Elephant Room Comes to Cleveland – conference of controversy

Well, it’s not really coming here…

Round 2 of the conference, which “features blunt conversations between seven influential pastors who take differing approaches to ministry. No keynotes. No canned messages,” will take place this coming Wednesday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, at Harvest Studios, in Aurora Illinois.

Why is this relevant to us? The whole conference will be broadcast live and screened at locations all over the country, including right here in Hudson. From 10:00am to 5:00pm, at Christ Community Chapel, right here in Hudson, you can view the entire Elephant Room conference, moderated by James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, and Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church.

Logistics

Admittance to the screenings is $29 for students, (Normally it would be $99 for adults, but Christ Community Chapel’s website has this to say: “The student registration rate of $29 has now been made available for all ages–despite whether you are a student or not. Just register as a “student” in the form provided. A student ID is not required at the door.” So everyone can get in for $29.) Registrations are accepted for the Hudson screening at http://theelephantroom.com/. Simply click “locations” and sign up for the Cleveland, Ohio location. Group rates are available for 8 or more people.

This is a steal, and a great opportunity especially for students to see seven theological minds debate, and talk about some of the biggest topics in American Christianty

Christ Community Chapel

750 W Streetsboro St

Hudson, OH 44236

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (EST)

CANCELLATIONS: Registrations are transferable but not refundable. If you would like to transfer tickets, please email the information to Info@TheElephantRoom.org.

What’s it about?

Among several other topics discussed last year, the Elephant Room talked about NewSpring Church’s controversial performance of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” at its worship service. Some pastors were aghast at the audacity of the performance, while others, like Driscoll, had a different take. He didn’t necessarily agree that the performance was a good idea, but he was pleased that “he’s doing something! Let’s at least put a gold star on the chore chart, he’s doing something!”

Here’s the clip:

And here’s the performance:

In short, The Elephant Room is a veritable boxing ring for some of the more influential Christians in the US to come together and discuss issues pertinent to living for God in America today.

Topics for Round 2 will range from racial divides between churches and cities, to possible scandals, to the futures of denominations, to the “closed-hand” core beliefs of Christianity and the gospel, and much more! (Full list of topics below.)

Speakers:

James MacDonald

Mark Driscoll

T.D. Jakes

Jack Graham

Steven Furtick

Crawford Loritts

Wayne Cordeiro

Topics:

Come Together:

Two of the largest churches in America, in one of America’s great cities—one almost 100% black, the other almost 100% white: Is that a problem? What factors, beyond local diversity, are widening this divide? What causes such obvious segregating of the races? In what ways does being a minority worshiper hinder worship and service in the church? What churches are achieving success at breaking down these walls, and how? What do you see the other pastor doing better than your church does it?

JACK GRAHAM & T.D. JAKES | Moderated by Mark Driscoll

Help:

What do you do when a staff member fails morally? How bad is bad enough for dismissal? What responsibilities does the church continue to have to the former staff member? What if the failure involves a higher-profile pastor in your area or circle of influence? Is it ever acceptable to name a fallen pastor publicly? Can a fallen pastor re-qualify and be restored? In the same church? How soon is too soon? What safeguards can be established to help those who sincerely desire to remain faithful?

WAYNE CORDEIRO & CRAWFORD LORITTS | Moderated by James MacDonald

With a Little Help From my Friends:

Is there a future for denominations? Will networks simply replace them, or will they reinvent themselves? What can denominations offer that networks of churches cannot? Describe the health of world missions and missionaries as you see them serving around the globe. Is the model of sending missionaries through a mission agency still effective? Or is church planting through healthy churches the way to go? Is there a lack of accountability plaguing most missionaries? How can that be changed? How does para-church help or hinder the local church in world missions?

JACK GRAHAM & MARK DRISCOLL | Moderated by James MacDonald

Ticket to Ride:

What are the ‘majors’ of Christian doctrine that cannot be diluted or denied for a person to be a Christian? How can we help one another move beyond the bare minimum of accepted belief, to a pursuit of robust, soul-satisfying, biblical substance? How should we relate to those who do not yet embrace the benefit and priority of sound biblical doctrine? Is there a difference between a person in error and a wolf in sheep’s clothing? What benefits derive from keeping the majors on a separate list and not letting the ‘minors’ divide us? Is it possible to love the truth without compromise and still work passionately for unity?

MARK DRISCOLL & T.D. JAKES | Moderated by James MacDonald

Can’t Buy Me Love:

What elements must accompany a faithful presentation of the gospel? What can a pastor do to ensure that others in his ministry are presenting the gospel in all its fullness? What are some ways you have seen decisions for Christ effectively acknowledged? What responsibilities does the preacher have to lead people in a public response to the gospel? When have we oversimplified or made the gospel formulaic? When have we made the gospel too complicated, and demanded more in our evangelism than the Scriptures do?

STEVEN FURTICK & CRAWFORD LORITTS | Moderated by James MacDonald

Hard Day’s Night:

How can a pastor effectively manage the pressures of ministry? What are the warning signs for burnout? What do you see pastors doing today that is most detrimental to their marriage and children? What about pastors who are unmarried? What single action is most healing to your emotional health in ministry—and what action is most damaging? How does the care of your own soul affect the relationships that matter most?

WAYNE CORDEIRO & JAMES MACDONALD | Moderated by Mark Driscoll

We can Work it Out:

What responsibilities do we have to local pastors who exist outside our theological boundaries, but within the body of Christ? How do you confront a brother in error while showing fidelity to truth, and to the truth about biblical relationship? Given the freedom to preach your conscience, is there anywhere you wouldn’t preach? Does a pastor’s association really communicate endorsement, or is that just a carryover from fundamentalism? How can pastors practically encourage/challenge those who are different than they are? How do the benefits of broader community weigh against the dangers of confusing people about your own convictions?

STEVEN FURTICK & JAMES MACDONALD | Moderated by Mark Driscoll

(Information taken from http://www.theelephantroom.com/conversations/)

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