Good afternoon! I wanted take this opportunity to introduce myself. Most of you know me, but for those of you who do not, I’m Mike Skinner and I’ve been with Global Media Outreach since 2004. When my wife Cindy and I brought our small children Emily (pictured, from this year, with me at left) and Luke from California to join the Orlando team, GMO wasn’t yet the official name of this organization!
My first ministry assignment was developing our Who Is He? CD-ROM. When that product was discontinued, I served in the Media team, helping to shoot and edit videos. I’ve served in and led the Difficult Theological Questions, Live Chat Evangelism initiatives, prayer groups, Applications Approval and Training.
Like many of you, I’ve seen a lot of change at Global Media Outreach. Hey, don't laugh! Sometimes change is fun. Sometimes, not so much fun, but it’s always necessary. Especially in an online ministry like ours. Change has been accelerating for our family since we left Florida for Texas with our two teens when GMO moved our headquarters in 2014. A friend at that time texted us what was meant to be an encouraging message about the “roller coaster” we were on, and autocorrect changed it to “toilet coaster,” much to our amusement. We’ve often referred to rapid change as being on the “toilet coaster” since then!
GMO has been going through some rapid change in the past few months. All of us are saddened as we’ve said goodbye to some dear friends and co-workers. Some of us have had to pick up new responsibilities that can seem unfamiliar and heavy at first. But they also bring new opportunities for greater influence. I’m very grateful to all of you, who, (like me), have lost beloved leaders and have had to shoulder the extra burden. Thank you so much for your selfless service!
And it’s the thought of Who we’re really serving that brings me to the close of this letter. I mentioned the discontinuation of the CD-ROM project in the second paragraph, then moving to Texas in the third. Over the years, there have been many disappointing experiences like these which might have made me seriously consider leaving the organization—if I were serving a business. Or an individual. Or myself. If I may be so bold, this is more than an organization to me. It’s bigger than any individual serving in it. It’s a calling. And if it’s a calling, I can count on two things: in His omniscience, God does not revoke it. (Romans 11:29) And in His providence, He’s actually the One Who accomplishes it. (1 Thess. 5:24)
I hope that encourages you in the way that I’m encouraged today. I believe that if we are serious about finding out what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:10), then putting it into practice and sharing it with others, (Ezra 7:10), GMO’s best days are ahead of us. I just can’t promise we won’t continue to experience change! I hope you’ll embrace it like a roller coaster (or at least laugh along with me about it like the idea of a toilet coaster)!
Sincerely in Christ