Natasha Sistrunk Robinson explores the spiritual and physical tensions of truth-telling, character and leadership development, and bridge building across racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender lines.
How Can We Orient Our Professions To Serve Others?
God designed every human being to find agency in his or her vocation. If we understand the “common good” as the truest good for all people, how can our work play a role in renewing the world? Author, speaker, and pastor Skye Jethani helps us contemplate how our work is not primarily for the gain of wealth and pleasure—but ultimately an opportunity to cultivate a better world for our neighbors.
How Do We Learn To Listen Again?
In the days of social media where everyone has their own platform, we are tempted to vocalize our own voice and state opinions. Bobette Buster suggests it's time to relearn a lost art. Recovering this human skill will be essential to recovering civility, respect and understanding.
What does science say about how constraints introduced into a system can breed innovation and new ideas? What role does fear have in the iconoclast’s life? What are poor habits or better disciplines that might improve iconoclastic thinking? Listen, as Dr. Gregory Berns elaborates on the evidence that neuroscience is providing on how to think differently.
For decades, it’s been described as “holy” and “disciplined” for Christians to remove themselves from anything corrupt, evil or broken about society. But Christians are left wondering how to navigate the terrain of being salt and light in a twenty-first century world. How are followers of Christ called to respond to sin and corruption found all around them? Do we run towards it or preserve our purity and holiness in the midst of a fallen world?
In a globalized world where ideas, religions and ethnic groups collide, the question remains, can we find a way through? Even former President Bill Clinton recently remarked, “We only have one remaining bigotry. We don’t want to be around anybody who disagrees with us.” In this talk, historian and social observer Os Guinness warns that in a public square with competing views, learning to listen and respect people, while supporting the freedom for people to live by their conscience is the only way to experience a productive peace. We can't inspire others to a more free existence unless we know how to model it ourselves.
One of the most powerful virtues in our society, is also one of our least known virtues: gratitude. Gratitude is the key to not only experiencing what communities want, an authentic, thriving joy — but is what Chesterton called the highest form of thinking. Thinking that is bedrock foundational to healthy relationships, strong communities, and vibrant culture. At a time when it seems easy to point out all that’s wrong with the world, advancing the common good requires a lens through which one actually sees the good. Finding, celebrating and cultivating the good, true and beautiful, is key to how we will shape the future of our neighborhoods, cities and communities. How can we alter our perspectives and be known for what we are for, instead of what we are against? New York Times Bestselling Author of One Thousand Gifts, and The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp unpacks with us what can dynamically transform our communities.
How should Christians relate to politics in a divisive and polarized time? As Americans grapple with the results of the most recent midterm election, Gabe Lyons sits down with Michael Wear to discuss the answer to this question. Michael served as one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history and directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. He also authored the book “Reclaiming Hope,” founded Public Square Strategies, currently serves as chief strategist at The AND Campaign. Together, Michael and Gabe discuss the most significant midterm results, the effects of political polarization and partisan identity, and what it means for American believers to live out a faithful witness in the political sphere.
How can we help our youth in a violent age?
With the prevalence of shooting in our schools, a culture of violence is seemingly becoming the culture of the norm in the lives of our children. Through Judge Sheila Calloway's experience within the Nashville Court System, she invites us to consider how we offer hope and solutions to young people seeking a lifeline in an era of conflict.
What is countercultural living in a transactional world?
We are the most powerful generation in history, but also the loneliest, most anxious, and most depressed. We’re meant to flourish in heart, soul, mind, strength, and relationship — yet culture asks us undermine our personhood to acquire power. Andy Crouch, author and partner at Praxis, reminds us what we have to offer in this unique moment.
How can God make His home in a heart that is lacking beauty by rage, jealousy, or pain? In this talk, Trina talks about how God came upon her trials and showed her how He intended her life to be whole with an eternal beauty. We must learn to behold the goodness of God and strive to always remember that beauty is still present in the midst of pain.
Where will we allow Jesus to lighten our load?
Following the way of Jesus in contemporary culture is challenging – the amount of needs and opportunities to pursue can feel overwhelming. In this talk and subsequent interview, pastor and author Jon Tyson offers insight into how we can allow Jesus to shoulder this burden for us, and how that empowers us to more freely and fully seek God’s kingdom on earth.
What Attributes Represent God's Ways on Earth?
The Kingdom of God enables people to live their fullest life within God’s love and provision, and Tony Evans seeks to bring this message and reality to diverse groups of people. Tony will help us think through what it means to be Kingdom-oriented in our thinking, actions, and faith to bring the rule of God’s love to earth.
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.