Pinning Down Depth

I had a really productive time at the Threads Connect Conference last week in Austin. The second of these conferences is in Nashville this week. For both of these conferences, I’m leading a breakout session that is trying to find the practical implications of one of the 4 key markers of Threads.

Those key markers, the things we believe should characterize young adult ministry are as follows: Community, Connection, Responsibility, and Depth.

My session? Depth.

First of all, let me say that I recognize how presumptuous it is to lead a breakout session about depth. You better bring your A-game for something like that, and pray to God for Him to say something through you, because who is really qualified to lecture about something like that?

Nevertheless, the main idea of my session was that depth is not necessarily about the level of the information; it’s more about the encounter you have with the information. That is to say, depth isn’t achieved by including a certain number of Greek and Hebrew verbs. Rather, it’s achieved by providing an encounter with biblical truth that engages people in every area of life – spirit, emotion, intellect, and even body.

I argued that the only way to create such an atmosphere is to have first encountered that truth yourself in a way that engages your whole person. Once you’ve been there yourself, you can lead others to do the same. So I really tried to provide 7 steps to finding depth in your personal study, and then putting that forth to others.

What do you think? Is there a better way to define this tricky subject?

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  • Ashley says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. I remember Oswald Chambers saying, “the measure of the worth of your public activity for Christ is dependent upon the private, profound communion you have with Him.” It always reminded me that I have no ministry except that which flows from my communion with Christ. I cannot lead someone else to a place I myself have yet to go.

  • Michael K. says:

    Hmmm… Tough to go wrong with Oswald. I remember even in seminary training being warned to not let my personal time with God invade my preparation for a sermon or Bible study. While I appreciate the intention of that caution, I think it develops a leader just spits out information, rather than someone who has encountered that information at deep level themselves.

  • I’m actually commenting after just hearing you at the Nashville conference. Good stuff. I recommend it to others.

  • Michael K. says:

    Thanks, Ron – Really great to meet the Clarksville contingent. Thanks for attending the conference; hope to see you soon.

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