Ignited, Part III

I'm going to wrap up my review of Ignite...

Workshop 3 - Ed Courtney, "Teaching Well without Star Power"

-Ed is mostly an even-keeled speaker, with few voice inflections, but he'll make you laugh and he get his point across well
-He talked about how he always wanted to be a standup comic, but he didn't have the star power like his favorite comedian, Eddie Murphy. We watched a clip to remind us about how charasmatic that guy is. Then we contrasted him with Mitch Hedberg, a hilarious comedian (one of my personal favorites, but deceased), who speaks in a monotone voice, often looking down at his feet
-Don't let a lack of natural ability or charisma keep you from becoming an effective teacher
-Challenge yourself to grow in Preparation
-Preparing for a teaching, be it in small group or large group, is so important and it is no less spiritual. "I'd rather let the Holy Spirit work in me while preparing than going up there and winging it."
-Learn how to connect with the audience - start by looking at how you connect w/ people one-on-one
-The way that you talk should be a natural extension of who you are everyday
-You need to include breaks in your talking every 5-7 min - images, stories, videos, humor, etc
-So often, stories will connect better than bullet points
-Don't self-deprecate - especially if you are not a powerful speaker, you don't to help people have a lack of confidence in you
-Don't be afraid to state things as truth, shy away from "i think..."
-Think about the obstacles people will have to your topic and prepare accordingly

Workshop 4 - Neil Kring, "Hell, Yes!"

-The title says it all, Neil Kring is an envelope-pushing, crazy pastor man from Ball State.
-Neil began by discussing the various contemporary pop culture icons that have influenced our thinking about hell: paintings, Dante's Inferno, many movies, books and musicians
-We then explored the different references to an afterlife in the Old Testament and NT
-sheol (OT) - grave, death; The Hillel Jewish school of thought rejected the eternal soul idea; Jewish Pharisees believed in conscious, eternal punishment; Hebrew belief included resurrection of the dead
-Hades (NT) - first used in Odyssey, by Homer
-Gahenna (NT) - Valley of Hinnon (Valley of Slaughter) in Palastine. Jesus used this reference to a real place multiple times to give an image of the worst place that his contemporaries could have imagined, it was a place of former Jewish sacrifices to the false god, Molech, as well as the place where bodies of criminals were thrown and trash was burned, etc - not a desirable place!
-We then went on to explore these different passages in the New Testament that included references to Hades or Gahenna
-Interesting in Matthew 25:46 that Jesus refers to separating sheep and goats on his right and left, to be sent to his Father's presence or punishment, respectively. Interesting that Jesus only makes this separation based on those who gave provision to the needy, following the pattern of God's compassion
-Matt. 9:43-48, Luke 16, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 were other passages we looked at, exploring the different imagery used to describe this place we now call "hell"
-So many images used, that we just do not know what "hell" could be like, but we do know this: it is basically the worst place a human could imagine
-Neil then gave a synopsis of the book, "Four Views of Hell"
-Literal, Metaphorical, Conditional and Purgatorial
-We do not know for sure, but hard to validate through Scripture that it is not at least metaphorical
-We do not know what punishment is reserved for those who do not enter through the narrow gate that leads to life, but we should not adopt a softer view just to calm ourselves
-It has been said that hell is the "bitter fruit of a final no to God"
-We watched two powerful clips from Seinfeld, in which Elaine and her live-in boyfriend, Putty, are told by Putty's priest they will both go to hell for living together. In the second clip, Elaine exclaims to Putty in her typical shreaking tone "If you think I am going to hell, you should care that I am going there!"
-The idea of afterlife, heaven and hell largely seem disconnected from people, at least on our campuses
-Is hell anyplace where Jesus is not King? (my question)
-The takeaway - think about hell

Final Main Session - Steve Hayes, "Igniting the Kingdom"

-Steve is a pastor at New Life on the Michigan campus in Ann Arbor
-Mark 1:14-15 - "at last" the kingdom of heaven is near
-Matt 6:33 - the kingdom of God should be our number one concern
-Lord's prayer - "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven..."
-We should be a people who see the world for how it should be and then work to help bring that about
-Steve then looked at the first chapter of Mark's gospel - what is kingdom life?
-First, we must be on a "team"
-The kingdom requires...
-That we must leave our old life, live a life of submission to our King; Jesus asked for it all, not just a quick prayer to get us out of hell
-THat we will have conflict with the powers of the world; Jesus fought the counter-kingdom by expelling demons
-That we must be about compassion and deliverance
-That we must be serious about expanding the kingdom
-What would be different around you if God's kingdom came?
-HOw can you be a part?
-John Mayer had a recent popular song "Waiting on the world to change" - as Christians, what are we waiting for?

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