Thursday, May 9, 2013

NuDunkers: Welcome to the conversation

So this "NuDunker" thing has been going on for almost seven months now; the first blog posts coming out in late October of last year. We've conducted, to date, three live discussions on G+ Hangouts (the one from last week w/ David Fitch & Geoff Holsclaw being viewable here on YouTube), and a raft of blog posts have accompanied each one. In the process we've picked up two more interested Brethren folks who want to be part of this - what we've insisted upon from the beginning - conversation.

In light of the passage of time, a few new faces, some other interested parties, as well as some confusion and misunderstandings, it seems like a good time to reflect on the experience so far, the process we've used, what tweaks can be made, and how to proceed from here.

This is going to be a long post, so before jumping in I'll just summarize a few points about NuDunkers:
  • NuDunkers is, first of all, an ongoing conversation
  • Its emerging structure: Open/public, social media-based, semi-monthly, topical
  • The typical flow: A topic is identified, dates discussed for a live discussion, blog posts are up the week before, the live discussion happens, then follow-up posts are made - Wash, rinse, repeat
  • Pitch and tone of conversation: Seminary-level and academic/theological, but with the intention of being welcoming to the whole church. Topics emerge from ministerial contexts, get discussed in this fashion, and hopefully inspire/enlighten/equip for practical ministry.
  • You want in? We want this to be a centered-set kind of thing, allowing for various levels of commitment and participation; from voyeurs/lurkers all the way to welcoming more folks in the "circle of hosts" who plan and conduct the activities around various discussion topics.
I'll present the longer reflections in a kind of socratic way, with questions posed and some thoughts provided in response. I've vetted these reflections through e-mail discussion with the others who've been close to the center of this conversation: Andrew Hamilton, Dana Cassell, Joshua Brockway, Laura Stone, and Matt McKimmy. There will inevitably be some of my own "stuff" below, but I've tried to speak for the group as well (always tricky).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

NuDunkers, Prodigal Christianity, and Charity

Tomorrow (Friday) at 11am Eastern, the NuDunkers are holding our third live chat on Google+ Hangouts. This is our first hangout with special guests, though, so we're excited! For that hour we'll be talking with evangelical neo-Anabaptists, David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw, about their  new book, Prodigal Christianity: Ten Signposts into the Missional Future. See the event page for more details. (If you're unable to watch the live chat, no worries - it will be available on YouTube after the fact.)

As has been our developing custom, each of the NuDunkers prepared for this live event, each posting on our respective blogs beforehand. In this case, everyone read the book and posted on their blog. Well...everyone except me; I bowed out of the book read/posting for busy-ness reasons, but I'll be "there" tomorrow helping facilitate the event. And that's the joy of this being a shared endeavor, because I still experience the fruits of my fellow NuDunkers who engaged this exciting book. Here are their reflections on its various aspects: