California, Creativity, and Conviction. . . .

My little trip to Orange County has been nothing short of awesome. I’m out here to touch base with a couple of my youth ministry friends and heroes, Doug Fields and Jim Burns. Last night I had a front-row seat at the Fields’ house as I watched Doug and Cathy (and Jamie!) interact with their combined freshman small groups. What a hoot! Great kids. Great leaders. What was especially fun was realizing that none of these kids has a clue that Doug has a life beyond their little small group. He’s just Doug, the small group leader. I was there as Walt, the friend of Doug and Cathy the small group leaders. Doug put his kids in my hands (Doug, are you sure you want to do this???) and I bantered back and forth with the students about integrating their faith into all of life, particularly in the area of their media choices. We talked about asking good questions of advertising, and about taking those 3-D steps with all of their media. . . you know. . . Discover, Discern, Decide. For me, it was engaging and fun.

This morning I met up with Doug and Jim in a little office that was bursting at the seams with creative energy. I met fellow-baseball fan Doug Martinez, who’s also the creative force behind crosssection. Check it out. Also in that little room was Jason Pearson, a soft-spoken guy who I very quickly realized might be one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. You can check out Jason’s work – a little bit of it anyway – at

After our introductions, we got to talking about the great time we had had with Doug and Cathy’s freshmen last night, especially the conversation about marketing and thinking Christianly and critically about everything we see. That was Jason’s cue to humbly unleash the amazing video I’ve embedded below. The video was Jason’s contribution to last year’s 8th Letter Conference in Toronto. Like the other creative folks who attended, Jason used his talents to write an 8th letter (remember the first 7 letters to the churches in Revelation?) to today’s church. In light of what we talked about last night – and in light of who we are as the church in North America – this is worth watching and pondering. It’s powerful. It’s quite convicting. Enough said.

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