When is perception reality?  When do you call a spade a spade?  I’m really wrestling with this the last couple of days.

Recently, the Origins Project launched their website. It’s network launched by Erwin McManus, Dan Kimball, and Dave Gibbons, all really great guys.  And the stated vision from the website is:

“Vision: This network is a community of followers of Jesus who are passionate about seeing people know God and experience life as He intended. As we are guided by the Scriptures we will inspire one another to embrace innovation and creativity as a means to fulfill this mission.”

From my perspective, Origins is a response to the evangelical churches issues with the word Emergent.  It closes doors before a word is said, because Emergent has a perception problem.  I get what Erwin, Dan and Dave want to do, and as a communicator, I applaud them for it.  They are simply taking a different tact in trying to reach a more traditional evangelical audience.  Much love to that.

But A LOT of people are watching the Origins Project.  Emergence is happening regardless of what we do or say and this is just another way it’s happening.  It’s the strange attractors that self organize in the midst of chaos. I would offer that Origins is important and people are going to be taking cues from it carefully.

But I would ask when we are going to learn? This was the moment Origins had the opportunity to take a risk, to learn from the past.  It even states that “innovation” is one of its central passions.  People are going to watch and listen to what is going on.  And in the moment of unveiling, the moment when everyone was listening and watching to see what they would present, we get this.  A “Core” team comprised exclusively of men.  I don’t get it.  Think about what this is saying to the 49% of the women who read this. It says, “there still exists a glass ceiling.”  It says, “women just…well this is a guy thing.”  In this case I think perception will speak louder than reality.

And to be fair, the women are part of the “other” teams.  I don’t think the “Core” team intended to present a “boys club”.  But it conveys a message regardless.

The website offers us this on the “Core” team:

“The Core Team is comprised of three uniquely different churches…”.

I thought churches were people.  I thought women were part of the church. I thought women were half of the image of God.  One wonders.

I would like to reiterate my Call To MenWhen we oppress women by cutting out their voices, their participation, and their calling to leadership we have in essence cut ourselves off from the whole picture of our own humanity. We have oppressed ourselves.  We are missing the half that is part of us.

Let’s step up.

Update: If you have read or are reading this post, please read the follow on to this post, called Releasing The Oppressor.