Thursday, July 31

Erwin McManus: Cultural Architect, Futurist, and More!

I get Erwin McManus. I do.

Our church, Mosaic DC, joined the Mosaic Alliance last year, and - for me as a senior leader - it has been a tremendous blessing to get to see him and his ministry up close.

Admittedly, I didn't always get him... at least, not fully. Well, I don't fully get him even now, but that's probably because he's about as close to a genius as I've ever met. He takes alot of flak, because his approach to ministry is so unlike any other... his thinking (and, therefore, speaking) is so very non-linear... and he embraces the arts big-time.

He was recently interviewed in the July/August issue of Collide Magazine... and, I swear (am I supposed to do that?), I could really resonate with that article! The caption under the article title (which is called The Futurist) says that he "doesn't simply preach and write; he awakens, creates, engages, envisions, and unleashes" (emphasis mine). I had the opportunity to meet Erwin in person and be with him both this past January and April... and that statement is most definitely him: he did all of the above to my imagination and thinking about ministry... and not, of course, just mine; but all of the other leaders that were together.

In the article, Erwin says, "Communication to me isn't simply speaking. Somehow Christianity has made communication a monologue. If you are committed to communicating, then you ask what medium helps people get what they need to get." In other words... to some, they really "get it" from someone talking to them. For others, that medium by itself just won't do. They need more... they need to be communicated to in a way that engages them where they are and how they are wired. Erwin goes on to say, "I think the American church is really more of a reflection of the Enlightenment and an enemy of the Renaissance. So then 'I think, therefore I am' really becomes the Christian credo. In some sense Christianity in America thinks that only the left brain didn't get tainted by the Fall."

See... I resonate with this. As much as I love to speak, and listen to great communicators, I know that the times, "they are a-changing." The world we live in has simply gone beyond the mode of communication only as "spoken word." And If the church doesn't learn to embrace other forms of communication as valid, we risk becoming more and more irrelevant to a world who's already dubbed us as such.

So, I get it, Erwin... I do. Thank you for being a trailblazer for those of us who have wallowed for way too long in mediocre and mundane communication... thank you for lighting a path of unapologetic and intentional creativity and freedom in ministry.

Some of us get it!

For more info on Erwin's latest book, Wide Awake, click HERE.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

...been listening to a lot of Erwin lately, and I'm impressed - big time. Just catching up really.

Hope you are well, bud.