Monday, June 30, 2003

Network 9:35 Comes To Indy:

Really enjoyed having Phil Olson with us for lunch today here in Indianapolis as he was passing through from Philadelphia. Phil's the 'networking pastor' from Network 9:35 and Evangelicals for Social Action. These organizations are just what the name implies... evangelicals who believe the gospel is the gospel that Jesus modeled... a faith lived out, impacting its world.

Phil and his family were on vacation, having just left the home of the Peter Larson family -- a pastor friend of ours from Indianapolis, now living near Cincinnatti. So it was great that he took time out to stop in Indy and have a lunchtime discussion with a few of us gathered in the interest of better networking our Bible-believing community, and learning from each other.

And as neat as it was to have Phil with us, it was equally great to see a handful of "driven Christians here in the Racing Capital of the World" also getting to know each other, and each others' gifts and passion. It was a fairly small but diverse group, consisting of Christian businessmen, professors, pastors, church-planter, and a tech or two. Yet the potential for impact was enormous. One moderates the statewide "Transform Indiana" initiative. One is heading the CCDA Indy initiative. Another represents the unique college here in Indy which trains Christian leaders to reach a multi-ethnic urban world for Christ. One is helping the PCA plant churches in St. Louis and Indianapolis. One is creating some video from today's meeting, as he was also doing an interview for Indiana Christian News -- a new local Christian paper starting up.

So hopefully you'll be able to read more about today's meeting, when you pick up your August copy of the paper. [And of course, we'll also highlight the story from when it becomes available online somewhere.] But for the time being, let me simply reiterate the key point I heard today.... "Jesus said, 'Go'..... Get out of here.... Just do it. And in YOUR neighborhood is as good a place as any to get started." [Certainly reminded us of our Transform Indiana strategy... finding or expediting well-networked lighthouses in every neighborhood across the state.]

While it was not necessarily intended as a meeting to create yet more things to do, nonetheless, a significant action point did develop. Scott Truex was inspired to accept a role as an official "convener", to rally a group of us to travel to New York for a one-of-a-kind leadership conference this fall.... the National Leadership Forum... Oct 5-8, 2003.

Btw, it did not escape my hearing today, that one of our guys was greatly impacted at CCDA 2002 Conference, and was helped in his networking process, by and our Los Angeles friend, Rudy Carrasco at the Harambee Center. Thanks Rudy... you may never know just how much you helped our city. Remember your cyber-cafe there?

Btw, related to this upcoming national forum, Indianapolis has been asked to host a regional City Impact Roundtable next summer. Can we make a difference in Indiana, for Christ?

Gotta go start finding some funds so I won't get left behind in Indy this fall. How about you? You coming along?

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