several months ago, i had the idea to let people hear the voices of various people in our ever-blossoming faith community. that idea became a tangible reality just over a month ago with the introduction of the series altView. personally, it’s been a great chance to further hear the stories of faith (and sometimes, non-faith) from the people i’ve come to know over the last several months. for others, as feedback in both conversation and comments, it’s been a time to see the breadth of points-of-view from a all kinds of people in all kinds of life situations.
in my intro to the series, i wrote the following,
there will be no filters and no agendas. these aren’t sales pitches for eikon. they aren’t a bunch of “come to jesus” posts, attempting to convert the masses. i’ve simply invited a cross section of our community—representing various points-of-view and levels of faith commitments—to share what’s significant to them. maybe it’s an issue or cause about which they’re passionate. maybe it’s a significant place in their life where faith came to the forefront. maybe it’s the point they decided, “i’m through with church.” maybe it’s the point they decided, “i need the church.” it’s really wide open.
i hope that’s what has transpired. i think it is. unfiltered. without agenda. and beautiful. and sometimes ugly. and sometimes scary. and sometimes doubtful.
before beginning the series, a pastor friend warned that doing this could lead to people “speaking on behalf” of our church. he warned that people—if unfiltered—could say things that could turn other people off and give the wrong impression if it didn’t represent “orthodox theology.” their point-of-view might contradict my point-of-view as the leader and visionary for the church.
my pastor friend was exactly right.
and that’s why i chose to do it.
one of the values of both altView and eikon in general, is that people are the church. not one man. not one pastor. not just the pastors and leaders. it’s people. it’s the collective conversation of a community of people who bring to the table their experiences and their hopes and their sensibilities and their deepest doubts and their most hidden insecurities and their most valued thoughts about god and the world.
eikon church isn’t ryan byrd. it’s a community of views. of alternative views that describe god and the world around us. sometimes they look like what you’ve heard your whole life. and sometimes they look like the buddhist philosophy of loving-kindness. and sometimes they look like a nebulizer. but they’re always representative of the collective conversation of people engaged in a community that is about pursuing the way of a man named jesus.
i hope you’ve enjoyed this series. this isn’t the last time you’ve heard from some or all of these people and some people you haven’t heard yet.
we will continue to grow with a myriad of altViews. some you will agree with. some you will not. some you will be deeply touched by. and some you will find dissonant from your experience. some will resonate so powerfully within you that you will be moved to action. and some will make you question yourself so intensely that you will be frozen for a moment until you sort out your feelings.
so, as we prepare to enter a new year that is sure to be a huge year for our community, we invite you to share your altView. it may not be here on a blog or written down somewhere, but we certainly invite you to the reality of our ongoing conversation in this thing called eikon.