Urban Collaborative Center... Today's the day... for initiating a nonprofit corporation to encompass the long-awaited "Urban Tech Ministry" concept, and to co-labor with others. Cyberspace has come down to the ground today. And it is birthed quietly, with corporate signatures & prayer among our friends... today at 5:15pm (Indiana Time).
Naming Names: God has had so very many people involved in the emergence of such a venture -- I could not begin to name them all. Primary among though though, is my good friend and brother in Christ, Ian Hookfin. When Ian was Community Ministries Director at Tab, we conceptualized the value of Christians helping urban communities cross the great "digital divide", thus giving them skills, capabilities and opportunities to compete in a market-driven society which otherwise leaves them further & further behind. We believe God's sense of love & justice demands attention by the Church, to help people cross this widening chasm. In the process, we intend to work shoulder to shoulder with many different peoples, thus closing the multicultural divide as we go. And as we help them cross these great divides, most importantly we want to overtly help them know how they may cross God's eternal divide and enjoy peace with God and the abundant life in Christ... now & forever.
More recently, our mutual friend, Marvin Gainer -- formerly dean of students at The Oaks Academy -- has joined the venture towards collaborating together. Marvin is co-locating his consulting business there, as he seeks to connect urban Christians & their ministries to the resources they need most.
And this short list wouldn't be complete, without crediting some 'driven Christians' who have greatly influenced our thinking as to urban or digital matters... Dr. John Perkins, Dr. Charles Ware, Tim Voorhees, Rudy Carrasco, Jeff Koenig.
And what about our wives who have been supportive of this faith vision? Bobbi Hookfin, Jerylyn Gainer, and my life-partner, Janice... may God specially bless them for their patience & prayerful support.
And this leads me to an unknowing contributor to the puzzle... Andy Stanley is perhaps best known as son of Dr. Charles Stanley. But to me, he's best remembered as author of "Visioneering"... a terrific book on implementing God's vision in our lives. It had monumental impact on the delayed start of the Urban Tech Center entity.
Back-log: (circa 2001) As I contemplated leaving "Tab" and trying to determine "What's Next, Lord?", I very much wanted to immediately launch the Urban Tech Ministry as a 501c3. But it seemed unrealistic as a means of support for my family. How does one know the will of God, anyway? Doesn't that question come up all too often? I mean, the apostle Paul almost always is writing to his constituents that he is praying that they will know the will of God, and live it out. But how do we know His will? Andy Stanley provides great thoughts on the subject -- but I wouldn't want to spoil the reading. [This one's a 'keeper'... I'm headed out to buy the hardback today, for posterity.] My point? Visioneering helped me to better understand where our vision for urban technology would fit nicely into the overall "Transforming Indiana" vision for collaborative ministry in Greater Indianapolis... or for that matter, all of Indiana.
Future-log: Indeed, what will God do among us, if together we aspire to know Him better and to make Him known?
In all our ways, may we trust in the Lord with all our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him... fully assured that He will direct our paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)