On the Ground with the One Project – Report 3
By Maylan Schurch, February 14, 2016: I just talked to Shelby and Jessica, who are at the registration booth, and they tell me that there are between 1200 and 1300 people registered. They come from as far away as Australia and Denmark. I asked Shelby why people keep coming back to One Project,” and she thinks it’s partly like camp meeting. People want to get back together and meet people they’ve seen before. Jessica said, “No one ever runs out of things to say about Jesus.”
A very interesting phenomena here at One Project. During breaks, there are no snacks! Nothing! No pretzels! No M&M’s! Just water! Must be the 21st century.
So who’s here? As I strolled the foyer during the break, I saw a good number of young adults, but also middle-aged and older people as well. There’s a friendly, camp-meeting, college-reunion feel. People I don’t know smile at me, and then glance vaguely down at the name tag hanging around my neck. This is a fruitless endeavor, because the name is only on one side of the tag (the schedule is on the other), and the letters are printed in white on a gray background. So unless we grab the shoulders of someone we wish to identify, and then crouch in front of them and focus our eyes, we’re out of luck.
At this moment, we are listening to Gardenia Genesis Community Church (California) senior pastor Iki Taimi tell us story about watching his little daughter be excluded from a group of kids building sand castles. “Sometimes we’re so busy building our own sandcastle that we too will say to people new to us, ‘You don’t belong here!'”
Brandy Kierstein, a nurse who works as a lactation consultant for Erlanger Health System, and who also studied religious education at Southern Adventist University, is talking about “blind guides.” Jesus did all he could to wake up the Jewish leaders as to who he was. All they cared about was their position, and how they could get the best seats at the Super Bowl. Jesus was trying to teach them Kingdom Leadership 101—be humble. Brandy introduced a term she invented: spiritual inattentional blindness. The Jewish leaders were blind in several ways. “You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men,” he said in Matthew 23:13. The leaders were focused on how they appeared to others rather than how to lead people to God.
Great quote from Brandy: “I am the product of evangelism. I was not raised Adventist, and am eternally grateful to those who worked and prayed for me. But are we baptizing people into the Godhead, or to just become like us?”