The Elephant Room features blunt conversations between seven influential pastors who take differing approaches to ministry. No keynotes. No canned messages. These are “the conversations you never thought you’d hear.” All conversations are moderated by James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel and Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church.
The Elephant Room is more than an event. It is the outgrowth of an idea. The idea that the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement, but in conversation among all kinds of leaders about what the Scriptures actually teach. We must insist on the biblical gospel, right doctrine and practice, but not isolate ourselves from relationships with those who believe much differently.
These are conversations about the most Christ-honoring ways of building a church. Our goal is unity; however, a true unity cannot be fashioned in pretense or denial of truth, nor can it be won among those who prefer sectarianism to the unity Jesus prayed for. To advance Christ’s call to unity we must do what men have always done: we must push and prod and challenge and sharpen each other’s beliefs and methods. Fidelity and fruitfulness—both matter. No one has a corner on the truth, and methods must do more than ‘work.’
What if we created a new ‘tribe?’ A tribe based on being humble enough to listen and reconsider what the Scriptures actually say. A tribe that holds the essential tenets of the faith with a ferocious intensity and is open handed with everything else. Maybe, together, we can create a new center. A place where we are for everything the Bible demands and demand nothing the Scriptures are silent about.
Look for guests from all places and belief systems. Don’t be surprised if you hear a conversation with someone that offends you or denies the faith as you see it. Don’t be shocked if you hear conversations with world religion leaders, or criminals or sinners of every variety—”such were some of [us]” (1 Corinthians 6:11). If the conversation can be helpful, clarifying, insistent or illuminating, or if we hope it will be . . . you will find it in the Elephant Room.