“In the Lord, great things emerge under extraordinary circumstances,” said Dr. Doug Stringer, founder and president of Somebody Cares America-International, an international movement that has received recognition nationally and globally for connecting needs with resources.
Stringer knows what he is talking about. As the author of four books that use Biblical principles to teach life and leadership lessons, with one in particular – Leadership Awakening: Foundational Principles for Lasting Success – garnering the attention of business owners, congressmen and women, and senators, Stringer is leading the charge for everyday ministry.
“Being a Christian isn’t just something you do on a Sunday,” he said. “It’s living your Christianity every single day. There’s a destiny to why we’re here, and we have an opportunity as Christians to have a global impact.”
Stringer raises the obvious example of 2020 and how it has negatively affected us, both on personal and national levels. But he reminds us that God has a plan greater than our circumstances. “Our leaders have lost their character. On top of that, our church is so divided that we are struggling to heal the nation. God wants us to re-engage with the culture, not abdicate to it. In education, in politics, we’ve abdicated and look at where it has brought us. It’s time to take back the media, the marketplace, so the sacred can lead the secular, instead of the other way around.”
Citing the businesses that managed to survive the economic downturn in 2020, Stringer maintains that they all have one thing in common: Their core is strengthened by non-negotiables. He explained, “We must be uncompromising in our convictions and uncommon in our responses to whatever is thrown at us. We need to know who we are and stay true to it, despite what is going on around us. That’s how we survive, by not allowing our circumstances to dictate our attitudes.”
Discouragement in the face of adversity, as he puts it, is a powerful drug that keeps us from focusing on our core values and why we are here. Once we remember that God has a purpose for us and that we have strong convictions to carry us through difficult times, we will have the antidote to fear.
“Ask God for His non-negotiables for you,” he advises. “Start there. Then remember that He has made promises to you and God keeps his promises.”
For Stringer, Somebody Cares was a calling to minister to those in need locally. It began with a solemn assembly led not by celebrities or famous preachers, but by the people themselves, all coming together to pray and worship. His first gathering in Texas brought together 40,000. A few years later, four other states asked to be involved. “In each of these assemblies,” Stringer said, “there were no egos, no logos, no merchandise sales. It was purely about authentic Christianity, and each was very successful.”
Since then, Somebody Cares has gone nationwide from urban to foreign missions, and from garbage dumps to the palaces and halls of government leaders. Stringer is now considered a bridge-builder of reconciliation among various ethnic and religious groups. He speaks about compassion evangelism, persevering leadership and community transformation, and issues taking place in major cities across the nation.
Somebody Cares has implemented several citywide strategies now multiplied in communities across the nation and internationally. Over the years, Somebody Cares has become a model for connecting needs with resources during natural calamities like the Japan earthquake/tsunami, Midwest tornadoes, Texas wildfires, the earthquake in Haiti, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, Isaac, and Sandy. Through the expansion of the disaster preparedness and relief collaborations, the ministry has established the Global Compassion Response Network.
Stringer has not wavered from his mission since 2011, the year of his first assembly of prayer. Nor did he falter when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2015. “When I was diagnosed, I immediately went into prayer. Doing so brought three realizations to me: 1. God did not do this to me. 2. This cancer does not belong to me. And 3. If both of these things are true, this cancer isn’t even about me. So instead, I turned it into an intercession for our nation. I ministered my way through cancer treatments. And what I learned is to not look at your present circumstances, but instead, look at your destination.”
The start of 2021 has already raised challenging questions about who we are and what we stand for. Stringer shares the Navy Seal ethos that echoes the lessons of the Bible and can help us move forward: “I am just a common man doing common things, and by owning that understanding and saying ‘I am that man,’ I can do anything.”