WV: Synergy2011 Goes Global

What an amazing weekend at Synergy2011! I cannot adequately describe everything that transpired in one blog post. Today, I want to focus of the global messages and my reflections concerning the challenges presented by the plenary speakers:

CHALLENGE

Speaker: Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Program Director, Urbana, InterVarsity’s 20,000-student missions conference

Nikki spoke out of Acts 17:16-34 and reminded us that Paul became an evangelist because he was burdened and distressed that the people were worshipping idols. Paul felt compelled to tell the people about the one and only, true and living God.

He then tells them that God “[determines] the time set for [his people] and the exact places were they should live. God [does] this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him (Acts 17:26b-27a).

CULTURE, CREATION, & CULTIVATION

Speaker: Andy Crouch, Senior Editor for Christianity Today, Senior Fellow of International Justice Mission, & author of award winning Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling

The church (or those who believe in Jesus) is often too consumed with the matters of sin and judgment, when God has a much higher calling of focus for his people.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that move on the ground (Gen 1:27-28).”

God desires for us to be creators. The God that we serve rules the entire universe and he wants us to be the change agents. Sometimes that change is simply embracing that which is “good” in our world, and keeping it that way. 

CRISIS

Speaker: Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and co-author of NYTimes bestseller Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Theme: “The moral challenge of the century is gender inequality.” I have not yet begun to process the images and stories that were presented to us on Saturday. The statistics are overwhelming concerning the atrocities against women around the world. The individual stories are all the more heartbreaking. I shutter at the thought of reading this book over the summer, but I must. As Christians we no long have the luxury of ignoring the injustices that are taking place right under our noses, not when the Bible is very clear about God’s expectations of us:

“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).”

CONFLICT & COMISSION

Speaker: Carolyn Custis James, President and Founder of Synergy and author of newly released book entitled, Half the Church.

We are not without hope. God is in control and has given us an opportunity to participate in the story that he is writing in the world. Conflict is not meant to destroy us, but to make us more like him. We must now consider our message to the world. The church should be leading the charge and partnering with others who are fighting against injustices everywhere. We have a responsibility to do so.

I did not realize that God was preparing my heart for Synergy2011 when I read the following passage during devotion on last week:

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).”

For who knows if we were born at this point in history, in our various places and locations in the world, positioned to hear these messages or read this blog, and burn with a passion to take action in such a time as this.

 © Natasha S. Robinson 2011

Consider where God has placed you. Where can you be an “accidental” evangelist?

Are you aware of ministries that are addressing these “C”s?

Additional topics addressed in this link:

My Past Synergy Experiences

Counterfeit Gods

The Treasure Principle – Roadblocks to Giving

5 thoughts on “WV: Synergy2011 Goes Global

  1. Yes, yes, Natasha. Good summaries. When messages are available online everyone can listen to them. But these words help us get a glimpse of each one. It was soooooo good to be with you, short as it was.

  2. That’s some heavy stuff!

    It all sounds interesting. I am curious to hear more about the “Recovering Our Creative Calling” as my background is in design. I didn’t always value my creative gifts when I was studying architecture, and I think it would’ve have changed my own attitudes towards what I was doing had I understood deeper that our God is the ultimate Creator and He imparted creativity as a gift to us to use to glorify Him.

    You and I shall never run out of things to talk about, haha!

    1. It was an amazingly challenging conference, Emily. I have always loved the arts, but what Andy did in his talk is reminded us that we were created to cultivate and build. The problem is that we live in a “consumer” culture. So for me, I was able to look at the arts (for example) in a spiritual way, and not use a place to express one’s self, share emotions, and appreciate beauty. God gives all gifts so that we can value and use towards his glory; this was part of his original design and should certainly be valued.

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