TBC – What it Is!

Rev. Dr. Ray Bakke at TBC

Rev. Dr. Ray Bakke at TBC in San Jose – May 16, 2015 

Some folks are scratching their heads, asking, “What’s TBC?”  Others haven’t heard even a whisper yet.  If you haven’t heard of TBC, you can bet that you will, at some point.  And, depending on the point of view of the writer, what you’re likely to hear will have quite a slant…  in the Bay Area, that slant might be somewhat alarmist. Here at the Center, we’ll try to bring you an unbiased account – what it is, who’s involved, why it exists, and where it goes, over the next few months and years.  We’ve been following it with interest and now finally feel ready to try our hand at explaining it.

In a nutshell: there’s a movement afoot in the Bay Area named “Transforming the Bay with Christ” – TBC, for short.  To catalyze a holistic Gospel movement in the Bay Area, they’ve organized efforts into three areas of focus: AMPLIFY (loving service without any strings attached), UNIFY (partnerships and prayerful relationships) and MULTIPLY (church planting).  The group has been gathering steam, with the “big holy audacious goal” of lasting, transformational change and revival in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounds, the only major metropolitan area in the United States never to have experienced a revival in its history.

Palau called himself a "rebel" for wearing "straight" clothes and reading from a physical book

Palau called himself a “rebel” for wearing “straight” clothes and reading from a physical book

Yes, everyone in any effort has an agenda, and this effort is no different. The agenda here, from what they are stating, is, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” They appear to want to spread love – love of God, love of neighbor, and the message of God’s love.  It remains to be seen whether the group will actively pursue partnerships with a wide range of denominations (e.g., Congregationalists and Methodists, Episcopals and Catholics) or will remain insular in nature.  Perhaps they will be bold, reaching out even across faith boundaries, taking a nod from St. Francis of Assisi.  That’s the sort of creative thinking for which the Bay Area has been known in the past. And creative thinking is clearly not lacking in the leadership.

Our Director with Pastor Palau

The effort is spearheaded by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is bringing to bear his obvious strengths in leadership, vision casting / strategic planning, and partnership.  At the group’s first meeting of 2015, held on January 10th of 2015 in Mountain View,  Gelsinger noted that the Bay Area has a good number of wealthy folks who are non-religious and could do well to be more involved in the greater good (actually, his wording was a little stronger than that1).  The ever-popular Luis Palau was the keynote speaker.  Palau, now in his eighties, has spoken live to over 25 million people in over 70 countries.

The second meeting featured a keynote by beloved Rev. Dr. Ray Bakke, the foremost expert on city exegesis.  In this meeting, a new COO and new CEO were announced.  Pat Gelsinger started off the event by reminding the crowd of the vision, which is to see every person in the Bay Area thrive and flourish – in body, soul and spirit, by experiencing life as God intended, and by bringing in some important-to-understand statistics about the Bay Area:

  • Affluence: an adjustable gross income per family of over $94,000 places the Bay Area in the top 1% of the world’s population.
  • Stinginess: only a 2.59% charitable giving rate.
  • Secularism: 66% of people in 11 counties state “no religious affiliation” (with SF atop the list)
  • Brokenness: 14% of children below the poverty level, and 51% of our 3rd graders are not reading at the 3rd grade level, for example.
  • Diversity:  The Bay Area is home to 9 of the top 20 U.S. most ethnically / linguistically diverse cities {#3. Hayward; #6. San Jose; #8. Richmond; #9. Santa Clara; #11. Sunnyvale, #13. SF, #14. Oakland, #17. Vallejo, #20. San Mateo}.

The hashtag is #tbccities, the website is tbc.city, and here is the YouTube channel.    See also this meetup (for technologists and entrepreneurs).  On our Facebook page you will find an album of photos from the visit by our dear friend and mentor Rev. Dr. Ray Bakke.

This post is an update from the original post about TBC from January 10, 2015.

1What he said was Rich Influential Miserly Pagans… perhaps they’re simply stuck because they don’t know how to be successful. Many people haven’t invested the time with their philanthropy that they have with even their wardrobes – dress for success… and they haven’t been taught how. After someone teaches them, they can experience the joy of making a difference, and become role models, themselves. To that end, how wonderful it would be if there were a way to introduce these folks (the rich and not-yet-generous folks to whom he refers) to the Seven Pillars Methodology outlined on this website.  One can always dream!


Categories Edify | Tags: | Posted on May 17, 2015

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