About a month and a half ago, I visited a friend of mine during his church’s “Encounter Weekend.” It was kind of a reunion for a bunch of us guys that had played at a youth camp together a couple years back. It was great weekend, seeing old friends, and hanging out – but I had absolutely NO IDEA what was about to happen.
My last year at Christ for the Nations, when God asked me to move back to Crescent, Oklahoma to Youth Pastor at my Dad’s church – I was like, “no… wait, please no!” I didn’t want to be back in a small town and I didn’t want to be away from my friends. I wanted to travel and play music. I was’t even sure I wanted to do youth ministry.
But then He told me, “David, if you will look at this as a tithe of your life – I’ll bless you.”
And so I said okay – Not really knowing what to expect or what it would look like – or even what I’d be doing. But I decided to go for it and God has done nothing but bless it! Venture has been the most exciting, fulfilling, and honestly just the best time of my life! What started with 12 students now runs 60+ students every week. We have seen countless healings, salvations, and students filled with Holy Spirit! I couldn’t have spent the last 18 months at a better place, or with better people. But I always knew I wasn’t called to be here forever.
So, I’m at this Encounter Retreat this past October at my friend, Jared Ellis’, church. He shared with me that he might be moving on to Elevation Church out in North Carolina in a year or so. He also shared that he was looking at me to possibly come and take over Youth Church, which is his student ministry there in Abilene… I was basically speechless.
On the 5 hour drive home I told the Lord that this was something I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to leave Venture. I really didn’t want to leave.
The next few weeks the Lord began to speak to my heart and I knew I was going to Abilene. I was getting completely random Facebook messages from people encouraging me and making contact with people that I hadn’t in years. It was just all these little things. One of the biggest things that I told the Lord is if I’m going to be moving out of state I need a new car. About one week later – I got a new car! Bam. Although, what I wasn’t expecting was getting a text from Jared saying they needed him in January, which would mean Youth Church would need me in January… Not next fall.
What was a 10 month transition period, turned into a 2 month transition period.
The following week my friend, Joel Figueroa, came and did a Night of Worship at Venture. It was awesome! Very powerful and very fun – just how I like it!
Afterwards, Joel and his team came over to my parent’s house with me to eat. And as they were about to leave, Paden, one of the band members, got a prophetic word over me. He said,
“I feel like the Lord is telling you – ‘Thank you. Thank you for taking Venture seriously, for taking Crescent seriously.’ And I feel like you’ve been in a season of sowing and watering, but the Lord is bringing you into a season of reaping and of harvest.”
I immediately started to tear up.. and then I told him about what the Lord had told me back at my last year at CFNI: “David, if you will look at this as a tithe of your life – I’ll bless you.” And I believe that this is a part of that.
On the drive home from my parent’s house, knowing that I’m going to be moving on, I started… I guess basically complaining to the Lord, trying to explain to Him (because you know – He probably didn’t understand) that I didn’t know how to leave Venture. How do I leave this?! I’ve built so much here! I gave everything this past year to Venture – How am I then going to just leave it? – And before I could even finish formulating my thoughts, He stopped me in my tracks and very strongly spoke to me and said,
“Let Me finish what I started.”
Venture is not mine. It was not built by me. The increase was not mine. It’s the Lord that gives the increase (1Cor3:6). The Lord built it – and the Lord will carry it.
So I said, “okay Lord” … again!
Thanksgiving week I spent 5 days in Abilene with the Pastor, Scott Beard, and his family. During their Sunday morning worship I was looking around and talking with the Lord,
and He told me, “I will accelerate your process here.”
Honestly, I really didn’t know what He mean’t. I mean, it sounded cool, but I had no idea what He was really referring to.
And then, not even two minutes later, an older man got on stage and gave a prophetic word over the church – basically saying the exact same thing the Lord had just told me! That FountainGate was coming to a time of acceleration.
That got me pretty pumped/freaked out. But I knew it was the Lord.
The rest of that trip was just incredible! I was telling Jared that it’s crazy how connected I already felt to Pastor Scott. In just knowing Him a couple days I had felt such trust and transparency. Like, no one was trying to put up any front to win me over. That mean’t a lot to me.
So on January 5th I will be moving to Abilene, Texas to become the full-time youth pastor at FountainGate Fellowship and take on Youth Church.
I didn’t see this coming. I never even really expected to be in youth ministry. But I know this is God! The past 6 weeks have been the emotional time of my life! Knowing I am leaving all that I’ve helped build and grow! All that has become comfortable! For really… the absolute unknown. My life is going to be completely different in the next just few weeks.
I knew I wouldn’t be in Crescent forever. I honestly thought it would be longer than this! But I trust the Lord.
How could I tell my students week after week to Live the Adventure – if I’m too afraid to live my own?
So I’m stepping out of what’s become comfortable and starting the next chapter of my life.
Venture will have someone come in to replace me – but whoever that person is, they won’t be joining for a couple months. So there is a short time period that Venture will be run by my staff. Whoever is it that comes in won’t be coming in to some broken chaotic youth ministry. I have been so blessed to have such a strong leadership and intern team here that I fully believe they can run it until their replacement comes. I have been absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how much my leadership team has stepped up and taken charge! My church has been nothing but encouraging and supportive with this transition! I am amazed by just how much love and empowerment my church family has given me!
I am beyond excited to open this next chapter of my life!
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
If I could encourage you with anything – I’d just say this:
Comfort is not your friend.
I believe we are all called to greatness. We all have an adventure to go out and live. Step out in faith, take a risk, and do what you know you’ve been called to do.
And trust me… Sometimes it’s terrifying. But, I’d rather live with a failure than a regret.
I love you all big time! Thank you so much for the messages and words of encouragement I’ve already been given! If you have any more feel free to message me!