The Catch Ministry was incorporated in 2012 as a CyberChurch when very few recognized the digital dimension could provide faith-based experiences. But people like Peter Herschend, George Barna, JD Schlieman, and Michael McCausland recognized the need to focus on the church. Not the church as it often is, but the church as it originally was. The church as it can be. And yes, they said, “the church as it must be again.”
In 2012, these men sought to recover and embrace the original purpose of the church; to recapture time to recreate the lost experience of discipleship to solve problems and increase the health of the original church; to reach the worldwide community; and reactivate that which has been lost, which is the new covenant.
Since 2012, we have been in the business of offering a life that everyone longs for that is supplied to us in Christ’s New Covenant. The power of that Covenant is simply, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
And because of the Catch Ministry’s early beginnings, we seek to experience a radically different life from our natural life. In this new life, Christ is a part of every sustaining action, the corrector of every wrong deed or thought, the giver of joy and the healer of hurt. No longer merely on the edges of life, the Catch men and women since 2012 have Christ in the center of everything, where life revolves around Him, which results in life coming into proper focus.
Despite many hardships, our faith is made real by the permanent presence of “Christ in you.” Christ’s glory is made known in His servants who all work together in Him and with Him. And it is by His life in us that “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
We are the church — a living, breathing, whole body — certainly never an institution. Each person is gifted to serve. Servant-leaders train and equip the body so that each member of His body is prepared for the ministry Christ gives to each one (Ephesians 4:11-16). We are commissioned to live, love and serve together in dependence on the Lord. The living Jesus is within us and expresses His character through us, and we share in His glory (John 14:20, 15:5). Our strength comes by His intimate, permanent presence in communion with us. The life of the Lord Jesus Himself is the treasure we impart as we “love one another” (John 13:34). His life of unconditional love is our resource for loving others; His forgiving grace and mercy is our power to forgive; and the love and grace of Christ in us overflows in our worship and gratitude (Romans 12:2).
Very early on in our history, prayer became paramount to the Catch Ministry. We were given a prayer ministry for the sole purpose of preventing the evil one from distracting us from this simplicity of who we are in Christ, and from our life and service together as a Body. The Catch entered into the business of trusting that Christ in us is sufficient for all of life. Our Prayer Warriors beseeched us to remember Jesus called us to “renew our minds” — to remember to rest in Him (Hebrews 4:9-11), in the truth of who we are now because of the finished work of Christ crucified and risen alive.
While I am the most visible, the Catch community has been guided by many men and women who have connected with many of you and created relationships that are secured by the Lord. Spiritually gifted leaders have trained us to stand firm against the evil one (Ephesians 6:10-11) and reminding us of the victory already accomplished for us through the cross.
Now as servant leaders ourselves, He is alive in us as He leads us into the good works He has prepared for us, both individually and corporately. As servant leaders, we walk along side others, helping them to grow in joy, as together we mature in Christ who is our life.
This is who we were when we were first incorporated in 2012, and in spite of many reasons to look to ourselves and our own inadequacies, this is who we are.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).