Project Explores Ways to Engage Culture with Gospel

CHICAGO, IL (July 7, 2010) – David Gibbons, pastor of Newsong Covenant Church in Irvine, California, hopes the fledgling Origins Project he is helping guide will lead to innovative ways of communicating the gospel by drawing on the experience and insight of a growing community of pastors and laity.

Origins will host its first major gathering July 23-24 at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. Organizers say that even the meeting site they have chosen for the gathering is representative of Origins’ commitment to engaging culture.

The first day will be a day of service and activism. The second day will involve a host of speakers and opportunities to dialogue. “We don’t want to put on just another conference,” says Gibbons, author of The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church.

The event is for people interested in being a part of further framing the vision of Origins and discussing how creativity, equipping, and activism can be combined to further the gospel.

Other initiators of the project include friends of Gibbons whose influence already is being felt among Evangelicals. They include Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, and Bryan Loritts.  Newsong Futurist Pastor April Diaz and Newsong LA Pastor Adam Edgerly also are helping guide the group.

Although many of Origins’ initial leadership are pastors, Gibbons emphasizes that laity are critical to the success of Origins. “We want the lay people to really shine.”

The breadth of experience on the leadership team exemplifies that desire as well as Origins’ commitment to engaging culture through the arts and technology. He notes that Margaret Feinberg is an author and John Park is a technologist with Google.

The Origins website describes the project as a network of “friends, pioneers, social entrepreneurs, misfits, leaders, business people, artists and innovators who want to dream and work together rather than alone in participating in God’s mission in this world.”

Gibbons says, “We want to provide resources for the next generation.”

Theologically, Gibbons says, Origins is rooted in scripture and the historic Christian faith, which includes the Nicene Creed, Apostle’s Creed, and the missional vision of the Lausanne Covenant.

The project is distinctive in three ways, Gibbons says:

  • Origins is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse networks of Christ, and it also is led by both men and women.
  • It has a strong focus on activism rooted in the loving message of Christ.
  • Professionals from a broad spectrum of fields will participate in and help lead gatherings.

Gibbons says it is important for Christians to learn from differing vantage points. “There is no way one church or one denomination can give people all the gifts they need,” he explains. “Gifts are given to churches to share with others.”

The website provides multiple ways through which people can connect and share ideas, including forums and personal sites that each participant can develop.

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