Event Details

Your Church is Too Safe, with Mark Buchanan

OnWord Conference with Mark BuchananPopular author and speaker Mark Buchanan is the featured speaker at the fourth annual onWORD Conference. Speaking on the theme of his most recent book, Mark will challenge us to be willing to risk more. In three main sessions over two days, he will speak about Jesus as the Holy Dangerous One. Other speakers will expand further on this theme with a series of practical, Bible-based breakout sessions.

MAIN SESSIONS, with Mark Buchanan

  • Holy: Being Like Jesus
  • Dangerous: Being Those Who Turn the World Upside Down (Acts 16:10-17:7)
  • One: Being a Church that Overcomes the World (John 17)

Saturday Breakout Sessions (attend two sessions, included in your Registration Fee)

  • Jon Bauer: The Heart of a Worshiper
    Is our worship really as it should be: the act of presenting our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God?” What does scripture say about being a worshiper, 24/7? Join Jon as he shares from his experience as a worship leader and songwriter how being a worshipper means becoming someone with a servant's heart. Jon Bauer is an an award-winning recording artist from the Edmonton area, and a Taylor alumnus (NABC).
  • Dr. Randal Rauser: What on Earth Do We Know About Heaven?
    Is our view of heaven “too safe”? A biblical understanding of eternity as the redemption of heaven and earth completely flips the idea of an 'other-worldly place' on its head. Dr. Rauser explores heaven—not as a radically discontinuous state in the future, but rather as God saving the creation he made and declared good. How can this view transform how we do church, how we evangelize, or how we care for creation? Dr. Randal Rauser teaches theology at Taylor Seminary, and a prolific writer and blogger.
  • Dr. Keir Hammer: Challenged by Parables?
    Has our reading of parables become “safe”? When you read a parable, how do you respond? Which types of characters do you like and which ones do you dislike? Do certain parables challenge your behaviour? Do they remind you of well-known truths? Do they make you angry? Do they make you smile? This session will explore a few well-known parables and challenge the common understanding of what they mean. Dr. Keir Hammer is the Director of White Cross (Canada), and a New Testament scholar.
  • Dr. Syd Page: In The Footsteps 
    Removed by 10,000 km and 2,000 years, sometimes our Bible reading can be a sanitized experience that fails to capture the drama provided by its context. Having recently returned from a visit to the Holy Land, Dr. Syd Page will combine a visual experience with the written word – a session that may forever change the way you read the scriptures. Dr. Syd Page is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Taylor Seminary.
  • Dr. David Williams: The Sermon on the Mount: Not Safe but Good
    The most common ways of interpreting the Sermon on the Mount make something 'safe' out of what is arguably Jesus' most important teaching about living faithfully to God's kingdom. Dr. Williams will challenge you to view this life-changing sermon in transforming—and practical—ways. Dr. David Williams is President of Taylor College and Seminary, and director of the Wahl Centre at Taylor.
  • Pastor Darren Platt: Doers of the Word
    If your church is 'too safe,' what can it do? James tells us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Steele Heights is one example of a church that has embraced this message and, in so doing, has extended their mission far beyond the doors of their church. In the process they have seen the health of their own church members improve as they seek to help others. Join Pastor Darren as he shares their journey and some practical ways to be 'doers of the word.’

    Darren Platt is the senior pastor at Steele Heights, and is an alumnus of Taylor Seminary.



September 27-28, 2013

Steele Heights Baptist Church
5812 149 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB 

Individual -- $49.99
Groups of 10 or more -- $44.99 per person



6:15 – Registration
7:00 - 8:30 – Main Session #1, Holy: Being Like Jesus (Mark Buchanan)


8:30 Registration
9:00 – Main Session #2, Dangerous: Being Those Who Turn the World Upside Down (Mark Buchanan)
10:30 Break
10:45 – Breakout Sessions (choose onsite, see options above)

12:00 – Lunch

1:00 – Breakout Sessions (choose onsite, see options above)
2:15 – Break 
2:30 – Main Session #3, One: Being a Church that Overcomes the World (Mark Buchanan)
3:30 - Conference End

Worship Leader - Jon Bauer


About onWORD

A "journey through scripture," onWord is intended to help participants grow in their discovery and love of scripture while becoming more familiar with the people, stories and themes it contains. Participants will often engage with scripture through a variety of experiences, including dramatic and visual arts, and music.  This is the fourth annual onWORD Conference.


