When I first read about the Sentralized Conference in Kansas City in September, I did what most do. I checked to see who was speaking. Reading down the list my eyes spotted David Fitch. I took an online course with David and Geoff Hosclaw through Northern Seminary titled, Readings in Postmodern Philosophy and Theology. I still chew on the content of those readings and the interactions with others in the group.
Near the end of the course I remember David saying, “If you are ever in Chicago, let’s have coffee or something.” I made Chicago after that to attend the Wheaton Theology Conference where N.T. Wright was both speaker and subject. Time did not allow me to catch up with David.
That David will be within six hours, and that I might be able to sit down for a chat, is motivation enough for me to make the drive to Kansas City this September. But, there is more. I have interacted with Brad Brisco online. I met and have worked with Lance Ford. In fact, it was through Lance Ford that I facilitated an online course on The Forgotten Ways with Alan Hirsch for Biblical Seminary. Scot McKnight and I chatted while we were both at Biblical Seminary to honor my friend John Franke. Darrell Guder was there too. Biblical Seminary may have been the first Seminary to re-tool its vision around the term missional. Throw in that we hosted Dan Kimball for one of the ETREK courses I facilitated through Biblical Seminary and there are plenty of reasons to make the trip.
Over the next few months, I am going to interact with a recent post by Brad Brisco announcing the Sentralized Gathering. In the meantime, click over and take a look. You may discover your own personal reasons for making the trip for a conversation about the mission of God, missional, and the future of the church.