The Nines Conference 2014

The Nines Conference 2014

November 4, 2014 by

The Nines is a free online church conference presented by the Leadership Network. The conference will air from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 4-5.

Those interested can register online, pay a little extra for conference notes and extended video access and even host a viewing party at their church. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #nines2014.

Last Year’s Controversy

Last year’s conference met with some controversy Rachel Held Evans pointed out that of the 110 speakers, only four were women, or 3.6% of the total. This year, those numbers grew to include 19 female speakers out of a total of 144, a representation of 13.2%.

The controversy garnered a great deal of attention and opened several impassioned conversations. It begged the question: are these numbers a true reflection of female representation within church leadership? Or are women simply hesitant to participate in a discussion that they view as skewed and misrepresentative?

Perhaps in response to the backlash, this year’s Nines invited anyone to submit a video for consideration in the conference. That certainly does show an effort to present a wider diversity of voices. But will it be enough to move on from the criticism?

When the Church and Culture Collide

The most important thing churches can do is remain united. We should embrace diversity and use it to reach the world.

If gender equality isn’t controversial enough for you, the overall theme of the 2014 conference is ‘Culture Crash: When the Church and Culture Collide.

The six topics addressed by the speakers will include same-sex marriage, inclusive culture within the church, changing sexual norms, Christian civility, social justice and immigration.

Here’s just one example of the potential controversy this year’s event explores: Nadia Bolz-Weber cedes her time to gay Christians sharing their stories…

These are all culturally relevant issues that churches everywhere must deal with. The Nines conference provides the opportunity to face them head on and together. Hopefully, this forum leads to open and honest discussions about these subjects of tension.

Controversies aside, the most important thing churches can do is remain united. Rather than dividing because of different opinions, we should embrace diversity and use it to reach the world.

Post By:

Robert Carnes

Robert Carnes is the managing editor at the Orange Group and also serves as an assistant editor here at Church Marketing Sucks. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. Previously, he worked in communications at two United Methodist churches in Metro Atlanta.
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