Tech Report from Jubilee: Sometimes Culture Making Doesn’t Make Millions

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Default image
endofthetunnel Marcus here. I spent yesterday with L. L. Barkat of Seedlings in Stone and Sam Van Eman of New Breed of Advertisers at the opening of Jubilee in Pittsburgh. This thing is like nothing I've ever seen. I'm not sure it fits under social media tips exactly, but I wanted it to be on the home page for a couple of days. So here it is. And here is the three part vision of CCO Jubilee as I understand it. First, Inspire Future Leaders On one level, I'm watching thousands of college students who have come to think deeply about the theology of their profession. After Gabe Lyons spoke to the students (read the notes here), Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books invited all of them to ask at his bookstore about books for their profession. He said, "I've got books that tell you what Christians think about any profession." You want to read about Christian statisticians? He's got that. Christian lawyers? Christian researchers and scientists? Apparently, some students have been known to ask him about the strangest profession they can think up. "Do you have anything that explains the theology of etymology?" My four-year-old bug fan would love that. Second, Recharge the Current Leaders On a second level, the event provides training and networking for all of the CCO campus ministers. After every session, these folks are high-fiving each other in the halls, giving out hugs, just generally smiling like they're at the best family reunion they can imagine. Which isn't far from the truth. This also means that they are modeling good networking skills for the students in their campus groups. It's pure joy to watch, but it's also incredible practical to teach college students how to network on a large scale. On a personal note, it's also practical for me when Sam Van Eman walks around slapping everyone on the back and introducing me to folks like Dan Postma and the whole staff of Comment Magazine. The *CINO Culture Is Not Optional people. (Though I've only waved at them across the room at this point.) Larry Bourgeois who simply can't be described by a label, but I hope to talk about his ideas more later. And too many others to mention. Third, Connect People Who Love God Finally, the event invites people to come together and just share what creative things they are doing for the Kingdom of God. Somehow, seems to have landed us on that list. I'm shocked and humbled and grateful. THANK YOU High Calling Bloggers for sticking it out with us and working through what it looks like to attempt community like this. I'm serious. You all are the value here. Without you, this site would be like all of the other empty forums and link farms of false community that you see around the net. During an evening mixer, I had fantastic conversations with the Director of CCO, and Sam Van Eman, and Larry Bourgeois, and tons of others. Including this guy: Dayton Castleman. Dayton is an artist who does projects like The End of the Tunnel, which ends with red poles decending like a water fall over a forty foot tall wall of a penitentiary. I can't even describe this. But you can see it in the picture for this post. Go look and watch the video. Or another project exhibit where he suspended 12 (I think) windmills by steel cables inside a Presbyterian cathedral. Or Shredder. Dayton and I got talking about Andy Crouch and Culture Making. We're just posted part one of our interview with Andy Your Stapler Is Making Assumptions over at, so this was right up my alley. Dayton has a friendly beef with Andy. He believes that we need to remember Andy's explanation of culture is deeply capitalistic. There's nothing wrong with capitalism, of course. But capitalism values numbers and sales. Defining culture in that way presumes a movie needs millions of viewers to make an impact. A book must sell millions of copies. A speaker must fill auditoriums at conferences where thousands of students attend. There may be some truth to that vision. Especially in a society like ours. But there is also a real danger. We may accidentally marginalize acts of pure beauty that are like gifts to the world. Remember the woman who broke the perfume on Jesus' feet? The disciples criticized her gift. But Jesus said, Don't criticize her. What she has done for me is a beautiful thing. Any time we make something beautiful for Jesus, we have the power to change culture. Now I HAVE to go. I'm really late for Bryon Borger's first session...