This blog post is taken from remarks from our Senior Pastor Shane Stanford at the Pastor’s Founders Circle for CCGlobal. To hear the full address, click here.
What if churches decided that the entire world really was their parish?
What if we leveraged current and new technologies?
What if we encouraged out of the box thinking about leadership and resources to make sure that as many people as possible could hear the ‘Good News’?
I received that challenge seven years ago as I listened to the CEO of Southwest Airlines during a meeting of the General Commission on Communications. It’s something I acted on at my appointment then and in other areas since, and I continue to be challenged by it.
There are so many current and emerging technologies that allow us to think outside the box for developing leaders, doing worship, reaching people in just about every place on the planet, and providing resources that daily that can change lives and allow them to change others.
I love technology – and at Christ Church, I found a partner in Maxie Dunnam with whom, I convinced to take a leap of starting Christ Church Global (CC Global). Look ahead with us:
What if we could reach just 5,000 homes through broadcasting (a low number in this medium), create a service whereby anyone, anywhere in the world who has a smart mobile device could watch our worship services?
What if we could develop resources that allow people to expand their personal or small group depth and spirituality by a simple download?
Bigger still, what if we decided that we would train the Christian leaders of tomorrow through innovative, in-practice theological education that would send these leaders to share Jesus (through the Christ Church lens) all over the world?
Those are the dreams for CCGlobal which has four focus areas:
- Leadership Development (Asbury Memphis)
- Media Outreach (We Believe in Memphis, You Matter)
- Resource Development
- Online Campus
In each area, we are more than off and running. We have already hit most of our first, 5-year goals and are now moving into even more complex/strategic areas.
CCGlobal began and has been sustained for the past 2 1/2 years with a generous initial gift from Bob Buckman and Joyce Mollerup. Bob and Joyce saw the potential of what this could mean, and the results have been amazing thus far. Yet as we move into our third year, we are outpacing both our growth potential and our current funding framework. We need more people to serve, offer their expertise and, yes, to share their gifts in order for CCGlobal to become all God has in store.
When Christ United Methodist Church began meeting in a movie theatre 60 years ago, that was cutting edge. It was something no one else had done, and as one person described it when speaking of that historic first Sunday, “it was a gathering for those looking for tomorrow.”
I recently sponsored a gathering I called the Pastor’s Founder’s Circle for CCGlobal in order to begin the conversation. This is by no means a closed group, but an initial meeting of those who will not just put their names on a list of supporters, but who want to start a ‘new story’ with us that could change the world.
I’m looking for those looking for tomorrow. If technology excites you, and if finding ways to use technology to reach the world for Christ, I’d like to talk with you about how you can be involved.
The Pastor’s Founders Circle will focus on three areas of the work of Christ Church Global:
- Projects: Major endeavors that would encompass major objectives, programs and infrastructure for framing and carrying out the mission and vision of Christ Church Global. An example of this is Asbury-Memphis.
- Initiatives: Programs that seek to resource the projects and support the objectives of Christ Church Global so that the team has tools, vehicles and resources for which to reach their goals. An example of this is the Wesley Fellows Program that would benefit Christ Church and Asbury-Memphis.
- Recognition: Opportunities to celebrate, make aware and support those who are doing exceptional work in a variety of Christian ministries here and abroad that are the ‘Church’ beyond the walls and steeples.
We’ve established awards for Christian writing, innovation, and best episode of We Believe in Memphis. The first two awards were presented recently to those for whom future awards will be given in their name’s sake.
Award for Excellence & Impact in Christian Writing: Dr. Maxie Dunnam (future award will be named Maxie Dunnam Award for Excellence & Impact Christian Writing)
Award for Innovation for Christian Ministry & Serving: Bob Buckman & Joyce Mollerup (future award will be named the Buckman-Mollerup Award for Innovation in Christian Ministry & Serving)
Award for We Believe in Memphis Episode of the Year: Dennis Jones Living Well Network (watch here)
How can you be a part of the Pastor’s Founders Circle:
- Commit to pray: Not just to say you will pray, but to truly pray and be involved in an ongoing journey of prayer.
- Volunteer: Serve as a host or hostess for Asbury-Memphis weekends, or give a devotional for Asbury-Memphis chapel; or maybe you like to work with technology and would like to run cameras or work in editing with our media outreach; maybe you like editing and books and would like to help see a few words on a page transform into a new book or curriculum; or maybe you want to assist with the Online Campus, getting to know our average 70 homes per week from 8 states, etc.
- Be an ambassador: Commit to tell others about Asbury-Memphis and serve as representatives for info-days or who just commit to connect us to new people on a regular basis who might be able to help this story unfold.
- Give: Share your financial resources with either a one-time gift or a regular, ongoing donation. If you’d like a breakdown of where the money goes, we are willing to share that as well.
If you’d like more information or want to get involved, just let us know! [contact-form to=’Kareng@cumcmemphis.org’ subject=’Pastor%26#039;s Founders Circle’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form] .