Had the main intro session, with Irwin McManus as the main speaker, then had my first Lab session with Dave Gibbons.

I’m resistant to popular preachers. I go in with a bit of cynicism, and I acknowledge that. So, I somewhat am instinctively looking for a disagreement, not to be pulled in.


I liked Irwin McManus. A big step for me, as I’ve not liked it when I’ve heard him before–always a great preacher, but there was in the past an undefined frustration I didn’t know what to do with but left a bad taste in my mouth, and not because of the usual reasons people dismiss emerging/missional/pomo/etc. preachers. Nothing new in his message–another “1st, 2nd, 3rd space” message. Maybe it was that he worked with 1st and 2nd spaces more than most, leaving only a tiny bit at the end for 3rd.

If you don’t know what this language means… don’t worry. It’s likely that feels natural to you, but is only something that pastor and minister types might find radical.

Next up was Dave Gibbons of New Song church. No, the other one. Not the one I went to. The one that kept its mission and matured with it rather than falling into the grasp of pseudo-Leadership gurus and ego-management enablers who thought doing something new was about doing things 20 years old, making the church fully embrace that which other churches were realizing was causing the problems. My NewSong became that which it was formed to contrast. The other New Song, in Irvine, Dave Gibbons church still is pushing the edge.

And while I’m resistant to big church pastors these days. I really liked what he had to say.

It was new for these circles in a refreshing way, and encouraging because he, in practice, is basically working out a lot of what I’ve been seeing in ministry and theology over the years. A confirmation of sorts, said and acted on much better than I have.

It’s weird because I hear in his words a bit of what I was pushing in my own NewSong, but couldn’t find voice or influence and was pushed aside for pepole with better resumes and more ingratiating smiles.

That’s not a bitter comment, well maybe a little it is. More so, I am in the place God wants me now, doing what he wants me to do. There are a lot of people now making the moves in ministry that need to be made, but not too many yet in theology. That’s changing and I’m hoping to be part of that change, especially since now I’m finding approval and camaraderie at Fuller to do this present task.

I’m not happy blogging while they’re talking, so I took notes. I’m going to go through those notes tomorrow or so and write up better each of the particular insights the speakers had, so bear with me as I put off for later in writing what I thought would be good writing today.

Next up… Dan Kimball.

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