collyde Day 1: Reviewing the Concept #collyde13

I attended the Collyde Summit over the weekend and agreed to blog about it. On at least three occasions at the Summit and a couple prior, I was encouraged to be as honest as possible. I have not been paid in any way and aside from a waived registration fee, I have not received any type of compensation. In fact, the driving and weekend away from my family comes at a cost to me which begs the question – Why would I bother going to the Collyde Summit in the first place?

From my first encounter with Collyde, I knew it would continue to draw amazing people in the Tri-State area of NJ, NY & PA. It’s a tough part of the country to not only find fellow Christians but ones that are dreaming of bringing Jesus’ kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I like Collyde Summit and the people who are running it. I have met the founder Jinu Thomas three times now and have had a couple conversations with the very dedicated and highly motivated Collyde team. I have to say, I’m rooting for them.

Second, I think things like this are needed, especially in the Northeast. Having lived in Jersey and the Philly area throughout my twenties and early thirties, I have observed a handful of Christian events that generally happen here. Usually it’s the big copy and paste crusade/rally/concert event that happens exactly the same way regardless of venue, context, and audience. They will always attract a crowd but it rarely connects with what this part of the Northeast is hungering for. I know, because I have brought my youth groups and various other church folks to these events and many times, we’ve driven back grateful for some type of Christian message but critical of one that could have been sharper and more contextual … at least to us.

The other type of event that generally happens here is a gathering of “my type” of people. Usually it’s a bunch of missional, post-something ministry types where we converse about theology, ecclessiology and methodology and it’s great but dear people like my wife and non-professional ministry friends would be bored and thus, this is usually a fairly small crowd. Is there more that can be done? Maybe, I think the Collyde folks are trying to figure that out.

It makes a difference to me that the Collyde people are Jersey people. Don’t read that and think that’s some variation on the Jersey Shore caricature. I mean the Collyde team are young, professional, extremely ambitious types who are doing this out of a heart for ministry for their specific community.

Third, every now and then I think I’d like to organize an event/conference. Maybe a one day event at first and then go from there (Long time readers and friends might remember Thomas Turner and I doing a one day event with Peter Rollins and John Franke in Philly. Collyde not only gives an excellent model of building through the years but they do it with so much heart.

Now, Jinu and his team are not professional at this. If I’ve understood correctly, most of them are young professionals and they’re channeling their energies towards this project which is highlighted by this annual event. They were everywhere, hands on, carrying boxes one moment, greeting people and chatting the next. They seem to really have bought into the vision they’ve all been working on.

From what I can see, there is no money to be made here. In fact any proceeds go back to their justice causes or next year’s event and further, they’ve been handing out scholarships and free passes left and right. To be clear, I have zero problem with other conferences who are not doing it this way and I think many of them are doing great things but the Collyde Summit has found a way to bring some great though leaders, along with some practitioner voices really only known in their local context and present them to a general Christian audience. And what they’re showing us, is you don’t have to be a seminary, church, institution or whatever to share this.

Collyde is not amazing in terms of production but they are doing some pretty cool things. But somehow they were able to bring in presenters like Margaret Feinberg, Pete Wilson, Mako Fujimora and musicians like Phil Wickham, Aaron Keys and Jason Yost
This is what I meant earlier – my wife Susan would much rather hear Margaret Feinberg in a room with a few hundred people than Darryl Guder with me, Evan Curry and a few other ministry/theology nerds. Collyde is finding that needed in between place for a popular mid-size gathering.

I’ll try to get to some of this throughout my other posts but as you can see, I do like the concept and am excited for them as they keep growing in their vision and fine-tuning their event. As I’ve alluded, there is work to be done here and I don’t think I’m pointing out anything that no one else saw. There were a number of tech-related glitches, the computer kept crashing, microphone and lighting queues were missed and various awkward moments. Anyone who has ever been around tech ministry knows this is seriously among the hardest jobs because only the mistakes are noticed. God will probably have an exclusive room in heaven for all the tech volunteers outfitted with all the toys from the science fiction movies but in heaven, they will actually work. So be careful what you say to tech people because God might give them the power to teleport your soul to hell on the other side of eternity.

So I’m thinking I’ll end up with four total posts that will go over the Workshops, the Main Presenters and an Overall Wrap Up of the Collyde Summit.
If you are in that tri-state area of Jersey, PA and NY next year’s date is September 19 -20, 2014. You can register and get more information here.

For more check out their site Collyde.
and check out Evan Curry’s blog for his thoughts.


  1. […] Summit and agreed to blog about it.  You can read the previous post on what I thought of their Concept here and soon I’ll post on the events that happened on Day 2 and the Main Presenters.  Also check […]

  2. […] been blogging about the Collyde Summit. You can check them out here Post 1, Post 2, & Post […]

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