In an industry where most performers seek the spotlight, a talent executive who has worked with such stars as faith-based blockbuster War Room‘s T.C. Stallings, guides her company to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ in film, fashion, music and theater through servant leadership.
The “C” in AMTC didn’t always stand for Christ, though, and neither did Lewis.
A personal transformation
As a young woman coming of age in the early 1970s, Lewis watched her mother run a successful talent development company in South Carolina. Her mother, a former model, also championed political causes, such as civil and women’s rights, which made an impact on young Lewis contributing to her drive to achieve success.
Soon, Lewis joined her mother in the family business, starting with a talent convention in Charleston, South Carolina. From there, the talent conventions grew as did AMTC.
Success followed, but Lewis had no grounding in faith. Growing up as what she calls a “cultural Christian” who believed in God and went to church occasionally, Lewis now says she wasn’t a true Christ-follower.
“I valued myself and my life by how much I could achieve,” Lewis said. “I was what the world might call successful. I had good income, a nice house, great cars, good kids, and a husband with a seemingly wonderful job. I looked reasonably good. But all that being said, I’ve now decided that no successful person in the world is truly happy without Jesus, not truly happy,” Lewis said.
She had gained outward success, but she lacked inner peace. Six nights out of seven, Lewis said, her fears woke her and caused panic attacks. She now realizes she was missing a basis for her life.
In 2006, at the age of 51, Lewis became a Christian. New definitions of happiness and success followed.
“No successful person in the world is truly happy without Jesus. I think it all goes down to a foundation of joy. I don’t believe people who have not met Jesus can have a foundation of joy,” she said. Though she still awoke in the wee hours many nights, she turned to prayer instead of worry.
Now, her worth is not tied to making money or amassing material possessions. Instead, it’s about representing Jesus Christ to the best of her ability in all she does. “My success is now found in Jesus,” Lewis said.
Lewis’s leadership style also changed after she became a Christian. She now strives to lead by serving others with humility, the way Jesus did.
“I want to be a humble leader,” Lewis said. “I want to be a servant leader, like Jesus was. Not that I can achieve that goal, but I will continue to work at it. I think that’s a challenge for anyone who’s been blessed with talent or position, or who has achieved success in the eyes of the world,” she said.
Lewis’s changes didn’t stop with her personal life, though.
A professional transformation
A few months after she accepted Christ as her Savior, Lewis had a revelation while exercising on a treadmill. Her ‘treadmill experience’ resulted in changing the – “C” in AMTC from Actors, Models and Talent Competition to Actors, Models and Talent for Christ.
As a result of Lewis’s conversion to Christ, she soon saw her two adult daughters and her son-in-law become Christians. Her son-in-law, Adam She, now serves AMTC as Executive Director.
Gradually, AMTC made business changes to reflect their new calling as a Christian ministry. “We were doing business as Actors, Models and Talent for Christ, and then we legally changed the name, which is a big deal when you’re a corporation. Then, in 2012, we became a non-profit, which was the biggest move of all,” Lewis said.
AMTC made changes to its mission and vision statements, too. “Our mission statement is to make good bolder in film, fashion, music and theater, and to see the Great Commission of Jesus Christ fulfilled in entertainment,” Lewis said.
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SOURCE: Christian Examiner – Nancy Bethea