What in the world are we doing back in Kentucky?
All of this because of a divine calling, that led to a holy discontent, that led to a bold vision to see every teen everywhere hear the gospel from a friend.
Since 2014, I have been involved with Dare 2 Share Ministries in addition to my primary role in the local church. As a lead pastor and traveling evangelist, I grew deeper in my relationship and partnership with Dare 2 Share (D2S) - from certified trainer, to master trainer, to a member of the Gospel Advancing Ministry Council. Over the years this calling grew stronger and the vision became clearer, until God led me to join Dare 2 Share as a full-time team member in August 2019. Three months later, we sold out and moved to the D2S HQ, just outside of Denver, Colorado. The policy of Dare 2 Share for the last 30 years has been that each employee/team member must be on-site at the base of operations in Arvada, CO. We understood that, so we stepped out in faith. This move was without a doubt the biggest, most difficult adjustment my family and I have ever made. But we knew God had called us, so we obeyed.
Not long after our move, as we were still getting settled, you know what happened next. We all got "2020'd". With the pandemic shut-down, we quickly began to struggle in a new area, far away from family and life-long friends. And then the financial difficulty began to squeeze us. My wife was unable to work, and I was unable to travel and speak for extra income. Throw in the fact that Colorado's cost of living is close to three times higher than what we're accustomed to, and we soon realized that we wouldn't make it much longer. We prayed and sought God's face as we burned through our savings. We could not understand what the Lord was doing. We knew He had called us, and we knew the pandemic was no surprise to Him...so why would He call us to make such a move at a time like this? After tons of prayer, discussion, and tears, we knew it was time to go home. My D2S family was incredibly understanding, supportive, and gracious through it all. Heartbroken and homesick, we packed up and moved back to Kentucky in August 2020. My family was very happy to be home, which made me happy, but something was missing and I was confused. I stayed on as a temporary, part-time employee for D2S to finish out some major projects, while praying and seeking God's will for what was next. I applied to a few different ministry positions in the state, but doors kept closing. After two years of not being on staff in a local church, I had assumed that God might be calling me back in. Yet something seemed "off". I still had this big, bold, gospel advancing vision, with a passion to see ministry transformation and multiplication nationally and internationally. I couldn't help but think that God had been guiding and gearing me for something different - so we continued to pray, watch, and wait.
Then the door opened, and answers flooded from heaven. Dare 2 Share called me to come back on board with them full-time, to work remotely from my hometown. I was blown away - surprised and speechless - which is pretty uncommon for me! It was an unprecedented opportunity, but God had clearly paved the way. What seemed like a pandemic-forced reroute, instead became a God-framed on-ramp to fulfill my calling from Kentucky. From our tiny town that has always been "home", I get to train leaders and lead trainers internationally. My ministry now is to help create content and provide resources and training for leaders to mobilize believers with gospel urgency, fluency, and strategy around the world. Every week, I get to connect with friends and fellow laborers for THE Cause across the country, and across the continents. It is humbling and fulfilling to get to encourage and equip such godly, gifted leaders. By God's grace, we work together to launch gospel advancing movements in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
2020 has been extremely difficult for us all, no doubt about it. Insert a 1,200 mile move a few months before the pandemic hit the planet, and you could say it added a few extra twists and turns to our journey. But the suffering has matured us in our faith like never before. It has developed my attitude and deepened my gratitude to the glory of God and for my own good. And as the old saying goes, when we couldn't trace God's hand, we just had to trust His heart. I'm so comforted to know that He is always faithful and in control, even when we have no clue what's going on. We are thrilled and thankful, focused and fueled - filled with a fresh fire for ministry...and for the movement. Huge thanks to all of you who have prayed for us and supported us through this crazy adventure. And for those who are just hearing the news, your prayers are welcomed and appreciated as well. 😊
We are excited to once again call Mount Vernon, KY our (earthly) home. And we are elated that, by God's grace, we can also call it a launching pad for global gospel advancing impact. We won't stop until everyone everywhere has every last chance to hear the Good News of Jesus!