Q day 1 afternoon session

April 25, 2007

Donald Miller | how narrative shapes culture @ 2:05pm

the making of a story.. there has to be an antagonist, a challenge.. I realized that I’ve been living in a story.. and soon as I got to my goal, the story ended.. the elements that clarify and make a story better is something you can use in your life..

story is in decline.. stories are not as good as they used to be.. I walk out of 30% to 40% of movies today, because I’m bored.. went to a seminar with Robert McKee, who does 3 days of 12 hour seminars, the guru of story..

Robert McKee: “The final cause of the decline of story runs very deep, values, the positive/ negative charges of life, are at the soul of our art. …. This erosion of values has brought with it a corresponding erosion of story.”

to have a good story.. you have to have some sort of ethics, or holistic morality.. having good and evil… that helps to make sense of life..

we tend to identify with certain kind of story — 1 person doing a simple task in 3 acts.. that single protagonist has to have a dream or vision.. if s/he doesn’t want something, the story doesn’t make sense.. we’re concerned about selfish ambition and wanting things, but that’s only an issue if it’s wanting bad things.. wanting good things is great.. how to know if it’s a good dream: if the protagonist dies, and the dream with him/her, what happens to the world..

story is the most powerful way to teach, to educate, to fill in someone’s worldview.. the Bible is full of narratives, and stories..

McKee: “The storyteller’s selection and arrangement of events is his master metaphor for the interconnectedness of all the levels of reality… his map of life’s hidden order.”

that’s why God tells stories.. as if we’re standing on a giant map..

there has to be conflict.. learn to love it.. without conflict, there’s no story.. e.g. I walked up and down the stairs twice, vs. I climbed Mount Everest twice last year.. the only difference in those 2 stories is conflict.. conflict makes your story..

our job is to tell a better story.. when we reach a resolution, you don’t have to win, you just have to try.. everyone tells a story..


Jeff Johnson (BET producer) | hip-hop culture @ 2:27pm

tired of talking about Imus? Imus wasn’t really the issue.. small piece of the issue of race.. in America, people are racist.. we speak of multicultural churches, because we just love Jesus.. [as if] Jesus wouldn’t see our color, our ethnicity..

we become like those people who excuse race and ethnicity.. they’re racist but they love Michael Jordan.. b/c he’s just a great basketball player.. they’re racist, but they love Condi Rice..

desensitized to racist messages, whether they’re really racist or not.. Russell [Simmons] doesn’t care about the language being used, he cares about being paid.. there are those in this room that know absolutely nothing about hip-hop..

“G-unit” scrawled on a wall in Liberia(?).. people know this around the world even in places that don’t have BET or MTV.. in China, I’ve seen B-boys and B-girls (that is, breakdancers) better than those in New York.. hip hop has infiltrated cultures that have had nothing to do with the forming of the art form..

hooking up 2 turntables.. was the beginning of hip hop.. change the feel and atmosphere in a room.. those who were disenfranchised.. thus, they had no voice.. hip hop became that voice.. the voice of music..

instead of fighting with chains.. battle thru breakdancing.. slow evolution of this culture…

worst thing that happened to hip hop is someone figured out that they could make money with this.. people would buy it.. this destroyed hip hop.. no longer is it a voice of the disenfranchised.. now it is about selling urban American imagery to the rest of the world..

juxtapose this with the first post-soul generation.. no one went to church.. 40 yr grandmothers go kickin’ it with granddaughter to the club.. complete disconnected from church, but connected to the club… the church should be on the front of dealing with racism, and punks out.. we need to speak prophetically.. when does that conversation take place?

hip hop is relevant to this discussion for 1 reason.. because it has been able to transcent ethnic and cultural communities.. in a way that Black, Latino, and Asians can come together, without shedding our culture… what brings up together is b/c we love Jay-Z..

so many times I’ve seen urban ministry is just suburban ministry with black face..

“I am us.” that’s what hip hop does..


Chris Seay | consumerism @ 2:47pm

culture is telling us this counterfeit story that we have to buy into….. in the midst of a difficult situation of an airplane.. then I get this irresistible urge to buy something.. I browse the Skymall catalog.. selling stuff nobody needs but marked up 400% because you’re stuck in an airplane..

the reality in this culture.. God creates us for perfection.. in Genesis, they had everything we really want.. but then, they want more.. with the Israelites, they’re getting food from the sky, and we want more..

in America, we’re the riches people in the history of the world, and we want more.. it’s empty and it’s meaningless.. this is the counterfeit story that we’ve been sold.. buy something and we’ll feel better.. we crash from these consumer binges..

we’re created and called to be co-creators, collaborators.. what about this question: could we have too much?

around Christmas time in America.. when we celebrate the birth of Christ, and we buy xbox’es [and so much stuff].. “This year, Christmas will fork over $795.86 each, up 5% from last year, according to BIGresearch… Q attendees spent an estimated $344,000 on Christmas Gifts this year.. that’s an average of $625 per person.. in the communities we represent here, we spend maybe $344 million… $18 billion on makeup..

