Q really is pretty unique as far as conferences go. It’s about 4 things: Culture, Future, Church, and Gospel. And it studies our culture’s seven channels of influence: Church, social sector, business, education, government, arts & entertainment, and media. Q’s wide range of speakers address how we as believers can proactively and positively influence our culture and the future through these channels of influence.
Not all the speakers are believers. Some hold controversial views. The discussions are open-ended and you are left to wrestle with the tension and reconcile it or not with your own beliefs. It’s mentally stretching. Good stuff.
For example, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson of Two Futures Project spoke about what the world would be like following a nuclear detonation. And he describes the spiritual aftermath as well. 60,000 people created in God’s image would disappear. 300 square miles of God’s creation for our good would be destroyed. It would devastate the poor, as humanitarian efforts dry up. This is a good example of how believers can sometimes miss the spiritual implications of such “secular” issues.
Did I mention George Bush was there? Yes… George P. Bush. And 88-year-old Ambassador Max Kampleman. And David Crowder who drew diagrams on an overhead projector. And Shane Hipps who reminded us that Jesus took on a body to be present with us, and called us to incarnate Christ and impact the world by being fully present in it (not just twittering about it). Ted and Gail Haggard updated us on their journey. The most telling quote, when reminded that some would say he didn’t deserve to be at the conference, was: “They’re right. I don’t deserve to be here. That’s the problem with believing the Gospel.” I know I don’t deserve to be where I am in ministry either. It’s easy to forget.
Throughout the sessions, Grammy award-winning David Hodges sang some of the songs he wrote, including Kelly Clarkson’s Because of You. And we enjoyed a live concert by Over the Rhine, the most interesting blend of folk, blues, honky-tonk and Prairie Home Companion. So beautifully unusual.
Additionally, Kim Martinez has put together a pretty comprehensive list of links about the speakers.