Here’s the final installment of my interview with Chuck Russell about his background and his decision to come to Resurrection. See part 2 here.
Clif: What made you decide to move from the national, general agency level down to the local church level?
Chuck: My heart has always been with the local church. Just ask my colleagues here at UMCOM. They got sick of hearing me say over and over that it’s ALL about what goes on at the local church. One of my mentors, Gregg Taylor at the University of Arkansas Wesley Foundation, used to always say you can influence people from far off but you can only impact them from up close. The local church is the Father’s instrument in bringing about his kingdom rule on earth. It has been that way since a converted persecutor rambled around the Roman Empire setting up house churches.
Clif: What will be your title and role on staff at Resurrection?
Chuck: My title will be Internet Communications Director, and being that it is a new position my role will gradually evolve. Primarily I will be responsible for the Internet-based communications that the church as a whole and individual ministries use to live out their mission to make disciples. In a church with so many talented people, that will mean a lot of consulting, strategic planning, project management, volunteer recruitment, training and equipping. I see the web and Internet technologies as servants of the ministry of the church, so the goal is to really understand the needs and values of ministry leaders and help them bring technology to bear on those areas.
Clif: What are your priorities in this new position?
1. Getting to know the church in depth – its people, its programs, its heartbeat.
2. Establish an internal consultancy that has a well developed process for meeting ministry area needs.
3. Recruiting and equipping a volunteer team.
4. Establishing standards and guidelines for forward facing websites.
5. Learning to work in a cubicle. (Yep I had a really cool office with a view of downtown Nashville.)
Clif: What excites you most about the opportunity to be on the staff at Resurrection?
Chuck: The ability to work with such smart, talented people who are absolutely on mission. What I admire most about the church as a whole and particularly its executive leadership, is how focused they are on their core values. They know when to say yes and when to say no to something, and its always related to the question of whether or not it can get us further toward making disciples of Jesus Christ.
I’m glad to say that I’ve worked directly with Chuck Russell the past few years at United Methodist Communications. He is an innovator and will be missed. The United Methodist “Connection” and Church of the Resurrection are lucky to have him.