The Great Commission StoryBy Dennis Clark, Herschel Martindale, Rick Whitney
Recorded: December 28th, 2004
Location: Faithwalkers 2004
[Rick Whitney speaking] We got closer and closer and closer. Well you know, the tighter you get in your small group or your youth group or your church, the more danger you are to the Evil One. We got pretty tight.. [laughs] and I remember then all at once we started becoming an object of.. We were called a cult for 5, 6, 7 years. People began to call us a cult . . . And then one day I wake up and.. and I'm leading a small group, and I- and sunday morning. . . sunday morning paper, Des Moines Register, which covers all of Iowa, and there it is on the front cover. My pastor, and some of my brothers, were called a cult. Right on the front page of the Des Moines Register. With photos and everything.
And they came into some of our homes, I remember they went into Jim's home and and- and they had a camera man and they did pictures, they showed the kids and everything and his marriage. It was a beautiful marriage, and wonderful family.. and there was all splashed across.. and then the.. uh.. that this group, we were very.. my goodness- and then the phones started ringing, cause I was involved with 10, 15 different students scattered across Iowa, and I had students call me because their parents were calling them and we were just- just nailed against the wall and that went on for years. . .
You know, the very thing you're attacked in by the Devil.. might be your ace. Might be your strongest card. . .
I used to ask my brothers, I'd say, "You know, Jim [McCotter]. Why when somebody leaves our movement.. Why when somebody leaves.. Why is there such a big to-do? and why is this so painful? And why is this hurting us so much? And why is there such a.. you know, throwing back and forth, throwing stuff at each other and- ah- I remember my brother turning to me. . . [and saying] "You don't understand, we're doing something that is from God. And it's holy. It's a painful thing to leave the family of God."
Jim, and some of the guys said, "You know, we need to organize." . . . We formed our national association. . .
Jim, before GCM, and before we uh.. got back onto campuses with that ministry, and that vehicle.. Jim decided before the Lord that he really felt he wanted to be involved in raising capital to even get involved in media. And I remember he asked us all about that. A lot of us had questions.. some of us thought he should.. maybe.. It was a difficult time there because we loved him and he was in many ways our leader but we were thinking, "ahh, my goodness.."
I remember some of us challenged him and he uhm- But he felt that he should do that didn't he? And it wasn't like he was going to do bad.. He just felt he needed to get involved, to help raise a ton of money to help try to influence the media in t- to try to shape our culture. He said, "you guys go on" and we did. And- I don't know what year that was, but.. just a few years after Jim's leaving we decided we needed to get back onto campuses cause we had a number of community chruches but we were losing our presence there. And so we formed GCM, with both Meyer then, then eventually Schroeder, then eventually Jeff Kurn . . .
Jeff had helped a ton over the last four years in giving us a good name up from outside our circles. . . And we asked Jeff to lead there.
Audio of Teaching (mp3)