If you are a Vineyard Shareholder, you received Dave’s email this morning about the need for staff reductions, realignment and a narrowing of the church’s focus around the key mission. Those discussions and decisions prompted a major shift in my life and the life of some of my friends. I’m happy to be able to tell you about the next chapter of my life.
My position at the Vineyard, at my request, will be significantly reduced to only focus on weekend teaching. I will be leaving the other leadership and management functions of my role. I will continue to teach on the weekends – about twenty times over the next year. I am excited to continue serving as a teacher at my church. I have a desire and responsibility to continue to use my gifts in that capacity. I am honored that Dave and the leadership of VC feel the same way.
This shift allows me to make a major vocational change. On May 1, I will be transitioning to a fulltime position with Rebel Pilgrim Productions as President. I launched the company with my friend and partner Jim Nyberg seven years ago, but it has only been active on a project-to-project basis. But now with four feature films completed and four more projects on the horizon, the company deserves more time and attention.
We were able to mount a capital raise from outside investors over the last few months to launch the company with three initial employees – Brad Wise, Isaac Stambaugh and myself. Brad and Isaac will be leaving their respective positions at the Vineyard for this endeavor. This is the result of nearly two years of planning with the Vineyard Executive Team and Trustees. It was difficult to decide how to structure the movie productions within the church. We looked long and hard at a model where the Vineyard would own the production company, but in the end it became clear that creating a distinct (legal) separation between the two entities would be the cleanest and most efficient way to proceed for both the church and production company. VC will be given opportunities to partner with RPP on future projects, like we did recently with A Strange Brand of Happy. But not all RPP projects will be connected with the Vineyard. Much like a new church plant, we are being launched out to start a business that gets us all closer to the vision of a redeemed, beautiful and thriving Cincinnati.
Personally, Debbie and I are extremely excited. I feel humbled and blessed to be able to do both of the things I love at the same time. I’m aware that an opportunity like this may come only once in a lifetime. I’m thankful that God worked it all out so that we could tell our stories in Cincinnati. Our new company offices will be downtown in the historic Gwynne Building at 6th and Main. We purposely want to work from the heart of the city we love.
Many of you have prayed for us as we have made these movies through the years. We are grateful for that and hope you will continue. If you would like to be on our email list that sends out prayer requests for our projects, just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aren’t hiring crew or talent currently, but if you are an industry professional or entrepreneur and have an interest in collaboration please send us an email to email@example.com. As always, we will open up roles for volunteers when we enter production. We anticipate our next major project to be a Christmas-theme cable TV movie airing in December 2013.
This blog has always served as a personal journal. I write from my life. I will be writing quite a bit over the next twelve months about our endeavor, so check in to see what it is like on the frontlines of a creative start-up. We know it won’t be easy, but we are geared up and ready for the ride.
I hope a lot of you will join us in the adventure in the years to come!
Why was Solomon recognized as the wisest man in the world? Because he knew more stories (proverbs) than anyone else. Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and we’re all just cavemen with briefcases, hungry for a wise person to tell us stories.
—Alan Kay, Vice President at Walt Disney