What does comedy teach us about ourselves?
Using humor to convey truth is as timeless as the medium of comedy. Used to solicit laughter, encourage relaxation, and relieve stress, comedy also has the unique ability to tell deeper truths in a way that’s accessible and convicting. Emmy Award-Winning Comedian and actor Tony Hale has ideas for how we can bring light – both in levity and illumination – to difficult situations to elicit a smile.
What do we do when we feel helpless?
As Andy Crouch says, we only “change culture by creating more of it.” For decades, the problem of starving children in third world countries has been known to many, but most have never felt a tangible way to engage. Michael Chitwood, the founder of Team World Vision (the fastest-growing charity endurance program in the U.S) decided to do something about it. He shares his story of using his own story and pain to show up in the lives of others.
How can partners mutually thrive?
It can be hard for husbands and wives to work together in a way that is respectful and beneficial. As married co-pastors working together, Alex and Henry Seely model what it looks like to submit to one another in a relationship that shares a similar calling. Whether you work with your spouse or not, their stories and real-life experiences provide encouragement for couples who feel compelled to journey together in advancing good.
How do relationships transform people?
When probation officer Tiffany Whittier was assigned to self-avowed white supremacist Michael Kent, an unlikely friendship developed, eventually leading Michael away from a life of racism. Tiffany and Michael will talk about building relationships in unexpected places and finding safe spaces to grow while standing firm in our convictions.
How is distrust eroding the sacred?
In what Barna calls “an erosion of the sacred,” Americans find it harder to trust authorities for guidance, including God. But in a society plagued by skepticism, “fake news,” and distrust, where can people turn for comfort and direction? David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, details these trends, offers hope in the midst of uncertainty, and explains how Christians can provide a hopeful presence for a culture that is floundering.
Sex. In a world overwhelmingly obsessed with it, why is the church so silent about it? While our secular culture twists, perverts, cheapens, and idolizes sex, there are gaping holes in the church’s guidance of young people. The result is generations of sexually illiterate people drowning in the repercussions of overwhelming sin struggles. With raw vulnerability and a bold spirit, Mo Isom shares her own sexual testimony, opening up the conversation about misguided rule-following, virginity, temptation, porn, promiscuity, false sex-pectations, sex in marriage, and more and calling readers back to God’s original design for sex–a way to worship and glorify him.
How Do We Overcome Our Prejudice?
In society, racism is more prevalent than ever, engendering doubts, fears, suspicions, and even hostility about the “other.” LaTasha Morrison leads an organization dedicated to building bridges that span racial, experiential, and socio-economic divides. Her stories provide a framework through which we can engage others in a way that leads to reconciliation, peace, and mutual benefit to one another.
Does God form us in all circumstances?
Many of us who have experienced painful challenges know that God can find us in any place and any moment of our lives. Bianca Olthoff knows the depth of this truth firsthand. Working and worshipping with incarcerated women, Bianca speaks about creating church in prison and witnessing the power of God to forgive and bring new life.
Understanding our current cultural climate may feel like an impossible quest. Yet as Christians, we are called to be the ones who understand the times and know how to lead and offer hope. How can we make sense of the confusion and think soundly about the chaos? Greg Thompson, with a Ph.D in Theology, Ethics and Culture and as director of Thriving Cities, helps us find clarity and perspective so we are equipped to help others make sense of our unique cultural moment.
Maps show how the poor disproportionately live in some of the worst environmental places. Resource economist and Tearfund advisor Rusty Pritchard helps us focus our understanding of place and space toward an awareness of the geography in which we live. He helps us understand how past decisions have created unjust environments for under-resourced people groups, and our opportunity to change this reality.
What responsibilities do we have to ensure safe, healthy environments?
How do we navigate ideological diversity?
Existing in an ideologically-diverse culture can be challenging, and often leads to individuals retreating behind their battle lines. David Coleman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The College Board, believes that institutional diversity, civil disagreement, and patience with others whose beliefs differ from yours creates the best learning environments.
We’ve seen over the last year the devastation inflicted on cities by natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding. We’ll hear from two voices — a Houston pastor who helped mobilize resources in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and a founder of a technology company helping people volunteer to meet the needs of their city. Rob and Chris will share their story of responding to local need.
What is possible when we risk in relationship? Krish Kandiah is the author of God is Stranger and the founding director of Home for Good, a charity seeking to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Believing we meet God when we welcome the stranger, Krish shares how an unscripted life helps us experience and trust God more fully.
