Darrow Miller recently gathered with 19 students and young professionals in Argentina to wrestle with biblical truths. worldview, and culture. These “Gatherings” are a response to the biblical call to create spaces where ideas can be shared and discussed. They are comprised of young adults who have realized the importance of worldview in their lives and culture and want to go deeper in these ideas.
In his blog post, Intellectual Hospitality: Growth Spaces Instead Of Safe Spaces, Darrow spelled out the rationale for these Gatherings:
Hospitality is a critical virtue of the Christian faith. But hospitality is not simply the more modern concept of “entertaining” friends. Rather it is the art of befriending strangers. … The Bible calls us to create spaces for hospitality, including intellectual hospitality, where others’ lives can be enriched and challenged by people and ideas that are different.
“Each group has its own personality – that’s the wonderful part of it,” says Darrow. His face lights up as he reflects on his time in Argentina.
The group was hosted by Marcelo Robles and Daniela Ortiz of RUE, or Red Universitaria Evangélica, which helps students integrate a biblical worldview into their profession. The mission of RUE is to train a new generation of Latin American professionals and leaders with Christian values. DNA ideas and materials have been incorporated throughout the curriculum, including the Kingdom Lifestyle Series, which was translated into Spanish and published in spiral bound books.
Of the 19 students and young professionals who convened for this Gathering, most of them were directly or indirectly connected with RUE. Yet, very few of them knew one another at the beginning of their time together. They came from various backgrounds and trades: art, acting, food engineering, IT, social work, ethnomusicology, teaching, counseling, psychology – to name a few. In spite of their differences, the dynamic group connected with one another quickly. “I was amazed at the spirit of God’s presence,” Darrow says. “I think everyone was.”
During their week together, Darrow taught on the maternal heart of God. Many of the young men and women were hearing truths they had never heard before. These principles opened their eyes, lifted their burdens, and changed their lives.
Daniela Ortiz shared the feedback she received from the attendees:
This time was a divine provision in every way … it was like oxygen to our minds.
Thank you! This will transcend and touch the lives of more people.
I hope this can be continued and generate agents of change in society, both inside the church as outside the church!
It was a time to take away many doubts, to meet people who are also widely questioned, knowing that God is preparing his church. By grace, we uncovered something new, and so we will share it with love to generate a social transformation that remains!
As Darrow writes, “Nobody grows by huddling in ‘safe spaces’ free of conflicting ideas. Here, people are all the same, people we are comfortable with, people who are ‘like us.’ Instead, let’s create ‘growth spaces’ where we can experience the ancient and profound practice of intellectual hospitality.”
The hope for these Gatherings is that students and young professionals will internalize the biblical truths they hear and move them into their own cities and spheres of influence.
“It’s a beginning for them,” says Darrow. “They have a lot of processing to do.” The transformation of communities and nations begins here, in the minds and hearts of individuals.
To learn more about Gatherings and how to host one, click here.