About Steel Heights Baptist Church

Steele Heights Baptist Church is known for its extraordinary community outreach programs, especially with youth.  Located in North East Edmonton, Steele Heights embraces opportunities to serve a growing and diverse area of the city.  Senior Pastor Darren Platt serves as host and one of the key organizers of this year's conference, he is an alumnus of Taylor.


Living Generously

a why driven experience

October 4-5, 2013

livinggenerouslyLiving Generously is a conference for leaders and organizations, one that will equip steward leaders to live with impact. This transformative event will lay a new foundation for stewardship, one with important implications for all areas of life.

This event is ideal for leaders from churches and organizations to attend as a group, and pricing for this event, with the support of our partners, has allowed us to offer an exceptionally low registration rate -- plus, group discounts are available.

The Wahl Centre at Taylor is honored to present this important conference; we believe that this event will be deeply meaningful for every believer, every couple, every church member, every leader, every supporter of any cause.


Session #1 – The Journey

Understanding and mapping the steward’s journey is the foundation of every area of life of the Steward Leader.

Session #2 – Heart of the Sower - Faith and Impact
Our transformation from harvester to sower will have life changing implications.

Session #3 – Getting Ready
We will unpack the areas of danger we face as we choose to be faithful as Steward Leaders.

Session #4 – Grace in Action
As faithful stewards lead, they are blessed with special gifts from God, but face new temptations. Disciplines for a life of joyful obedience are shared.

Session #5 – Being and Doing - Life Plan
A Steward Leader Life Plan is offered as a tool and guide for wherever you are called.


View all the Living Generously Promo Videos

Introduction | Chain #1 | Chain #2 | Chain #3 | Chain #4 | Chain #5 | Chain #6 | The Key #7

 October 4-5, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (Friday, Oct 4)
        8:30 AM - 4:45 PM (Saturday, Oct 5)
Location: Terwillegar Community Church
          1751 Towne Centre Blvd, Edmonton, AB
Individual - $59.00
Groups (5+) - $49.00 per person

NOTE: Online registration for this event is now closed, but we will be pleased to register you at the door when you arrive.


Scott Rodin has been serving not-for-profits organizations for the past twenty-eight years. He is a partner and head of Strategic Alliances with Artios Partners, a training and resourcing organization equipping steward leaders for excellence in leadership.

Dr. Rodin is past president of the Christian Stewardship Association and was formerly the president of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He serves on the Boards of ChinaSource and the Evangelical Environmental Network.





Presented by the Wahl Centre at Taylor, in partnership with Terwillegar Community Church, the North American Baptist Foundation, the Alberta Baptist Association (ABA) and TPB Strategic Counsel.

Terwillegar Comm ChurchNAB FoundationAlberta Baptist Association TPB Strategic Counsel

The 2014 E.P. Wahl Lectures -- Friday March 14, 2014

“Imagining the Kingdom”

Jaime Smith  - Wahl Lectures 2014 SpeakerIn this day-long lectureship, Dr. James K.A. Smith (pictured right) of Calvin College will discuss his recent research and the subject of his newest book, Imagining the Kingdom, exploring how our forms of worship and liturgy shape us in our journey with Christ

Taylor is pleased to welcome Dr. Smith as our featured presenter for the E.P. Wahl Lectures. Born and raised in Ontario, he is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, the Institute of Christian Studies and Villanova University. He held a faculty position at Loyola Marymount University and is now Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, holding the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. Smith occasionally teaches in the PhD program at Calvin Theological Seminary and has been a visiting professor at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and Regent College in Vancouver, BC. He also serves as editor of Comment magazine and a Senior Fellow for The Colossian Forum.

Smith is the author or editor of many books, including the Christianity Today Book Award winners Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, and his newest Imagining the Kingdom (2013, Baker Academic).

This is an opportunity to gain fresh insights and perspectives on understanding and appreciating the bodily basis of habit formation and how liturgical formation--both "secular" and Christian--affect one's fundamental orientation to the world. Worship "works" by leveraging one's body to transform his or her imagination, and it does this through stories understood on a register that is closer to body than mind. This has critical implications for thinking about the nature of Christian formation and the role of the arts in Christian mission.

Registration is Now Open!

