Here at the Raw Church unconference yesterday and today, and boy have the conversations and topics been RAW. Covering quite the gamut of the human condition (and some would prefer to use the term human depravity) and the brokenness we experience — adultery, sex abuse, divorce, multiple divorces, unexpected death, mental illness, terminal disease, race & faith, scandals, addiction, sexuality, shame, pride, self-righteousness, judgementalism, religion, power, gender, bigotry, parenting, prisons, healing, relationships, recovery, restoration, redemption, and so many more… heavy and intense things that you don’t hear talked about in most churches. Here’s the thing, if you can’t talk about brokenness and healing in church and it’s not a safe place, where can you? Where can people truly experience the gospel of grace if not for the healing that must come from community, the body of Christ?
So this little unconference had 50+ people participate, with no speakers paid nor did attendees pay. Thanks to Sandals Church for the space to gather. Thanks for Tony Ferraro and Scott Overpeck for partnering and collaborating with me to pull this gathering together. (the 3 of us, Tony, Scott, and I were the core team coordinating this, and many others gave of their time and effort to participate) Through the generosity of everyone involved and getting free of the entanglement of “value exchange,” quite a number of transformational conversations happened.
Can you imagine how much more good could happen if people collaborate, and money didn’t matter and money wasn’t a constraint because it’s a non-issue? Some things just need to happen; we can’t let money get in the way and we can’t wait for the market to catch up. (Yes, I realize most of us have to pay the bills, and I do too; and with the bills paid, many of us still have time & energy that can be used for something beyond conventional volunteering for existing non-profit ventures, though of course that’s needed too.)
It’s my hope that the Raw Church unconference is an example of new non-profit innovations; my Social Media Church podcast is another example. I talked about this wild idea of innovating without money on a recent episode: What can you do with $0 budget?
What do you think? Is there something to this, or am I off my rockers?