Casting Director Mark Fincannon Receives Ambassador Award

Photo courtesy of Hugo Fergusson on Upsplash

Casting Director Mark Fincannon Receives Ambassador Award

By Mark Fincannon

Editor’s note: Mark Fincannon received the Ambassador Award at the Annual Media Fellowship Brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Mark shares that we are all Ambassadors in a strange land desiring to represent our King in the most loving and memorable way possible.

Wow. I am truly grateful and honored to receive the Ambassador Award on behalf of Jesus, truly my best friend.

Nothing that I have ever accomplished or obtained in life could have happened without Jesus walking with me and talking with as my best friend, counselor, savior, advocate, protector, role model, and king.

AMBASSADOR–I’ve given a lot of thought to that word since I was informed about the award.

I have a childhood memory of an ambassador visiting the campground that my family was staying at when I was a young boy.  He came in a long, shiny black limousine.  Who is that? Why is a limo pulling into a campground? Everyone came running. He got out and sat and talked, listened and asked questions for an hour or so. It left a lasting impression.

Maybe that is what an ambassador is: someone who leaves a lasting impression. Do I do that?  I think I have ever since I met Jesus. His entrance into my life dramatically changed me.  I haven’t been able to stop talking about him, sharing about him and finding other friends of his to talk about him.

That’s where Pastor Bob Reith, who is presenting me with this award, comes in.

I was thrust into the film business in Charlotte, North Carolina (my home state), in 1980, and then moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1983 to work on a single film.  The producer fell in love during the film and decided to stay in Wilmington and build a movie studio.  Here we go, so 23 feature films in 3 1/2 years, with Michael Cimino, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Bruce Beresford, George Lucas to name a few.  Sounds cool.  It was amazing.

But, there was still something missing. My college roommate was killed. I came to the end of myself. I cried out to God to reveal Himself.  He did in his Son Jesus.

I then said, “God, why the movie business? Open the door for something else, somewhere else.”

He said, “Son, where do you think you will go that doesn’t have people struggling with sin, running from me? People are lost everywhere, in every profession, including on the mission field, or in the local church.  I have called you to this land.  Trust me.”

It was at that point that I felt like I was in a strange land.  A land despised by others, but the Lord put a love in my heart for them.  They just need to be loved, shown what love looks like, and introduced to the one that has a different kind of message about love, unconditional love.

It was at that point that I said, “Wow, if I’m going to do this, I need to find someone who speaks this same language.”

So, in 1988, I found Media Fellowship online and contacted Pastor Bob.  Three days later he was sitting in my office and pledged to walk with me, talk with me, provide resources for me, commit to pray for me and just love me: no strings attached.

Ambassadors need friends around them that speak the same language.  Friends that you can meet with regularly, study God’s manual, pray for one another, discuss the struggles that we face in such a strange land. It can be really terrifying at times in a strange land.  Ask Jesus.  That’s what I do a lot, ask Jesus. He knows. He understands.  He has experienced it all before.  And, the beauty is, He didn’t leave us to figure it out alone or without instructions.

He said, “It is good that I go; so, I can send the Holy Spirit to guide you, and I will have my guys write down everything that I taught for your instruction.  What a loving thing to do.”

Boy, did I need that.

In 2002, I faced the most difficult challenge in my life.  My wife, and mother of our two daughters, left me.

It was at this point that I truly discovered the depth of my faith.  Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Word and many others helped me see that with Christ nothing is so devastating that He can’t walk us through the problem.  His kindness, patience, compassion, and eternal commitment to us give us more than we need.  After all, He laid down his life for me.  Would anyone else really every do that?

I met my now-wife of 15 years, Sharon.

Sharon, thank you for stepping into this foreign land with me and helping me to navigate these tricky waters.  Half of this is yours.  There is no greater joy than to have a true companion to walk with.

In closing, here are the characteristics of an AMBASSADOR:

Someone who is COMPASSIONATE, KIND, HUMBLE, GENTLE, PATIENT, and NOBLE

You are APPOINTED, not voted into office.

You represent God’s Kingdom.

Commit your life to the INTEREST of God’s Kingdom.

You embody the very nature of the King of God’s Kingdom.

You are completely covered by God’s Kingdom.

God’s Kingdom is your protector and is looking out for your interest.

Don’t be tempted to became a member of the world’s ways and customs.

God is committed to be with you until the end.

You should always speak of what the instruction manual (Bible) says about issues, not your personal position

OUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO INFLUENCE THE TERRITORY FOR GOD’S KINGDOM.

LUKE 13:18 – 21

  • Then he said, “How can I picture God’s kingdom for you? What kind of story can I use? It’s like a pine nut that a man plants in his front yard. It grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches, and eagles build nests in it.”

– Luke 13:18 (MSG)

  • He tried again. “How can I picture God’s kingdom? It’s like yeast that a woman works into enough dough for three loaves of bread—and waits while the dough rises.”

– Luke 13:20 (MSG)

Plant seeds and continue to disciple.  People will ultimately come to hang with you and you will see a harvest!

Editor’s Note: Mark Fincannon is a 35-year veteran and Emmy Award-winning casting director.

Mark cast among many other movies: THE BLIND SIDE, RAY, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, END OF THE SPEAR, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, and THE CASE FOR CHRIST; as well as, recent television: THE RESIDENT, MACGYVER and NASHVILLE.

Do you enjoy articles like this? Click here to become a monthly partner and receive a copy of UNPLANNED on DVD!  

Want more content like this? Make a donation to Movieguide®