Posting an "insider's view" of the Origins Project on his website, pastor and author Dan Kimball from Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, describes a series of new initiatives coming out of a meeting at Eriwn McManus's house with David Gibbons, April Diaz, Margaret Feinberg, Josh Fox, Amena Brown, Eric Bryant, Marc McCartney, and other staff members from NewSong Irvine and Mosiac Los Angeles. (Others like Scot McKnight and Mark Batterson were unable to join.)
If you don't know these names, together they constitute a dynamic collection of evangelicals who write, speak, and perform across the world on matters of mission, relevance, innovation, and church leadership. Dan expresses in his own words the core of this Origins group:
Origins is a network/community being birthed for those who are passionate about Jesus, Humanity and Innovation. So this means it is for anyone who desires to join in on the hopeful mission of people experiencing and knowing the love, and saving grace of Jesus. And using our God-given creativity and innovative thinking in this mission.There's a lot happening with this very passionate, highly mobilized, and well-networked group. We're getting in on the ground floor through this post. Some highlights include:
Origins festival-event - July 2010: We will be doing an event next summer (most likely in July). It will have a festival-like feel to it with lots of break out groups for connecting, music, art creating, poetry and spoken word creating and inspiration of stories and various sized meetings. Part of the event will be actual serving the community - so it will be about the gospel of Jesus being both proclamation and in deeds.One thing that stands out here is how religious innovation involves a communal network of zealous participants. It is a social movements model invoked by this group that is discontent with staid, "churchy" ways of doing ministry and instead stretching to reframe Christian discipleship as a dynamic, vision-driven, world-involved, and relationally-saturated way of life.
"Listening" tour - Fall and Spring 2009-2010: We are taking the development of this seriously as we want to be listening to people who have ideas and how they envision Origins to be. It is already happening in the "community" section of the website. But this Fall we will have meetings all across the country where we will be asking questions and listening. Questions like "What would you envision this network to be like?
Regional Groups: part of this will be forming regional groups around the country who can connect for inspiration, discussion and encouragement and learning from one another.
A kick-off book: We discussed some really great ideas for a kick-off book which will hopefully be an inspiring one and a different approach to what a book like this normally would be.
And while the words and actions of this group are involved in a problematic critique with mainstream Christianity, they are spending less time speaking about the enemy of dead religion (as they see it) and more about coordinating their efforts to foster new congregational forms.