so, maybe you’ve been following along on here for the last week or two reading about this thing called eikon church and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘self, who is this guy ryan and why is he starting a church??’
let’s start with the basics: i’m 28 years old and have been married for about 5 1/2 years to my incredible wife christen. we have two beautiful daughters, lucy (19 months) and olive (2 months) and hope to keep the baby train rolling… (we love and welcome chaos…). :) we live in midtown little rock (capitol view) and love being in the city and the lifestyle that goes with it (we’re not really ‘burbs kind of people…). (apparently i also love using parenthetical statements…) (and ellipses…)
(here’s my “i’m-gonna-try-to-be-cool-and-stand-against-this-graffiti-wall-but-really-just-look-like-a-dork-in-the-end” picture…)
i’m a product of arkansas, spending most of my childhood and beyond in conway. i’m the middle son (yeah…middle child…) of a pastor (yeah…pastor’s kid…), so i grew up seeing the good and bad of pastoring and the church (more on that some other time, i’m sure). as all good little conway boys do, i attended the university of central arkansas, where i met my wife and, as a bonus, actually managed to receive my degree in fine arts, emphasizing in graphic design. my wife and i are both graphic designers, whereas i currently work as an advertising art director at a great little rock-based publishing company and my wife does freelance graphic design and photography
(which is her primary gig).
a couple years after college, we decided to ship off to lexington, kentucky to work on my master’s degree at asbury seminary
. the three and a half years spent at asbury (completing my 2-year degree…), as cliché as it might sound, were incredible and life-changing years. during that time, i was able to really analyze a lot of the things i believed and re-evaluate a lot of the “status quo” feelings i had about the church and how to “do” church. during that process of reshaping and rethinking my guiding theologies, god began leading me somewhere that i absolutely knew i would never go: home.
so, back we came to little rock to start a church. thus, the birth of the dream of this thing called eikon.
so why are you starting a church? doesn’t little rock have too many churches already? can’t you just go be a pastor at an established church? is it just because you want to be in control and do it your way? isn’t this really a cover-up for a plot for world domination in which you’re going to gather people in some kind of jesus jungle colony where you all wear matching jumpsuits & nikes and eventually drink some tainted grape juice or something?
again, all fair questions.
there’s a couple primary reasons we’re starting a church:
1. we think the quantity of churches in an area isn’t necessarily indicative of the diversity inherent in those churches. don’t get me wrong, we think there are some great churches that are reaching a lot of people in a lot of different ways here in little rock. in fact, we hope to incorporate bits and pieces of several churches into what we do at eikon. we think it’s time for an alternative in little rock. simply put, generally speaking, we think a lot of the existing churches target and reach a large, but somewhat specific segment of little rock. the point is that while there are a lot of churches in little rock reaching a lot of people, we feel like there’s a piece missing in terms of the people being reached. we think that piece is eikon.
by and large, we believe there’s a young, creative, emerging community of people in little rock that don’t really fit in in little rock churches. no doubt, there’s a few churches that are reaching out to this group, but we don’t see a place that is culturally and socially and theologically specific to that group. we’re starting eikon church because we think little rock needs a church that reaches, specifically, this group.
2. we love little rock. and because we love little rock, we want more people to be engaged in a process of learning about and becoming more like christ. in order to do that, specifically, we think the aforementioned group of unreached people need something that looks like them, talks like them, engages culture like them and is for them.
we want eikon to be a community of faith that does church in a way that is specific to the rhythms of the city of little rock. we don’t want to be a church from the ‘burbs that plops down in the middle of the city and tries to be the church from the ‘burbs. we want to engage the culture of the city of little rock with christ in way that leads people into community and relationship with each other and christ. because we love little rock, we want to create a community that honors christ in the rhythm and sensibilities of the city.
so, there ya go. maybe you’ve found out way more than you ever wanted to know about this goofy guy ryan or why he’s starting some goofy thing called eikon. but, i hope this gives you a little more of a personal glimpse into what’s going on with eikon and the heart of the guy who’s getting the ball rolling.
one of the values at eikon is that ryan, as the pastor, isn’t more valued than anyone else, but we thought it would be helpful to get an idea of who’s primarily behind this whole church thing and where he’s coming from.
so, check back soon and often for more updates from the happenings at eikon.