apparently asking questions is not missional

UPDATE: @vergeconference might have blocked people by accident (they switched something around). Hopefully this answers why many of us were blocked.


So, you know how I recently commented on my disappointment upon seeing the Verge2010 has only male speakers? I didn’t think I was mean. Apparently whoever is running the Verge twitter account doesn’t like questions because any of us who asked the question about the all male speaker lineup were banned from their twitter feed. Really? Is that what accounts for missional these days? I would email someone personally but there isn’t an email address on the website and I don’t want to bug my friends who are speakers because I know speakers at these things almost never have control over the actual event. And truthfully, I don’t care.

Now, just to show that I have some perspective, I greatly respect many of the men speaking at Verge. They have served me in my spiritual journey and as a missional community leader. And I have no doubt that the planners of Verge are great folk. So all I was asking is if they noticed that they only have males speaking. I also have no intention of spending my time bashing Verge or the speakers there. I know how that feels and I won’t do it to someone else. So I’ll drop it now but I just think this whole situation is unfortunate – STARTING with the planner’s choice (oversight?) to include only men as speakers.

17 thoughts on “apparently asking questions is not missional

  1. wow. I am surprised. I think they should also have some female speakers. There are quite a number. Let us ask the folks in Texas again.

  2. Wow. What a spectacularly bad way to handle your questions. I suppose you have your answer, though… they’re not going to do anything about it.

  3. I just noticed Acts29 is a host – this sort of explains everything. Acts29 is Mark Driscoll's thing and they don't allow women in their network. Now I'm going to have to take my ire to Hugh and Alan personally because I thought those guys knew better.

  4. Amy – yeah, that's definitely one way to answer. Of course, I didn't really expect them to do anything about it, just thought I'd get some sort of explanation. I wanted to give them a chance to explain.

  5. Wow. That is disappointing. Someone should definitely talk to Alan and see if he has any thoughts about how folks should respond to Verge for being such *dorks*.

  6. Makeesha,The Acts29 involvement probably does explain it but Alan definitely knows better and may not have noticed the particularly stream this conference is swimming in. Hard to believe that they blocked you. Actually. In reality. It’s probably not that hard to believe – based on their “theological” stream. I guess you just don’t know your place. 🙂

  7. when the bloc you based on a question rather than simply ignore it and move on, that tells a lot about whoever is managing that twitter account if not the whole shameful enterprise.when this stuff happens i start to feel like a hungry pitbull waiting to chomp down on a juicy steak. of course pit bulls are lovey dovey puppies with their friends. they just have voracious and aggressive eating habits 😉

  8. We must be wired the same way Makeesha…The first thing I said to Al was “Why are there only men speaking?”. He hadn’t realised until the advertisement came out. I’m not sure who gets more exasperated by it, him or me!

  9. I figured if this conference was like most i've been to, he probably didn't really know much about the event until it went live.I hope he gets a chance to voice his exasperation.

  10. The conference lineup is not a big surprise. I think we all know there are more than a few competing definitions of “missional” out there and the young hip reformed version doesn’t include an egalitarian value.Pretty cool to see Deb Hirsch add her two cents on here though! Maybe she should report to the conference as the speaker instead of Alan. That would be a fun little twist : )

  11. Jason, as I said, when I realized it was put on by the likes of Acts29, the lack of women was less surprising (but no less infuriating). I figured Deb would pipe up eventually – I love that woman! I also really love Alan and figured he didn't know about the lineup. As much as I'd love him to bow out (and put Deb in his stead *wink), I'm a pragmatist and realize life is a bit more complicated than that.

  12. I notice that it’s not just gender diversity they’re lacking. With the exception of two Asian guys, they seem a little thin on racial diversity too.

  13. A year ago, right before the Catalyst conference ’08, a similar experience happened to me. Christine Sine posted something on twitter, and I replied back with sentiments of sadness at the lack of women. Later that day, I received a DM from her that they got mad at her for being mean and unfollowed or blocked (I’m not sure which). I’m afraid to say that much about women in my particular field (Youth Ministry) but it utterly baffles me. And often makes me afraid to ask questions – but given my general nature and analytical tendencies, the church is either going to throw me fully out the window – or let me voice my opinion some day (and not block me).

  14. well, i probably block you for awesomeness, and leading young impressionable men away from recognizing the place of women in church, I mean Ruth, Debora, and Priscilla never did much… (cough… sarcasm)

  15. I’m rereading the blog saga with Verge from last year for some research I’m doing. Once again, I’m struck by your grace in asking the question with as little blame or judgment as possible. Interestingly, you are surely right about Alan. He laments this. I actually believe this conversation has led Deb Hirsch to step forward as a conference speaker and missional leader. We need more, though.

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