March 3, 1996. The day it all began. I was a youth pastor with zero acting experience. About 125 people sat in a small church in North Seattle. I walked onto the stage and said, “In the beginning was the Word…” Two hours later, I stepped off the stage.
Twenty years ago today, this ministry was born!
You can’t tell this as you read, but there was a significantly long pause between when my fingers typed the last sentence, and when they typed this one.
It is nearly impossible for me to think back to that night without standing in awe of all God has done in the two decades since.
What I thought was going to be a “side gig” to my job as a youth pastor, turned into storytelling, writing, books, a blog, speaking, and connecting with ministry leaders all over the world.
[endorsement cite=”Psalm 126:3, NIV”]”The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”[/endorsement]
Will you celebrate God’s kindness, faithfulness, and generosity with me for a few lines?
- God has allowed me to speak on three continents, in seven countries, and in thirty-five states.
- He has allowed me to do live events for about 300,000 people.
- He has lead me through the writing of three print book, several eBooks, six CDs, a DVD, and the Relational Bible Study™ video course.
- He has had me partner with others by contributing to four other published books.
- He’s guided me to write and send out almost half-a-million blog emails.
I can’t believe God lets me do this.
Thank you Jesus. You are good. I say along with Isaiah,
[endorsement cite=”Isaiah 25:1, NIV”]“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” [/endorsement]
To thank everyone who has helped make this happen would take more time than a rambling Oscar speech. That said…I can’t let this day pass without offering thanks to three groups of people.
Kari, Sarah, Caleb, and Hannah – You have walked this journey with me hand-in-hand. You have cheered me on. You have processed ideas with me. You have put up with crazy schedules, inconsistent income, dreams realized, and dreams unfulfilled or postponed. You are the reason every flight home is a great flight. Thank you. I love you.
Pete, Ron, Murry, Bill, Scott, Mark, and Steve – You have challenged my thinking and encouraged my dreaming. You have had hard conversations and helped me put legs on my ideas. I can honestly say this ministry wouldn’t have served nearly as many people – or served them as well – if you hadn’t been involved. Thank you.
The words you are reading don’t even come close to conveying how grateful I am for you. You read my books and blog posts. You ask me questions and give me ideas. You send me encouraging emails (most of the time arriving exactly when I need it). You come to my presentations, attend my workshops, and invite me to your churches. You invite me into your successes and struggles.