"Let us go on and take the adventures that shall fall to us.” -C.S Lewis
At a young age I was inspired by the stories of missions and missionaries. I was home-schooled, and we had cassette tapes telling the stories of missionaries. One cassette told the story of a missionary who had encountered a stranger with a badly disfigured knee, and after praying, it was fully restored. I rewound that tape, over and over, listening and re-listening as the narrator excitedly proclaimed: the man with the twisted knee would immediately walk again.
I grew up believing in miracles. My own older brother was a cancer survivor, told when he was six years old he wouldn't make it more than two months. 16 years and more then 10 surgeries later he's not just living, but living a life for Jesus. Being around that kind of spiritual heat at such a young age has shaped me into who I am today.
"I grew up believing in miracles"
My dad and I always liked to talk business, we somehow figured we'd end up in business together one day. All though we haven't yet started a business together (emphasis on yet) I had been inspired from our conversations.
When I was born, my dad was a youth pastor, graduate of George Fox with a degree in communications. Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of job openings for communications graduates. That didn't stop him. He took a second job at a utilities company reading meters. He worked hard at his low level job, and rose through the ranks of McMinnville Water and Light, eventually taking the title of Key Accounts Manager: (the guy who handles all of the major client accounts for the whole company, the ones that pay top dollar).
After resting in the accounts manager position for a few years, he was approached by multi million dollar insurance company, Oregon Mutual , to be their Vice President of marketing. He recently created their whole website because of an inconsistency in the IT department (he's not a web developer, and no, that wasn't in his job description).
I remember my grandpa would laugh as he talked about my dad; "do you know why your dad can do anything he puts his mind to? Because no one ever told him he couldn't." My dad seems to believe the same things about me and my brother. You want to do something, nothing is holding you back.
"No one ever told him he couldn't."
To be honest, I was never really interested in business for the sake of business. I had always known God would use me in ministry. But, having grown up around so much business chatter, I'd wanted to see them collide.
I had always wrestled with the question of how to mix business with ministry.
One day, as I was sitting in church, a missionary couple from China had come back to the states for a brief visit. This couple shared their story during the service, a powerful story: they'd started a bakery in China where they employed kids with down syndrome and autism to come work for them. Kids who would otherwise be out casts were given a job, a pay check and they were treated like an adult.
The story of these missionaries taught me two things:
1) Ministry can successfully be mixed with business.
2) More people need to hear these stories.
I was sure everyone in the congregation that day was inspired by the stories that the missionaries had shared. It was the pure work of God through them that they were proclaiming, how could it not be inspirational. I believe in John 14:12
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."
If such great works are happening in believers, than people need to hear about it. The whole book of Acts is stories: stories of believers, doing great works, that's why it's called The Acts of the Apostles. I believe Acts isn't finished, there are whole books of stories to be told.
"People need to hear about it"
So this is where I come in. Inspired to be a conduit for story telling, I have decided to start "By Faith Podcast." A place for people to hear about, connect with and support not just missionaries, but "anyone who believes in (Jesus)." The men and women who are walking in the works that God has predestined for them to do (Eph 2:10).
The dream is to create a space for stories to be told, and heard, but also a place for young men and women to practice their talent for storytelling. I would love to see this explode into a place of stories being captured by film, art, blogs, podcasts, even music. The vision: to build up a wave of talented business minded individuals, dedicated to sharing and proclaiming God's great works.