An Interview with Kirk Manton

Steve Elmore: I have personally had the pleasure of knowing Kirk Manton and working alongside him managing our various retreats, conferences, and institutes for six years now. Kirk truly has a servant’s heart and a gift for leading and mentoring others.He’s had an even longer association with the Foundation as a volunteer in various capacities before I met him, but I’ll let him tell that story himself.

Steve: Kirk, tell our readers about your work with Trinity Fellowship and its mission.

Kirk Manton: When I moved from Southern California over fifteen years ago to live near my kids in Amarillo, I had little clue what God has in store for me career-wise. I had been a youth pastor, Disneyland Hotel entertainment department night supervisor, film equipment rental company manager and a freelance film lighting technician. What was I going to do in Amarillo, an isolated city in the panhandle of Texas?

By the grace of God I was led to Trinity Fellowship Church – the one place that would be all of what God had be preparing in me throughout my varied career. Trinity is unique, a mega church of around fourteen thousand people in a city of less than two hundred thousand with a big vision, lots of resources, openness to using cutting edge technology, and a mission that resonates with my heart.

Trinity has three simple goals: help people 1) Encounter God, 2) Find Community, and 3) Fulfill Their Purpose. Ever since 2006 when I came on staff full-time, they have been true to those goals. They have provided an environment where I have encountered God in an ever deepening way and have found a diverse and welcoming community of God’s people. They have encouraged and supported me in finding God’s unique purpose for me, the purpose He has equipped me to fulfill.

One of those callings has been to use my gifts to facilitate technically gifted people in the body of Christ.  The goal is for us to have servant hearts and join together to use our talents to help improve events with a Kingdom building mission. I have found various outlets for this calling – from helping support local Christians pursuing careers in film making, to working with local churches (and my own), to volunteering in various areas during my long association with the C. S. Lewis Foundation.


SE: What was your first experience with one of the Foundation’s programs?

KM: I was first introduced to the C.S. Lewis Foundation in the 1990s when a couple of film business colleagues invited me to help them with a promotion video they were producing for the Foundation. Over the course of the day of shooting, I had the opportunity to hear all about the Foundation while the founding president, Stan Mattson, shared its vision and purpose on camera.I was hooked, and I have been volunteering with the Foundation ever since.


SE: How has the C.S. Lewis Foundation made an impact on your life and work?

KM: Working with the Foundation has expanded my circle of friends and coworkers, literally all over the world. It has provided me the opportunity to explore and discover facets of myself I possibly never would have discovered. At Foundation events I have listened to, fellowshipped with, and worked with world class Christian authors, teachers, preachers, laymen, and artists of all kinds – people who are pushing the edge of what God is calling them to do to impact the academic and artistic worlds, the body of Christ, and the culture at large.

All my time working with the Foundation has caused me to personally listen hard, and take seriously, how God is calling me to expand my vision. I am seeing new ways I can serve Him with what He has poured into my life. As a result, I am currently working on a variety of writing projects that involve poetry, devotionals, bible studies, and photography.

I am also spearheading a volunteer software development team working on creating a software program to help churches manage the growing demand for technical production volunteer and paid staff personnel.  The C. S. Lewis Foundation has played no small part in my realization that we can witness God do amazing things when we first recognize what He has put in us, then work in community to improve on those talents, and offer them collectively back to Him to guide and use.


SE: The C.S. Lewis Foundation’s mission is “Inspired by the life and legacy of C.S. Lewis, the C.S. Lewis Foundation equips and encourages Christians to live their faith within the world of ideas and the arts.” How have you been served by that mission?

KM: At its core, the mission of the C.S. Lewis Foundation is very similar to the mission of my home church but unique in its focus on the world of ideas and the arts. It was that focus at the heart of the influential academic world that first attracted me to the Foundation. God has certainly used the Foundation to equip and encourage me to live out my faith more than ever before with a special emphasis on being a lifelong learner and creative person.


SE: What would you like the Foundation to do more of?

KM: I do so want to see the Foundation be able to expand its programs to reach out to and impact more people of faith in the world of ideas and the arts, for it is from there that individuals and the whole culture is dramatically influenced and changed.


SE: Kirk, thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us.

KM: Happy to help, Steve.