Erwin McManus honored by Windrider Forum

Erwin McManus

Erwin McManus honored by Windrider Forum

Article by Will Stoller-Lee

“What makes Erwin McManus unique is that his “messages” are connected with tangible cultural expressions, thus he is a maker first, as much as he is a messenger. For the Spirit of Windrider Award, I cannot think of anyone who is more dedicated to innovation and risk-taking for the sake of Christ and for the love of culture than Erwin, thus making him the ideal recipient.”


– Mako Fujimura, Artist and Director of Fuller Seminary Brehm Center


The 2017 recipient of the Spirit of Windrider Award is Erwin Raphael McManus, a storyteller, an artist, and observer of life.  His writings are an exploration of the human spirit and a search for what makes us uniquely human.


The Sundance Film Festival has earned the reputation as a place that celebrates storytelling offering festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.  In the words of President and Founder of the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford, “From the passion and chaos of creativity, independent filmmakers make decisions to harness that energy, break new ground and tell their stories . . . to show how art can engage, provoke, and connect people all over the world.”


For 10 days each January, Park City becomes a global community that celebrates storytelling and storytellers. The Windrider Forum in Park City is an immersive experience for close to 300 students, faculty/staff and guests from a dozen undergraduate and graduate educational programs who are willing to listen to the stories of others in order to transform their own story.  So, it seems only fitting that our 2017 recipient of the Spirit of Windrider award would be a storyteller.


Erwin McManus“To tell a great story we must create from our own story and yet trespass into lands we have never ventured into ourselves”, says McManus.  “We write our of our experience and our longings. Through story we come to know ourselves.  Through story we find the courage to become what we are not yet but long to be.


Mako Fujimura sees Erwin as a transformative leader and cultural explorer.  He describes Erwin as “a catalyst” and “a futurist”.  As Erwin describes it, “through the stories we tell we recreate ourselves.  Stories are not simply a retelling; they are a reframing. This is why we must never forget that whoever tells the best stories shapes the culture and creates the future. The future belongs to the artist.”


A native of El Salvador, Erwin now lives in Los Angeles, CA, where he became the founder of  MOSAIC, a community of faith in L.A. that has inspired the church across the world to new expressions of faith and spirituality. MOSAIC is known for its innovation, creativity, diversity, and social entrepreneurism and has been named one of the most influential and innovative churches in America.


Engaging such issues as culture, creativity, change, and leadership, Erwin is widely known as a thought-provoking communicator. His travels have taken him to over 50 countries and he has spoken to over a million people from a wide variety of audiences, including professional athletes, Wall Street investors, universities, film studios, and conferences focused on leadership, creativity, culture, and living a wholistic life.


The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManusErwin is also an author of Soul Cravings, Chasing Daylight, and other leading books on spirituality and creativity.  His newest book, The Artisan Soul, explores life as a work of art and is a Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller, and a Gold Medal winner for the Living Now Mind book awards and the Christian Living Illumination Book Awards.


And he encourages others to see themselves as artists. “We are all works of art and artists at work. This is why I wrote The Artisan Soul. This is why we must see ourselves as more than observers or passive participants in a greater story.”


“Sundance is more than a film festival, it is a celebration of the human spirit and the power of story. It is nothing less than magical to walk through the imagination of so many gifted artists and be enveloped in their inner worlds.”


Erwin McManus“It is equally an honor to be invited to participate in the Windrider Forum and to be considered one among them. To give yourself to the life of an artist is to bare your soul and allow your most intimate self to be revealed and exposed in the hope that every soul might come more fully alive.”


When we are most fully alive we create out of love all that is good and beautiful and true. In The Artisan Soul we are called to embrace our inherent creative genius and to embrace our role in the creation of a beautiful future. Visit him online at


Or, visit him in person this year when he joins us for the week at the Windrider Forum in Park City as the 2017 Spirit of Windrider award recipient.


We would like to thank Richard K Brown and Mary Graham for sponsoring this year’s Spirit Of Windrider Award and recipient Erwin McManus.