History & Mission
Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,” Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfulness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.
In 2007, the first Q gathering was hosted as an annual meeting place for a select group of young, innovative and influential leaders to wrestle with the biggest issues impacting the church. Since then Q, has become a central convening place where innovators, social entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, church-shapers, futurists, scientists, educators, historians, environmentalists and everyday people doing extraordinary things can come together to learn and collaborate. Staging Q in major U.S. Cities that represent unique cultural contexts has been a priority of the Q experience. These annual gatherings have become a way for leaders to gain exposure to new ideas, cultures and one another. Following our first Q gathering at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Q has been hosted at Gotham Hall in Manhattan, the Paramount Theatre in Austin, the Civic Opera House in Chicago, the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, and in 2012, Q will take place in Washington, D.C.'s Andrew Mellon Auditorium.
Prior to launching Q, Gabe served on the team that co-founded Catalyst, the largest gathering of young church leaders in America. After seven years of leading the Catalyst movement, he recognized that there was a deep need within the American church for heightened cultural exposure and understanding, Gospel-centered critical thinking, and active collaboration among church leaders who would chart the future of the church in the West.
To that end, in 2003, Gabe Lyons launched a non-profit organization, Fermi Project, and funded a ground-breaking Barna Research Study that reported the negative perceptions that 16-29 year olds have of Christians and the Church. Inspired by the research, Gabe joined with David Kinnaman and 27 other leading voices throughout the church to collaborate on the best selling book, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity...And Why It Matters. Q’s first book continues to provoke earnest conversation, questions of engagement and renewed action among Christians hungry to alter the negative perceptions and has paved the way for The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America, the second book engineered by Q, released in October 2010.
As the interest in the content Q commissions and explores has grown, so has their leadership team’s commitment to ensure it’s accessibility. In 2009, Qideas.org was launched to extend our reach to church and cultural leaders throughout the U.S. and around the world. Through scores of commissioned content in the form of talks, interviews and essays, we hope to support the church in its recovery and pioneering of new ways to embody the Gospel in our post-Christian setting.