Ok...here it is. The big announcement.
I have started a new business (a non-profit) with my friend and future housemate Kenny Parker called Saga Storytellers Association. It exists to preserve and advance the art of storytelling. This idea was conceived during my December sabbath as a way to publically (and someday professionally) use the gifts and abilities that God has given me (and my friends). Many of my gifts lie in the areas of creative writing, storytelling, performing and producing events. I also seem to have at least a capable business mind. That is a great, nearly perfect gift mix if you want to start the next Willow Creek! The problem is that God has obviously called me away from doing church with a perfomance/business model...I think that I honestly thought that He would therefore somehow change me...by changing what I was good at or what I like to do. He didn't. This was a deep inner frustration for me leading into my recent time away.
The very simple, yet very new, understanding that emerged was that I can still be a performer and a businessman as well as a simple church planter and leader within Apex. In essense, God showed me that I could do the things that I used to do in "church" outside of "church". The proverbial icing on the cake was the realization that these things can also in a subtle and mysterious way advance the Kingdom. This idea has freed my mind to see that I can or cannot be paid by Apex and still be true to my simple church calling.
Saga is NOT a religious thing. It is a non-profit organization that will influence Noth American culture to develop a lust for storytelling and narrative truth. (I will blog soon about why we as Christians want the culture to make this shift.) The gospel will simply be told along side other stories. Those of us who follow Jesus know that his story has a way of elevating itself above other stories...but that will need to happen as Jesus' story is simply told and left standing.
Our plans for the next 18 months are aggressive and incredibly exciting. Please pray for this business as we trust that God will bless it if it honors him. We see four major areas to develop in Saga over the first few years: 1. Simple Storytelling Events 2. A Theater Company 3. A Film Studio 4. Education about Story and Storytelling
Saga will launch in early April as I present "The Story of Jesus", a 90 minute monologue based on the book of John. Mark your calenders if you care:
April 7, 9, and 11 at the Clark County Theater in Las Vegas
We hope to sell 1,200 tickets for these events to launch this new vision into a reality. We are asking our local church friends (Canyon Ridge, Central, The Crossing and Apex) to help us promote this first event by seeing it at as a good opportunity for their members to invite a seeking friend to an event that is in no way a church service.
We are also planning on filming a few short films this year and preparing for a full-scale original musical in 2004.
So there it is...the whole thing. I am so excited about the new possibilites and a little frightened by it all. I'll need to learn so much about so many things...I would love the comments and advice of my friends...feel free to be a consultant via e-mail if you want. Also, if you have a rich uncle who won't give a dime to a church but would support the arts let me know.