Detroit area workshop yields a record-breaking response.
When Jeff Klein, Midwest regional leader, stood up at the front of the Highland Park Baptist Church meeting room, he was amazed to see table after table of people packed in, eager to hear about the Arts of Spiritual Conversations. More than 200 people had turned out for the workshop, most of them pastors and leaders representing thirty-five churches in the Detroit area. Over the course of the previous week, sign-ups kept rolling in, and so many people came on the day of the workshop that they had to move the walls and pull in more tables to accommodate them all!
What factors led to such an enthusiastic response?
Clearly, the foundation of prayer is high on the list. One individual told Jeff that he had been praying with a group of guys for two years that Q Place would come to the Detroit area. That groundwork led not just to a workshop presentation, but to a spirit of readiness and responsiveness in so many church leaders.
God also worked mightily through two men who have been deeply involved in the Navigators Detroit ministry over many years. Roger Van Noord and Dennis Williams first encountered Q Place several years ago, and the approach immediately resonated with them. Since then, they have only grown more excited about the Q Place movement. Roger has shared, “We have a very evangelistic church, but I think they recognize that we have got to do a better job of equipping people to do evangelism…. [Q Place] is one of the best equipping vehicles that we can put in front of people.” Roger and Dennis believe this so strongly that they spearheaded the effort with calls and emails to church leaders all over their community in the months leading up to this workshop. They also arranged for Lunch & Learn events on Thursday and Friday of that week so that Jeff could meet with pastors and give them a taste of Q Place.
All along the way, the Spirit-led enthusiasm of Roger, Dennis, and Jeff stirred up interest, and their invitations struck a chord. Church leaders recognized that Q Place offers a way to meet a need that they feel deeply—the need for a way to help ordinary Christians follow Jesus’ call to all of his followers so that people all around them would come into a relationship with God. In the week leading up to the event, people kept calling the Q Place office or talking with Roger to register for the workshop. The number went from 180 on Wednesday to 220 on Saturday!
Jeff recalls that when the workshop started, from the very first moment, everyone was tuned in. He could see lights coming on as people experienced the power of asking questions and explored the ways that Jesus interacted with people. Together at their tables, they read Scripture and shared their discoveries about Jesus’ practices, patterns, and beliefs as he engaged with people in his path. “Jesus noticed people,” they observed. “He cared and loved.” “He listened.” “He asked questions.” “He prayed.” “He welcomed.” “He shared.” “He helped people see for themselves.” They recognized how Jesus built trust with people around him.
When Jeff introduced the Arts of Spiritual Conversations curriculum, the Aha! moments were electric. Everyone saw the connection between what they had discovered in Scripture and the reality that Christians can follow each of Jesus’ simple practices in their own lives.
At the end of the workshop, Jeff invited all attendees to pray about starting one of the 1,000 Q Places we are hoping to launch in the Midwest region by the end of 2015. Seventy-three people signed a covenant, promising to find two other Christians who would prepare and then launch a group together within the next nine months. Jeff personally signed each of those covenants to confirm that Q Place will provide ongoing training, support, and encouragement as these individuals prepare and launch Q Places with spiritually curious friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
And now, seventy-three new people are fully on the journey, practicing the Arts of Spiritual Conversations, forming triads with others who will start Q Places with them, and actively building relationships with people around them. Roger Van Noord has met with most of those people at least four times. He has also met with representatives from two other churches in the Detroit area so that they would hear about Q Place for themselves. As God opens doors, we are anticipating a great harvest!
How can you join the movement? So many ways! You can learn more about the Arts of Spiritual Conversations, start your own Q Place, start a Q Place ministry in your church, donate to Q Place, commit to pray for Q Place [email Flavia Burrell (Flavia@QPlace.com)], or become a local catalyst [email Jan Teat (JTeat@QPlace.com)]. Email info@QPlace.com with your questions.
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