Dear Citizens of the Catch Community:
This Catch begins with an understanding of how Grace is doing its work specific to the Catch. It is followed by a question to our more experienced members. Next you will find a television commercial script. We ask you to use your imagination and see the story in your mind’s eye. We follow the ad with a challenge that requires your vote.
Grace is doing its work
The Catch, begun as the domain of Boomers, has become a gathering place for Millennials as well, where rare cross-generational relationships are developing to talk about life and spiritual things. Connecting with Millennials is the number one challenge the brick-and-mortar church talks about; creating cross-cultural and cross-generational community is the next one. Who would have thought we would do both?
There is no way we could have anticipated the things that are actually happening among us. But this is who we have become. Cultivating intergenerational relationships is one of the most important ways in which The Catch Ministry is developing a flourishing faith in both young and old. This means changing the metaphor from simply passing the baton to the next generation to a more functional, biblical picture of the body — that is, the entire community of faith, across the entire lifespan, working together to fulfill God’s purposes.
Grace is doing its work, and, out there among us, we are following Grace, and not getting in its way. We are Showing Up.
We at the Catch believe we owe Millennials more. They should be treated as the intelligent, capable individuals they are — a generation with a God-given destiny. Renewed commitment is required to rethink and realign disciple-making in this new context. Millennial believers need better, deeper relationships with other adult Christians, not as in a hierarchy but as in a partnership. Millennials require a more holistic understanding of their vocation and calling in life — how their faith influences what they do with their lives, 24/7. And they also desire insightful discussion about discerning Jesus’ leading in their lives, including greater commitment to knowing and living out the truth of Scripture.
The question to our more experienced Catch Citizens
What has happened to our voices? Are we forgotten remnants of a long lost spiritual renewal or are we speaking with new relevance as older, wiser pioneers stepping into a new frontier — a frontier that will be claimed by those in their twenties and thirties long after we are gone?
Catch Ministry Television Advertisement – No Retreat
November 7, 2018
:60 TV/NO RETREAT
QUE UP MUSIC:
Soft choir music: “Just As I Am”
Fade in on a grainy black and white Billy Graham video….
John in close up. Takes a breath, looks left and right, leans into the camera. Choir still singing.
Our parents had Billy Graham and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Fade in Jesus People scenes, outdoor concerts, Christian talking heads
We had Jack Sparks … Frances Schaeffer … Chuck Smith …
Change music, fade in on concerned looking young people in causal attire
Who do they have?
Vignettes of rap videos, guns, shoot out at a synagogue, pastors in jail for hate speech, journalists being beheaded, anti-Christian billboards — back up the camera to show all this being displayed on a smartphone. Back up some more, it is being held by a young woman on a subway.
New sounds of music, subway rolling on tracts,
Join us to give Christ a voice for this century. Give them what we had.
What did we have?
By most accounts, we were a part of the Jesus People Movement, which began in 1967 with the opening of a small storefront evangelical mission called the Living Room in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district. It was a movement that would reshape the church and the look of Christianity forever. It was Larry Norman holding up his index finger on the streets of Hollywood, Barry McGuire singing “Eve of Destruction” on a stage somewhere in Colorado, Jack Sparks preaching on the steps of Sproul Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, and Scott Ross inaugurating his radio show about Jesus on a popular secular rock station in New York City.
These were among those who shook Christianity to its base. They burst on the scene across the globe, unknown to each other yet all with the same message. The message was about Jesus and how His gospel related to the deep, unresolved needs of their generation for love, meaning, community, peace and justice. These “Jesus Freaks” melded the freedom of the Sixties and the Jesus of the Gospels into a new way of looking at Christianity. They were people with very distinct views of Christianity. They epitomize the best of the best of a movement that vitalized the Church and blew fresh air throughout our culture.
Forty years have now passed since our emboldened voices spoke and sang into the culture, and those forty years have drastically changed culture and the church. Christians are no longer countercultural Jesus Freaks. Christians are a cultural and political force to be reckoned with. The radical Jesus music they championed in 1969 has now become standard faire as worship music in most churches, and their early efforts at a contemporary Gospel have now morphed into an industry that provides everything Christian for a conservative culture eager to pay for a safer alternative to the sex and violence-laced entertainment offered in the secular marketplace. What was once a message for the world is now a mantra for a subculture.
What does real faith look like now? Where is the path in the wilderness? What is God up to next? Can we even recognize it or do we have to leave it to another generation of Jesus Freaks to blindly start something over again?
Not easy questions to answer.
The Lord has called us to speak with new relevance as older, wiser pioneers stepping into a new frontier — a frontier destined to be claimed by our very own Catch Millennials and their generation.
