How to speak about the Emerging Church without sounding like a moron
The Manhattan Declaration and why we didn't sign it

Whatever happened to the girl who started the emerging church network?

Well, she's in her thirties now so you can no longer call her a "girl" without getting into trouble, but whatever happened to Shannon Hopkins?

sweet notions

In the nineties, after being part of the Young Leaders 1998 event in New Mexico [where we first met] she helped to launch a coffee-shop kinda church called Soul Cafe, one of the first emerging church expressions in Texas. Then she pulled key leaders together around Texas and the emerging church network was formed. After that, she hosted a number of incredible alt. worship experiences like Wabi Sabi and Doxology. I was there. They rocked!

Then she shifted her base to London to work alongside us in a new focus on Europe as well as USA, And taking the missional idea even further, she has been launching mission-shaped social enterprises and campaigns that have had an even greater impact than her previous efforts.

shannon hopkins truth isnt sexy

She started a network of young Christian business entrepreneurs in London called NET - Network of Entrepreneurial Talent. She helped to halt the flow of human trafficking through The Truth Isnt Sexy beer-mat campaign [image above]. She has been shaking the world of social enterprise through Sweet Notions, training social entrepreneurs at Greenbelt Festival, challenging the church to think different, and developing a holistic measuring tool for social enterprises called the Transformational Index. Which is what we were doing in New York a few months ago.

Like many missional entrepreneurs, Shannon hasn't used the term "emerging church" for quite a few years, and she cringes when she hears me say it. The EC conversation got stuck a long time ago, Shannon would say, and no longer described her. No longer described us.

What's really cool is that Soul Cafe is raising money for Shannon's next season through a raffle. $5 a ticket and you can win a trip for two to London, including accommodation. The drawing is in a few days so email Cathers for details or buy it online now.

UPDATE. Sep 2011. The Transformational Index is almost a reality. Well done! Check it out here.