Why did Cinnamon Network International start?

Following the success of Cinnamon Network UK there was a need to create a way to respond to invitations from other countries who wanted to start a Cinnamon Network. In the UK Matt Bird had founded and led the team that supported the replication of 30 Cinnamon Recognised Projects in more than 3,000 local churches demonstrating Jesus’ love to three million people experiencing vulnerability.

They also enabled local church networks in 92 government municipalities to undertake the Faith Action Audit to demonstrate that faith is a force for good and worth more than £3billion per annum. In addition they helped local church networks in 48 government districts or cities to host a Civic Prayer Breakfast bringing church and civic leaders together to pray for the wellbeing of their communities.

How did Cinnamon Network International develop?

Cinnamon Network International began because of the demand to start Cinnamon Network in other countries. Cinnamon Network UK decided to replicate its governance and leadership to create a Cinnamon Network International Board and Executive. The founding Board Chair David Westlake became the Board Chair of Cinnamon Network International. He was joined by Cinnamon Board colleagues Bishop Wayne Malcolm and Bonnie Yule-Kuehne. The founding CEO Matt Bird became the CEO of Cinnamon Network International. He was later joined by Cinnamon executive colleagues including Gary Atkins who is now international head of operations.

What is the purpose of Cinnamon Network International?

The purpose of Cinnamon Network International is to support the launch, development and sustainability of Cinnamon Networks in countries around the world. So Cinnamon Network International is now a global family of Cinnamon Networks who work interdependently through a common framework providing a global vision, mission, values and goal.

What has Cinnamon Network International already achieved?

Cinnamon Network International has helped develop Cinnamon Networks in eight countries around the world in just two years. For example Cinnamon Network United States has supported the churches in two zip codes in New York City to measure the human capital of the faith community at $8.8billion per annum.

Also Cinnamon Network Australia has already identified 6 church-led community projects that have replicated through 933 other local churches demonstrating Jesus’ love to 93,300 people experiencing vulnerability.

Where does the name Cinnamon Network International come from?

In the Old Testament we read in Exodus chapter 30 verse 23 that one of the key ingredients God instructed Moses to use in making anointing oil was ‘sweet cinnamon’ – it actually has nothing to do with that! The regular conversations Matt Bird hosted to explore how to help churches transform community took place in one of his favourite Indian restaurants called The Cinnamon Club. So when a name was needed for what was beginning to emerge Cinnamon Network was the first thing that came to mind. Providentially it has international meaning for spicing things up and so then translated into Cinnamon Network International.

Why is Cinnamon Network International called a network rather than an organisation?

Cinnamon Network International is highly organised but it is not an organisation. Organisations have never changed the world but networks and movements occasionally have. Cinnamon Network International brings leaders together from every sector of society including church, business, political and media to work together to transform communities. So Cinnamon Network International is not something that is done ‘to’ people but rather something people choose to do ‘with’ one another. So you can be part of the network in any one of a myriad of ways.

What first inspired Matt Bird to start Cinnamon Network?

On 19 July 2010 British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech about ‘Big Society’ which was his vision for a smaller state and a bigger society. His vision was for a big society where every citizen and organisation recognised their responsibility to look after their neighbour and their neighbourhood. This was in contrast to a ‘big government’ to whom we pay our taxes and then expect to do everything for us. This speech inspired Matt Bird to explore how to increase the church’s transformative role in community and society.

What country is starting Cinnamon Network next?

Cinnamon Network International operates a man of Macedonia strategy. In Acts16:9 it is recorded that the Apostle Paul had a vision in which a man from Macedonia appeared to him and asked him to come and help. In the same way we don’t go where we fancy but rather to countries that ask for help. There are always more requests for help than we are able to respond to so we have to consider those invitations against our strategy and resources.

What is the governance and leadership of Cinnamon Network International?

Cinnamon Network International has a threefold governance and leadership structure. An International Board of leaders who provide rigorous governance and oversight. An International Leadership Council who are appointed representatives from each country or region who are responsible for the global leadership of the movement. A CEO/President who leads a team to deliver the strategy agreed by the International Board and supported by the International Leadership Council.

How is Cinnamon Network International funded?

It’s easiest to say how Cinnamon Network International isn’t funded – we don’t ask local churches for money. Cinnamon Network International is called to serve the local church not to be served by the local church. Therefore we don’t ask local churches for money although of course they do make donations and when they do we love to say a big thank you! So Cinnamon Network International is funded by resourceful individuals, families and foundations who see that their philanthropic investment has a massive catalytic effect to help churches transform community.

What is the global goal of Cinnamon Network International?

The global goal of Cinnamon Network International is to demonstrate Jesus’ love to 50million people experiencing vulnerability. It will achieve this global goal by activating and resourcing 50,000 local churches to love people experiencing vulnerability and transform their communities. Cinnamon Network International’s research has shown that when a local church engages in its community, there are 1,000 times in a year when it serves a person experiencing vulnerability – hence 50,000 local churches impacts 50million people experiencing vulnerability.

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