Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who are We?

Lots of people ask me what exactly is my job. They know I’m the Founder and President of Media Missionary School and Flannelgraph Ministries. But that doesn’t exactly answer the question. Obviously, we’re into education and media. And, frankly, I’ve had a difficult time offering a short version or a convenient 30-second sound bite. What we do and who we are is a bit complex and abstract at times.

Recently, I was challenged to put our mission and vision on one page. Believe me, that’s not easy for me to do. But it was a great exercise. It challenged me to focus my thinking. First of all, I am a missionary without borders reaching a new people group that is currently not being reached. This new people group speaks the language of media, the language of visual image and the language of visual storytelling. They are part of the new church of media and entertainment.

The important thing to remember is, as a civilization, we are transforming from one based on written communication to one based on visual communication. Obviously, this has enormous implications in the spread of the Gospel Message.

As a result, my ministry can be defined as an advocacy group, a missions organization, a media ministry, and an educational institution. They are all linked together and necessary to complete our mission. We advocate the development of visual storytelling for global outreach. As an advocacy group, we offer resources, information and education for the Church and the Body of Christ on issues of faith, media and culture. I do this by providing classes, workshops, and seminars.

We are a missions organization designed to help and support media missionaries on a practical, spiritual, and emotional level. We’re dedicated not only to their professional success but, more importantly, to their spiritual and emotional growth and effectiveness as a media missionary. I know of no organization that is honestly tackling this issue. We have mission organizations that help and support foreign missionaries, but nobody is helping those who are called into mainstream media to reseed the culture with a Biblical message.

We are a media ministry which provides content through Media Missionary TV and this website We provide online resources that support current and future media missionaries. We think that it’s important to create content that emphasizes stories of media missionaries working on the front lines of the entertainment industry. Our mission is to tell their story and provide resources and information that will inspire the next generation of media and film makers who have embraced a missional approach to their work. How will the Church support such efforts if they don’t know their stories.

And, finally, we are an educational institution. No, we are not trying to be a four-year college or film school. That is not our mission. But we are an institution that focuses on faith-based training and film camps for students who are interested in pursuing a career in media and entertainment.

We do want to build a physical center where we can train and develop visual storytellers and media missionaries. How I see this working is a three-week program in the summer for high school students and a three-month program for adults. The center will be a place where individuals will come and study in a community setting.

I’m interested in preparing the messenger as well as the message. And that’s not the focus at the university and college level. Ours is a spiritual journey.

Well, there you have it—my explanation of what I do. We are an advocacy group, a missions organization, a media ministry and an educational institution working in unison for one mission—fulfilling the Great Commission.

1 comment:

  1. That all sounds great. I would love to take part in this mission as much as I can. I am an aspiring independent filmmaker, but also a Christian. I desire to write films that are visually appealing with messages that are realistic, but dramatically powerful. Most of the time Christian films are so non-realistic that they appear insincere and preachy. I hope to make films that aren't afraid to portray the reality of life, even if this means having some scenes with profanity, violence, etc to do so. Also, I have discovered that the best films have an element of ambiguity instead of tight resolution; films that make you think beyond the 2 hours of the film.

    Thanks for heading this up. I hope it does well with Christians.

    Jade K.