SCHEDULE (more details on these topics available soon) 
2014 E.P. Wahl Lectures | Friday, March 14, 2014, at Taylor Seminary

8:30 AM  Registration and Coffee
9:00 AM  Lecture #1: We Are What We Love: Discipling Desire
10:15 AM  Refreshments
10:30 AM  Lecture #2:  Lovers in a Dangerous Time: On “Secular” Liturgies
12:00 PM  Lunch – included with your paid registration
1:00 PM  Lecture #3: Restor(y)ing the Imagination: Christian Worship as Re-narration
2:30 PM  Refreshments
2:45 PM  Lecture #4: The Secular is Haunted: Christian Proclamation as Postmodern Invitation
4:30 PM  2014 E.P. Wahl Lectures Conclude


"Imagining the Kingdom is a fit successor to Jamie Smith's remarkable Desiring the Kingdom. The new book is, like its predecessor, learned but lively, provocative but warmhearted, a manifesto and a guide. Smith takes Christians deeper into the artistic, imaginative, and practical resources on which we must draw if we wish to renew not only our minds but also our whole beings in Christ."
--Alan Jacobs,
Honors College of Baylor University

In this wonderfully rich and engagingly readable book of 'liturgical anthropology,' Smith makes a persuasive case for the thesis that human beings are best understood as worshiping animals. It has important implications at once for practical theology's reflection on religious formation, liturgy, and pedagogy and for philosophical theorizing about just what religion is. And it develops as an engaging and lively conversation among an astonishing mix of people: imagine Calvin, Proust, Merleau-Ponty, Augustine, Wendell Berry, Bourdieu, and David Foster Wallace all in the same room really talking to each other about being human and how to think about it!"
--David Kelsey, Yale Divinity School

Jamie Smith shows us that the gospel does not primarily happen between our ears but in all the movements of the body by which we are formed and in turn form the world. I know of no more thorough and sophisticated account of how secular liturgies form and deform us and how Christian liturgies can help. Though sophisticated, Smith's book is also a delight. Its pages are filled with great poetry and insights from films, novels, and everyday life."
--William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University

A thought-provoking, generative reflection on the imagination-shaping power of Christian worship practices. What an ideal book for crossing boundaries among academic disciplines and between the academy and the church."
--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College, and Calvin Theological Seminary

It is heartening to set one's eyes on Jamie Smith's bold and creative endeavor to awaken Christians, Protestants in particular, to the centrality of worship in even, nay especially, our moral lives. This thoughtful book is rightly concerned with a restoration of the Christian imagination rooted in habits of virtue."
--Vigen Guroian, University of Virginia


"James Smith shows in clear, simple, and passionate prose what worship has to do with formation and what both have to do with education. He argues that the God-directed, embodied love that worship gives us is central to all three areas and that those concerned as Christians with teaching and learning need to pay attention, first and last, to the ordering of love. This is an important book and one whose audience should be much broader than the merely scholarly."
--Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School

In lucid and lively prose, Jamie Smith reaches back past Calvin to Augustine, crafting a new and insightful Reformed vision for higher education that focuses on the fundamental desires of the human heart rather than on worldviews. Smith deftly describes the 'liturgies' of contemporary life that are played out in churches--but also in shopping malls, sports arenas, and the ad industry--and then re-imagines the Christian university as a place where students learn to properly love the world and not just think about it."
--Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, Messiah College; authors of Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation

This is a wise, provocative, and inspiring book. It prophetically blurs the boundaries between theory and practice, between theology and other disciplines, between descriptive analysis and constructive imagination. Anyone involved in Christian education should read this book to glimpse a holistic vision of learning and formation. Anyone involved in the worship life of Christian communities should read this book to discover again all that is at stake in the choices we make about our practices."
--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary


ImaginingTheKingdomInterested in Reading Dr. Smith's book? Check it out here:

035784: Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works, Cultural Liturgies Volume 2 Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works, Cultural Liturgies Volume 2
By James K.A. Smith / Baker Academic

How does worship work? How exactly does liturgical formation shape us? What are the dynamics of such transformation? In the second of James K. A. Smith's three-volume theology of culture, the author expands and deepens the analysis of cultural liturgies and Christian worship he developed in his well-received Desiring the Kingdom. He helps us understand and appreciate the bodily basis of habit formation and how liturgical formation--both "secular" and Christian--affects our fundamental orientation to the world. Worship "works" by leveraging our bodies to transform our imagination, and it does this through stories we understand on a register that is closer to body than mind. This has critical implications for how we think about Christian formation.

Professors and students will welcome this work as will pastors, worship leaders, and Christian educators. The book includes analyses of popular films, novels, and other cultural phenomena, such as The King's Speech, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, and Facebook.