As we pointed out in a recent Catch, our cornerstone philanthropic investor, Peter Herschend, envisioned a community cyber church and in 2012 went to work making that vision real. Between then and now, the Lord has brought many leaders to the ministry who connected with Peter’s vision and vowed to cause the ministry to become vital and its community to grow. Among those pioneers we would like to recognize the following:
Neil McCauley. Neil was one of the first to step up in a big way to help us get established. Neil notably moved by John’s book Fearless Faith: Living Beyond Safe Christianity gave away numerous copies to friends, pastors and business associates. He felt that John was speaking the gospel into the marketplace as opposed to the divisive rhetoric of the Christian subculture. So, when he found out that we were beginning a website to further our message he was quick to jump on board.
Herb Hellums. Once measures were in place, thanks to significant investments from Herb and others, the financial engine of the ministry grew to a certain ceiling of viability. Herb saw the need for people to become a part of something bigger than themselves. He championed the revitalized of the MemberPartner program. As the lifeblood of the Catch Ministry, MemberPartners advise the Catch on the direction and focus of the ministry. Herb understood this and helped make our MemberPartner program what it is today.
Bob Jennings. A different ministry emerged from the original, in large part because it has evolved from John’s established ministry alone to a ministry of both John and Marti. Accordingly, the new ministry moved aggressively outside the mainstream where the old ministry was ensconced and into “The Marketplace,” where the gospel is mis- and under-represented. Enter Bob Jennings. As an innovator, Bob has a “can do” attitude that benefits everyone around him. He is indebted to the Jesus Movement that brought him to Christ, which is maybe why he inspires compassion toward one another. In the Marketplace, he is guided by a passion for being honest, ethical, and trustworthy.
Noel Paul Stookey. Noel in his gracious way has been a long-time friend of the Catch. Best known for his years with Peter, Paul and Mary, Noel has encouraged the promotion of John’s books, especially Saint Ben. He has done a number of benefit concerts with John to raise funds for the Catch. Noel is the epitome of Grace Turned Outward.
Like many of the leaders within the Catch Ministry, these early pioneers stand with us today with a new relevancy as we all peer into the new frontier, where expansion is both obvious and required — obvious, because of our diverse community, and required as we seek to financially stabilize the ministry in order to continue the work given us to do.
The Accountability Commission
Stepping up, taking their place, and accepting the early pioneers’ challenges to expand is the Catch Ministry’s current Accountability Commission. The members recognize that God is behind this and nothing can stop it. Even when our enthusiasm wanes, they know they are to take hold of this great opportunity to expand. They also understand that if it is not done by us, it will be done by someone else. The following leaders stand with you as they invite you to be a part of this great adventure — into the new frontier.
We have known Dave Kelley and his wife, Pat, for many years. Pat was in Marti’s discipleship group in the 1980s and Dave was in mine. They have been MemberPartners for many years and recently stepped into the role of holding us accountable to what we believe God is calling us to do, and Dave has done just that with very thoughtful and timely counsel.
Pat Klever and Mike High, who have both worked in military related fields, have also been MemberPartners for some time. Pat, true to his role on our Accountability Commission, has called us into account on more than a few occasions. Mike has taken this position conscientiously and has poured time and care into his responses. Mike, as you know, is right now challenging the Catch Community: for every dollar given to the Catch Ministry, he will match up to $1,500 on a 1:1 basis. (See below)
Mike Boland serves on both the Accountability Commission and the Catch Ministry Board of Directors. He owns his own business in video communications and has secured the rights to my published material and is providing the funds to remaster all of my Albums.
Another influencer who wants to see the Catch Ministry’s vision and expansion plan go forward is retired college professor and social media expert, Terri Main. Since joining us three years ago, she has offered her many areas of expertise including program design, publishing, and promotion, and has been the driving force behind Music That Matters Radio where she operates as station manager. As a long standing MemberPartner, Terri is responsible for TeamGrace, a program that offers opportunities to volunteer in the ministry. It will not surprise you when we tell you she donates 15 hours of her many talents every week.
Our defining challenge for the Catch and its growth initiatives is to engage others who want to introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward to everyone, everywhere — and are willing to do something about it. This is how we will continue to build portions of the Kingdom of God on Earth, and as portions of the kingdom of God are born, the kingdom will advance, because anything having to do with God is always expansive, and never regressive.