Are you willing to join us?
Recently Nancy Honeytree wrote “Pioneer” — a song that speaks volumes to each citizen of the Catch regardless of age, as it acknowledges our ever-expanding frontiers.
Keep pressing onward beyond your fear.
Only the Father goes before you
To your own frontier—
You’re a pioneer.
What you have done, others will do.
Bigger and better, and faster than you.
But you can’t look back, gotta keep pressing through
There’s a wilderness pathway, and it’s calling you.
The following are only highlights of ministries in various stages of development that will be self-sustaining within the next 6 months. I look forward to telling you more about each one, but briefly they include: “Johnny’s Café” — a place within the marketplace where we can interact with each other and participate in specifically designed classes, seminars, discussion forums, and roundtable dialogs with John and other thought leaders. We have an enhanced MemberPartner program that includes a reserved table at Johnny’s Cafe for our “regulars,”our MemberPartners. We have been Beta testing our own radio station, Music that Matters Radio, that seeks to speak to the social and religious upheavals of the ‘60s and ‘70s and can bring the discussion forward for those in their twenties and thirties who are currently undergoing some of same societal stresses and asking many of the same questions. Over the next 12 months, Catch Publications will make available 4 new books by John. Thanks to the generosity of Board Member Mike Boland, the rights to all of John’s books and recordings are purchased and being made ready for digital release. Newly formed Team Grace is our corps of volunteers. Focusing primarily on MemberPartner requests and Christian universities and colleges, with a focus toward joining Millennials throughout the country, John and Marti are accepting speaking dates at Christian universities and honoring MemberPartner requests.
The Accountability Commission
Under the watchful eye of a newly formed Accountability Commission, this significant expansion will increase subscriptions and provide new income sources including radio advertising, music and book sales, branded merchandise, honorariums from for live events.(1) Many of these new programs have the potential to generate the difference between our fundraising efforts and what is required to run the business of the Catch — and hopefully will eliminate entirely the need to throw Hail Mary passes to our largest contributors at the end of every month.
The Accountability Commission members are being asked to invest a significant amount toward the expected 6 month return on investment. They will serve as both judge and jury as they hold our feet to the fire to do what it takes to make these ministries thrive while, at the same time, stabilizing the Catch Ministry.
- Will you vote “Yes” to speaking with us as an older, wiser pioneers?
- Will you vote “Yes” to joining the Millennials as you both peer into the new frontier?
- Will you vote “Yes” to putting off retirement and reinvigorate the same motivation that drove you to the message, which was about Jesus and how his gospel related to the deep, unresolved needs of our generation and that of the Millennial for love, meaning, community, peace and justice.
- Will you vote “Yes” to ‘No Retreat’ from the Millennials?
Our Accountability Commission’s Challenge
Our Accountability Commission is counting on you voting “Yes” and with your commitment, they look to you to be the first to invest in what is a very expensive 6 month implementation season before the ministry’s return. The total investment is $73,000 of which the Accountability Commission is asking you, the Catch Community to provide $15,000, which is required now to clear the way. Given you accept their challenge, they will pay the remaining $58,000.
Much has gone into the development and the beta testing of these programs already.
$15,000 is required immediately. Further work is ahead of us, of which we will be covered by the very gracious generosity of the Accountability Commission — provided the initial $15,000 is provided by the members of the Catch Community.
To accept the challenge the Lord has called us to is nothing short of frightening yet exciting. Together with your acceptance to the challenge and the willingness to invest in its future speaks unity and strength and solidarity as we accept our God-given relevance to move out as older, wiser pioneers stepping into a new frontier — a frontier destined to be claimed by our very own Catch Millennials and their generation.
Yes, the challenge is daunting and the investment huge — but … can you believe we get to do this again and before we die?
- According to your capacity, we hope you consider contributing toward this adventure as a privilege.(2) Pray and if the Lord should so choose, move quickly as the time is urgent.
- With your gift, we ask you consider challenging other Catch Citizens to join you with a “Yes” vote and match your contribution.
- If you are one of 89,000 people a month who take advantage of one or more of the Catch Ministry’s current services, please tell your story. You tell the Catch Ministry’s story best. You inspire us. Allow us to publish your story so that others can be encouraged as well by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the many served, we thank you for your strong commitment to the ministry and its financial support.
- With your “Yes” vote, we can move forward to the next frontier.
- To make your generous gift, please click here to make your “Yes” vote possible.
Regardless of your response, we thank the Lord for you daily and count on your graciousness as a member of the Catch Community.
Yours for this journey,
John and Marti