The way we think about our life's work has the potential to advance good or to become self-referential. If we focus on understanding God's purposes and where we can join His work in the world, the results will be very different from self-focused individualism. Jo Saxton looks at the thin line between calling and narcissism offering Christians a way of viewing calling through the eyes of God.
How can the church be bold, yet beautiful?
On the heels of the #metoo movement came #churchtoo — exposing the abuse, harassment, and misogyny taking place in churches, places where people should experience mutual support, leadership, and empowerment. Lisa Bevere shares how the New Testament shows people of different genders working together for the good of all.
We live in a world of broken relationships. From parent to child, employee to boss, neighbor to co-worker and husband to wife, we long for harmony but often it escapes us. New York Times bestselling author Lysa Terkeurst, wonders if the relationship disappointments we experience are opportunities for something more. Could God be at work in the unmet expectations, the misunderstood words and the long distances that creep in between life long friends?
Theologian Stanley Hauerwas says that "the heart of the gospel is that you don't know Jesus without the witness of the Church." As church membership declines, will this witness be dampened? Writer and hip-hop artist, Sho Baraka, explores the history of the Christian faith, why its growth has slowed in western societies, and how the Church can reclaim our role as witnesses of Christ.
As a special episode release, Sho Baraka and Gabe Lyons discuss the vision and mission behind the upcoming Q Conference, April 11-13 in Nashville. Listen in on a challenging conversation that sets up many of the important conversations we should be having as we thoughtfully navigate our changing culture. Q 2018 will prepare you to explore what renewal and faithfulness might look like in society.
Research suggests that pornography is a "new narcotic" with equally powerful effects on the brain as addictive drugs. In a globalized world, how can we overcome the temptations and tragedies of technology? Jefferson Bethke believes the answer lies within the problem. The voice of the viral YouTube video "Why I Love Jesus but Hate Religion," Jeff uses the internet as a positive means of confession and expression. His challenging talk will address a serious issue in today's society.
One-third of people viewing porn are women, but this demographic is largely unaddressed when pornography addictions are discussed. Audrey Assad, a singer/songwriter and worship leader, is seeking to change that by transparently sharing her journey to overcome porn addiction. Audrey gives voice to an issue too often kept quiet, and bears witness to the power of freedom from addiction, even amidst a culture that condones porn and exploitation.
A journalist for The New York Times and author of The Road to Character, David Brooks is an expert in communicating the role of character in our society and how it brings about positive change. In a culture that worships the celebrity yet is decreasing in any religious commitment (32% of millennials claim no religious affiliation according to Barna), Brooks provides relevant commentary on how virtue is a key entry point to larger spiritual conversations that ultimately contribute to society’s flourishing.
Contrary to popular understanding, Islam's populations and influence reaches far beyond the Middle East. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 49 countries around the world, and is the fastest growing religion according to the Pew Research Center. As Islam integrates into Western Societies, is peace and pluralism really possible? Listen in as Paul Marshall suggests a way forward that addresses this very question and Shadi Hamid, a New York Times bestselling author and expert on Islamist movements explains what Christians could learn from Islam.
Renown artist, Dana Tanamachi, is a self-defined, "Texas-bred, Seattle-based graphic designer who enjoys living a quiet life and working with her hands." In this interview, Dana shares her story and insights into what compels her to create, with a focus on the creative process of her most recent commissioned work in partnership with Crossway, designing an illuminated Bible for the modern eye.
See more about the Illuminated Bible, Art Lettering Edition from Dana Tanamachi at illuminatedbible.org
Listen in as Jordan Raynor provides a framework for how to embrace entrepreneurship and creativity as a means of glorifying God, loving others, and making disciples of Jesus Christ.
By many metrics, incarceration rates are growing in America with valid concerns about a "cradle-to-prison" pipeline in certain regions. With thirty-one states currently supporting the death penalty backed by a moral, "an eye for an eye," position, how should Christians engage? Author and activist, Shane Claiborne, believes the Church must be pro-life no matter who is under threat. As an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, he explains how prison reform is the natural outflow of every Christian's call to value and protect life.
In our culture, he who tells the best story wins. Creating great narratives that produce epiphanies involves a particular talent that applies far beyond film and changes the way you write books, marketing copy, funding proposals, research reports, sermons, and so much more. Bobette Buster has built and sustained a long, respected career in the film industry by being the best at finding and developing epiphanies in some of the greatest movies we've all enjoyed.