Soccer dad

Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

Rob Hatch keeps asking for synthesis from my week at General Conference. I keep thinking that he’s asking for a good thing…and for more than I can deliver.

Here’s the challenge for me. I haven’t stopped to think since I got back, and I spent the time on the plane writing other things and the time on the layover talking with a friend from Fort Wayne who was on the same flight. And I spent part of the flight from Chicago to Fort Wayne talking with the guy next to me who was on the last leg of a flight from China.

And as I think about the week, I think about conversations.

On Tuesday, my social media friends started a virtual birthday party which kept me from sleeping. Actually, it was a real party.

I was sitting at lunch with friends from Fort Wayne and one mentioned a guy named Jim who I had wanted to meet. Wehen I asked my friend to introduce us sometime, he pointed across the restaurant and said, “That’s Jim”. We talked for 15 minutes and he actually knew what Twitter and facebook and pownce are.

I sat at breakfast and listened to a couple from Quito and a couple from the middle east talk about what breakfast is in each of their countries.

I talked with two guys from northern michigan about their church and structure and asked one about a topic and he said, “funny you should ask that” and I said that it hadn’t been my idea.

I talked with a guy from Fort Wayne and one from Florida, both pastors and leaders and both convinced that we need to stop doing church the way it has been done and start thinking about real people who aren’t in church.

I helped out with powerpoint and reporting on sessions and blog writing on two blogs and shooting and running sound.

I produced and presented a video which helped honor 30 people who have died in a different (for us) and yet effective way.

I had a bunch of other conversations.

And here’s what I know:
-the conversations accomplish far more than the business meetings.
-with wifi, there is little separation between home life and conference life.
-I am being stretched into social media in ways that I do not understand.
-Because we can only handle so many relationships, I have a feeling that my relationship base is shifting and I don’t what that means.
-I have absolutely know clue what Portland OR looks like.

Not much synthesis, Rob. Mostly listing. But does anyone else see any threads?


2 responses to “synthesis

  1. I’m reading this as part of my daily check-in, which means I don’t usually leave time for commenting, today had to be different.

    What I enjoy about you and your writing Jon is the journey. The synthesis certainly won’t happen just days out of your conference. What I value so much is your process.

    “My relationship base is shifting and I don’t know what that means.” Jon, I can’t wait to hear about how it is shifting, what choices you are making and your discovery of meaning.

    The threads are all there, loose and long. Relationships, technology, use of social media, relationships, relationships, relationships.

    It seems that sometimes the “what” of our calling is crystal clear. “Where” seems to be revealing itself too. However, it’s the “how” and in “which way”, never mind the “why” that is confounding.

    Enjoy the ride and please continue to take us with you.

  2. Thanks Rob. At elast a part of what is happening is that I’m meeting and conversing with more people this way. Interestingly enough, I may have more interaction this way that with the people on the edges of my face to face world. What I am wondering is how many ‘close’ relationships are possible at all, and what happens when some of them happen out here. Do you get 5 face-to-face and 25 online? But what if you can daily contact with the online people and weekly with the face-to-face? Do you know the former better? How do you measure that?

    I mean, how many people do I have reflective conversations with in my office? How many do I have through emails with people I have never seen?

    And before we say that this is silly, there is a long history of significant letters shaping relationships and history. So geography is only one part of relationship.

    that’s all for now.