Mars Hill, The Collaborative

Last weekend Kris and I were in Grand Rapids for the Mars Hill Collaborative, an event for Youth Workers sponsored by the good folks at Mars Hill. Most especially, this event and the themes and the strategies is shaped by Steve Argue — a friend of ours we met at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary years back — and his fine team of leaders and volunteers. The Collaborative was one of the most stimulating events I’ve participated in — ever. Not only was the topic important to me (the gospel), but their preparation prior to the event was perfect.

For months Steve and others have been discussing, praying, reading the Bible, and more discussing what the gospel means and what it means to “gospel” in our day with youth and young adults. The questions were exceptional because they were thinking through so many of the issues and the conversations were rich because of the same.

I gave three sessions — one on Threshold Evangelism, which I posted in outline form, one on how Peter “gospels” in Acts 10, and one that combined Q&A with a brief sketch of how a King Jesus gospel approach focuses on Jesus in “gospeling” rather than the threshold (as is the case with so much of evangelism). There was also a special session with Mars Hill’s own volunteers of Q&A where I was able to develop a theme from my forthcoming book on the apostle Paul’s spiritual vision.

Sunday… Kent Dobson, one of the teaching pastors at Mars Hill, has been doing a series on the Shema and the Temptations of Jesus and he asked me to finish off that series by looking at the Jesus Creed, which thing I was quite eager to do.

Events like this always mean time with others, including a splendid dinner Friday night at San Chez in downtown Grand Rapids with Steve, and Matt, and Matt, and Kyle and Kyle and Josh. (OK, I don’t have all the last names down so I won’t try.) Saturday night Kris and I had dinner with our good friends, John and Tammy Raymond — John’s father was my college basketball coach, John as a teen was our stat guy, John went to TEDS and lived with us awhile, John was around us when he was dating Tammy … and now John is my editor at Zondervan. So a good long conversation dinner with them was a perfect ending to our Saturday Collaborative.

Steve, thanks so much for a wonderful weekend.

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  • Scot, I’m glad to hear your time here in Grand Rapids went well. I wish I knew and could have been at Collaborative to have heard your speak, but I am not involved in student ministries nor Mars Hill.

  • Paul W

    Scot, I’d love to see this teased out further in future posts. For quite some time I’ve thought there to be a significant distinction between the proselytizing (i.e., Threshold Evangelism) I’ve seen and the gospel presentations that I’ve read in the Scriptures.

    On the one hand, my intuitive sense is REALLY uneasy with what typically passes as evangelism. On the other, it makes sense to me that we should care about outcomes/effects when we announce that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah and this world’s true Lord who is to be responded to with our life united with his in baptism and a loyalty which is grounded in faith/repentance. I suspect I’m not alone in looking for someone to help put words (and analysis) to this feeling we have.

  • TC

    Scot – It was a little cryptic, but am I to surmise you played hoops for Hank Raymond? If so, where? Thanks! Tom

  • scotmcknight

    Gary Raymond. Exceptional motivator, too.