Last week, Journey had an opportunity to partner with Family Christian Stores for their annual meeting. The company hosts its annual meeting at Celebration Cinema every year, right where we have our worship services. Apparently, their company meetings and events are a big deal and they often make an event out of them. For their meeting this year, they brought in Natalie Grant to lead worship/concert and they showed the movie The Blind Side, which was released on DVD that day. Journey got involved at the last-minute because they mentioned to the theater that they would need to rent equipment for the concert and the theater mentioned that Journey had a lot of what they would need. It was a great opportunity for Journey to get connected with Family Christian Stores (aside from occasionally purchasing materials from them) and nice that we exceeded their expectations in what we were able to do (Go Journey!)
The event went great. The concert was fun and it was cool to meet a big name Christian singer like Natalie Grant. While the business meeting was less entertaining (although let’s face it, by their very nature, business meetings are lacking in excitement – especially if you’re not involved or connected with the business) it was still very interesting and there were several things that really impressed me about Family Christian Stores:
- As a business, I expected to hear more about sales and revenue than there was. Yes, it was there – it’s a business and it HAS to be there, but it was a minor part of the overall meeting – I think they devoted about 15 minutes out of almost 2 hours to their financial position.
- It was clear throughout the meeting that they see their business as a ministry. I know that a lot of “Christian” companies do, but it’s usually communicated through their marketing and advertisements. This was a business meeting, with just the company insiders where I would expect to be “reminded” that the business is a ministry and then move on to more important “business.” The fact that they see themselves as ministry was a thread that went throughout the presentation.
- As a ministry, they are out to change the world. One of the major points that was referenced throughout the meeting was something called The James Fund. It’s a fund that Family Christian setup to care for widows and orphans. I’m not sure in the past how they’ve grown it, but they shared that their plan for this year is to ask every employee (in all 200+ stores) to contribute at least $1 a week in addition to other means of funding it. Through the fund, they have helped fund adoptions and sponsored children all over the world. Their biggest goal is to help change the adoption and foster care programs making them better for the children involved. It would be a huge goal for a worldwide company, let alone a company with just 200+ (263, I think) stores!
The last point there is the one that has stuck with me the most. They are definitely dreaming a God-sized dream and taking strides to accomplish it. I know, for myself, I am guilty of not always remembering to dream bigger – especially right now when funds are tight (or seemingly non-existent) but God has called us to be big dreamers and to pursue God-sized dreams – whether the funds are there or not and if they’re not, to creatively find a way to make it happen without them.
I’m glad that we got the chance to partner with such a great company and we look forward to more opportunities to partner together in the future.