Bullet-point Notes from the 2016 Family Leadership Summit

Family Leadership Summit 2016

Family Leadership Summit 2016

Below are some bullet-point notes I took during the 2016 Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines, IA.

Bob Vander Plaats

Think Bigger | Watch the Video

  • Mission/Survival Matrix. As the focus on survival increases, the emphasis on the mission decreases.
  • Matthew 6:33 priority is God is King, His Righteousness, All Things. Today the cultural priority is All Things, My Righteousness, My Kingdom.

Del Tackett

In a Land of Nought: A Remnant of Hope. | Watch the Video

  • What happens when the people of God wake up and find themselves in the land of Babylon (Psalm 137)?
  • This will be our final hour or our finest hour.
  • Amos 8:11 – a famine of the words of the Lord.
  • Recognize when the “Is” is not the “Ought”. Flight instruments tell you what “Is” and the experienced pilot knows what the “Ought” should be and how to get the aircraft from the “Is” to the “Ought”.
  • When live in a land where there is no “Ought,” then any “Is” will do. Creates a false reality. Trust feelings instead of instruments. A death spiral. Example: JFK Jr. plane crash.
  • A land with no “ought” is a land that does not want to hear truth. It is a land in deception.
  • Orwell – “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
  • Jean-François Lyotard simplifying to the extreme:

Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives. This incredulity is undoubtedly a product of progress in the sciences: but that progress in turn presupposes it. To the obsolescence of the metanarrative apparatus of legitimation corresponds, most notably, the crisis of metaphysical philosophy and of the university institution which in the past relied on it. The narrative function is losing its functors, its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language elements–narrative, but also denotative, prescriptive, descriptive, and so on. Conveyed within each cloud are pragmatic valencies specific to its kind. Each of us lives at the inter section of many of these. However, we do not necessarily establish stable language combinations, and the properties of the ones we do establish are not necessarily communicable. (Source: The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.)

  • Losing the meta-narrative – “All about me…all about my script”.
  • Worry…it hasn’t happened but it probably will.
  • Pragmatism. The disease of boomers. Whatever works.
  • Skepticism. The disease of Millennials. Everybody thinks it is all about them and after a while you begin to become skeptical of everybody and everything. Leads to apathy.

Consequences of the script:

  • Covenant of Tolerance. If I don’t say anything you are doing is wrong, then you can’t say anything that I am doing is wrong. This is a covenant. The covenant breakers speak truth and expresses an ought. These people are hated. They say there is a God, you are not a God. We have become fearful to speak an ought.
  • Loss of Relationships. Our culture has bought into the notion that “it’s all about me.” No guilt. No condemnation. No restraint. Everyone is trying to manipulate everyone else in order to enhance their own script. Consequences: we lose relationships, leads to fruitlessness. God intends for his creatures to be fruitful. Fruit comes through relationships. Nothing produces fruit on its own. Mistake in the battle for marriage: placed emphasis on love rather than on procreation. That is the purpose of marriage—offspring, not love.
  • Loss of Maleness. In the land of nought, unequal news is anathema. One of the biggest problems our nation faces today is that it is filled with young men who have no purpose outside of themselves.

The State of the Union

  • We live in a land of forced public atheism. You cannot appeal or speak about a transcendent ought in the public arena. This is enforced in the media, education, entertainment.
  • Robert Winthrop “All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they may have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet. It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the State supporting religion. Here, under our own free institutions, it is Religion which must support the State.”
  • Understand the times in which we live. Sons of Issachar. 1 Chronicles. 12:32.
  • Build deep relationships with the few. Pray for a few people. And speak the truth in true love. 2 Tim. 2:24–26. Truth is designed to be shared within the context of deep relationships. Jesus developed three deep relationships. How many can you handle?
  • 1 Kings 19—God has reserved for HIMSELF a remnant. Don’t worry.
  • Our mission is too big/impersonal. Our mission needs to become small/personal. Deep relationships matter.

Anne Graham Lotz

The Daniel Prayer | Watch the Video

  • Why do we not have revival? Because we are not desperate enough.
  • Recommended book: Joel Rosenberg, Implosion
  • There is a lot of darkness, but we are seeing light.
  • Whenever your family is experiencing problems, ask God to give you a promise from his word. Ex. Isaiah 44:3.
  • What does God see in my heart?
  • Pray that God’s name will be glorified. Too often we pray for what is best for us. We pray for our children because it is an embarrassment for a Christian home to have rebellious children.
  • Connect Daniel 9 with Jeremiah 29 and Ezra 1.

Del Tackett

The Bible: Truth or Consequences

  • Neo-Christianity: It’s all about me. Think about how this is played out in all areas of our churches. The church is simply an island of self-serving people in a sea of self-serving people.
  • The Engagement. (Tour). Truth is not the endgame of God. This is the opposite of how Christians think. We collect truth like it is the pearl of great price. Truth is to make us biblical influences in our (few) relationships.
  • Neo-Christianity believes the fruit of the Spirit is the endgame. It’s all about me. The fruit of the Spirit are qualities that build relationships.
  • Neo-Christianity believes God gives wisdom to enhance us and make us more Godlike. Solomon asked for wisdom so that it might bless the people, and God was pleased with his request.
  • What is the drive by church vs. deep relationships. We need to scrub from our minds that numbers define our success.
  • You cannot Make America Great Again by tinkering with the tinsel on the tree when the roots are dead.
  • The institutions are being destroyed. Compare to Europe after WWI. The Big Four Social Institutions—government, education, family, church.
  • Millennials perceive that the institutions are frauds because in the end, the leaders of the institutions are all in it for themselves.
  • The reality of the coming world is that if you want to see the world changed, it is going to happen in deep relationships that are time costly, and leaders in current institutions have everything but time. Millennials are not changed by casual relationships. They are used to relationships that are defined by 140-character tweets and a stream of meaningless Facebook posts. Millennials have grown up in an information-saturated world and they are starved for deep relationships.
  • Don’t divide the spiritual realm from the secular realm. Neo-Christians think this way, God does not.
  • Profound change is coming to the church. Today, the rancher who loves God and loves people has more credibility than the pastor who is PAID to love God and love people. That is how skeptical millennials see church leaders. This does not mean we do not need men and women who are called by God to serve in vocational ministry, but skepticism is going to make the vocation of ministry much less effective.

    Chris Eller is a Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Pastor, Geek, Writer, Photographer, and Church Technology Consultant.