Q attendees spent an estimated $344,000 on Christmas Gifts this year.. that’s an average of $625 per person.. in the communities we represent here, we spend maybe $344 million… $18 billion on makeup..

cf. I have 4 kids.. if one was thirsty, and the other sibling had water and didn’t provide it, I’d be very upset.. it’s within reach for us to provide water, so people don’t die from the lack of clean water..

we’re called to participate in God’s redemption in the world..

Q: How can you personally consume less or consume smarter?


Blake Mycoskie (Founder of Toms Shoes) @ 3:15pm

interview with Gabe Lyons about his shoe company, every time they sell a pair of shoes, and they’ll give one away.. after some time, we were able to put Argentina kids into 10,000 pairs of shoes..

shoes that have a message, simple message: you buy a pair, we give a pair.. that story is about service, about giving back.. people buy these shoes and love to tell the story.. lesson learned: you’re never too young or too old to do something, to serve..

re: idea of consciously consuming.. everything we wear, everything we do, everywhere we go, says something about us.. conscious consumption is realizing the power you have when you buy, everyday..

Gabe: he sought to serve, and God has brought to him influence.. into the culture..


@ 4:00pm – we had 4 Talkback breakout sessions, I went to hear Jeff Johnson who handled Q&A from an overpacked SRO (standing-room-only) room. As a resource, he mentioned “Truth Is Power”, which specializes in leadership and curriculum development, media strategy and social branding. [need to find his website]


Mark Rodgers | political engagement @ 4:30pm

formed a group that brought believers up on the Hill.. and how the Gospel is relevant to the issues we’re working on.. there are so many foundational issues.. what does it mean to be human.. justice.. sexuality.. finding ways to have gentle outreach to explore how culture creators can shape the culture..

when the church looks at cultural engagement, it doesn’t look at it as a means to bring peace.. but more like propaganda, to have outcome.. rather than be salt & light.. William Wilberforce exemplifies the right cultural engagement.. realized society as a whole had to be reformed.. more human, everyone had dignity..

in our context, the church needs to realize the synergy.. politics alone will not shape things.. work for the common good, for the peace of the city.. in postmodernity, where truth is relativized, we have to look at narrative to find a way.. the cultural creatives will communicate truth..

in conversation with Bono, wrestled with how Christians are to create cultural artifacts for the whole [society].. [church] is the carrier of truth, but it won’t let the artists ring truth.. so artificial on its constraints on artists..

(3 suggestions for the) church — encourage our young artists to live that out vocationally.. educate and equip the artists who are pursuing this call.. and not outed to be something they’re not called to be.. engage with those artists in the crafts they’re trying to create.. investing in them, we live in a commercial context, so we have to invest in them.. to have the capital to create the products.. to reflect the true and beautiful..

living example – reads the FourBoys Films mission statement:

FourBoys Films seeks to provoke and entertain audiences with stories that illuminate the human condition in all its terrifying glory. …


Josh Jackson (editor of PASTE magazine) | celebrating the good

starts with John 17:15.. we tend to insulate ourselves from anything that might corrupt us.. we cease to be in it at all.. we have abandoned our role in shaping culture.. movies are probably the most powerful forms of media.. we’ve done that with journalism [too].. they’re not dealing with Christians in the news room.. this stems from bad theology..

2 errors [with how church has related to culture]: the conservative error, the idea that all humanity is fallen.. so all culture is corrupt.. so we reject culture; the liberal error is that culture is all good and pure.. but that leads to lack of discernment… the balance of these two is assimilation nor rejection..

instead, [celebrate culture] wherever you see beauty and truth.. [recognize] it stems from the Creator!


David Batstone (Founding Editor of Business 2.0) | human trafficking @ 5:21pm

speaks passionately of the Not For Sale Campaign.. to fight for justice and freedom for today’s modern day slaves.. an abolitionist movement.. open source activism.. On May 20th, an international fellowship of Abolitionist Churches will worship with one voice to declare the end of slavery in our lifetime!



Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) | good music @ 7:54pm

[for the evening session, Jon plays an acoustic set] … “art in many ways defines the vehicle we travel into the future with…”

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L T
April 25th, 2007

THANK YOU DJ. I’m so kicking myself in the *** for missing out at this event. It is afterall my wedding anniversary. I really appreciate your diligence in these notes. I feel as if I was there. I definitely appreciate the hip hop segment and how Jeff points out the reality of hip hop being an authentic voice and a vital creative force.

Jeff
April 27th, 2007

LT Good call on the anniversary priority… there will always be another conference… often saying the same stuff… perhaps better perhaps not… but saying it… the challenge is alway the implementation not the exposure.

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