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You have probably heard of TED Talks* Ideas Worth Spreading, but have you heard of Q Talks Ideas for the Common Good?

Q Talks are presentations given annually at Q gatherings by thought leaders and practitioners on a variety of topics from the Gospel and the Church to Media and the Social Sector. Q gatherings typically draw evangelical Christians, where speakers present their “big idea” in a concise 18, 9 or 3 minute format to the Q community, creating an intense, fast paced exposure to numerous ideas.

Q will gather next in Washington DC on April 10-12, 2012, “to offer big ideas on pressing issues facing a new generation of Christians in our culture.” Organizers see Q Washington, D.C. as a place where we can work together “to begin reconstructing what a proper relationship between Christian leaders and the government may look like in a post-Religious Right era.”

Q gatherings started in Atlanta, GA in 2007; was held in New York in 2008; at Austin, TX in 2009; at Chicago, IL in 2010; and earlier this year, on April 27-19, 2011, Q was in Portland Oregon.

Huffington Post describes Gabe Lyons, 32, one of the founders of Q Talks and the Q Ideas website as “emblematic of the transformation among many younger evangelicals…heading a loose “collective” dedicated to teaching evangelicals to shape culture through other means, including media and the arts.”

The focus of Q is broad, including church, business, education, social sector, arts + entertainment, science + tech, government, media, cities, gospel and restorers. A unifying theme is transforming culture.

Q is more than talk! One of the inspiring outgrowths of the Portland event is Season of Service (SOS), where Portland’s congregations worked closely with city leaders to positively impact some of the area’s most urgent concerns in six areas of focus:

  1. hunger/poverty
  2. homelessness
  3. health and wellness
  4. human trafficking
  5. environment
  6. public schools

There local churches mobilized, sending 26,000 volunteers to work on service projects in each of the six areas of need. They stocked and serviced the Oregon Good Bank, worked to feed children out of school for summer break, beautified public spaces through coordinated clean-up efforts, provided tutoring service to struggling school children and ran free medical and dental clinics for low income residents.

It seems to me that there are growing local and global movements, particularly among GenX and GenY evangelical followers of Jesus, that transcend preoccupation with individual salvation (with primary focus on a future, otherworldly, heaven or hell, based on a notion of God as primarily judgmental and punitive, unless one assents to a series of specific beliefs).

Can this become a broader, unifying movement that finds common ground and builds bridges between progressive, mainline Christians who see the purpose of faith is to love God, love others and to live a life that transforms ourselves and our world here and now?

Can TEDX and Q Talks find common ground, cooperation and expression?

*Technology, Entertainment and Design