Several months ago, Pastor Cathy Christman from Stoughton UMC had a conversation with a student who was being bullied at work and school. The next day, while the conversation was still weighing on her heart, she was at a small group meeting at the local senior center and the topic turned to bullying again. She knew she was hearing God speak. In a congregation filled with both younger and older disciples, this was a topic that was relevant for all.

Pastor Cathy thought of the lyrics from one of her favorite songs, “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue North, especially the line “You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.” With this concept in mind, she posted on Facebook, and asked people to finish the sentence, “I am more than...”. The ideas from that initial post eventually grew into the #IAmMoreThan campaign – a sermon series, daily devotion, and Facebook page.

Pastor Cathy’s hope for the campaign was “to inspire and empower people to live a ‘more than’ life as children of God.” #IAmMoreThan was already a social media movement, but Pastor Cathy said, “My hope was to take this one step further and help us all better realize who we are as God’s creation. Living a ‘more than’ life is important in these uncertain days. It is a reminder for all of us, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians (5: 17-21), that we are a new creation as followers of Jesus Christ. We are all to come to Christ, no matter our past, our weight, what the world thinks we are. We are all to come to Christ as children of God.”

The sermon series and daily devotions ran from August 13th through September 3rd, with a different church member featured each day. Stoughton UMC member Deanna Bahrke is a photographer and offered to take the pictures. During their All Church Mission Day, she encouraged people coming and going from the church to get their pictures done. Many members of the congregation participated and by the end of the day, she had over 30 pictures from the congregation with their “more than” statements. She was even able to persuade people who do not usually participate in campaigns like this to get involved.

You can view all of the photos in this video, or visit the Facebook page to read the daily devotionals.