Recently Belinda and I gathered five couples from our CMA tribe in Phoenix at the Macaroni Grill to have a good time and share life. It was a blast! We laughed, shared wins, agonized with each other over the challenges of ministry and watched the Lakers pull out a final second game-winner over the Suns. Life is good!
Someone asked me what they could do for CMA. I think my answer surprised them. It also reveals why I am so committed to what we do. I said CMA was launched with an absolute passion for the next generation of leaders and churches. The idea was that the next generation had the ideas, the calling, the skill set and the passion to change the world. They simply needed resources and someone to believe in them. My answer to the question was to find someone in your circle who is a next gen leader and invest in them. I didn’t ask for money or make an institutional request. In essence I said, live out the values we practice.
The secret behind why the CMA tribe continues to grow is simple; we give the power to the people. We exist to make the planter and the next gen churches make it hard for people to go to hell in their community. CMA is a flat network of planters who resource each other through conference calls, coaching, and relationships based on affinity. We support each other. What Belinda and I, Tom Planck, and Patsy Wootton do is remove obstacles, enable communication channels, connect people, raise funds, direct the chaos and take good notes.
I learned how to use the Google Wave from Malcolm Tyree, Tom Planck introduced me to Twitter, Kelly Barcol was the first planter I know to use Vimeo for his messages, Greg Hintz instructed me on the benefits of UStream and the list goes on. Mark Krenz started a venue at a golf course and later in a bar, James and Tammy Vogt taught us all how to do a shopping cart brigade in a parade where the crowd contributed groceries instead of looked for a hand-out. The creativity is off the charts!
Imagine what will happen next as this generation of planters embraces the next generation! The next gen churches are forging new paradigms, breaking down barriers between the church and the community, creating new language and navigating the future. If you want to bear a lot of fruit in today’s culture learn from them. When they engage all that the next generation of leaders and churches have to offer–the growth will be exponential.
Whenever people ask me about the time I put in on CMA I always answer truthfully—I get way more back than I give away. Who wouldn’t want to play in this sandbox!