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  • I'm a creator, entrepreneur, author of DREAM YEAR, and aspiring novelist. My wife Ainsley and I live in Virginia Beach with our five kids Wyatt, Dylan, Cody, Annie & Millie

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No brainer. 2008 - Catalyst in Atlanta. I got a free ticket from my cousin, didn't know anything about it. Walked in on Wed. and was standing alone in a room of about 1,300 people. I prayed, "OK, I know I'm here for a reason, but I have NO idea what it is. Whatever it is that you've brought me here to learn, I'm ready - I'll do whatever you say, so WHY am I here?"

5 hours later, I knew without a doubt - I was to become a church planter. 2 days later when the conference ended, I was more sure than ever. After 8 years of slowly being prepared and being led closer and closer to finding out what my life's work would be, He told me: You will plant a church. I came to life more that day than ever before, and it's been 90 mph forward ever since then. The rest of the Catalyst experience had a dramatic effect on me too - all the people I came to know and be in touch with and learn from - those 3 days forever changed my life.

feb 2008.
brenda and annette's home.
video here:

February of last year the board of a church I'd been pastoring for 2 years asked me to resign. They said I wasn't a "good fit" (they were right). So, after being a lead pastor of that church for 2 years and another before that for 6 I went back into youth ministry. Best decision of my ministry life.

It was 2002, our youth minister preached a sermon about priorities and where God fit into our lives. At the time I was making a major decision about my future. I had the decision to take a shot at a baseball career or a pursuit of God.
I chose God (well actually I like to say He chose me) and that day everything changed.

Listening to a sermon called, "Why I Love Being a Pastor" in chapel my sophomore year at the little Bible College I attended.

Changed my life and confirmed God's call.

My pivotal moment was when I had lunch with Mark Batterson and after peppering Him with question after question... He said, "stop! How is God speaking to you right now and so I told him how God was speaking to me about church-planting and Mark said..."I think you should quit your job and start a church!" Bam! That was the push I needed to begin the process.

That's easy. In '05 when my father invited Keith Battle, who had just recently planted Zion Church, to speak and give the charge to our leaders before going out on our leadership retreat. Had never heard any of the ideas he was sharing that day...especially not from a black "preacher." I was originally a skeptic, but it opened my world up to stuff I found out I had long been uninformed about. Never been the same since.

Going through a hurtful divorce due to infidelity and becoming a sudden single mom with a 3 year old that I would only see for half of her life from that point on, my mom dropped Max Lucado's He Chose the Nails book through my mail slot. No note, just the book. I actually never knew if it was her but I always just assumed it was. The book changed my life and through it I started going to church and accepted Christ and began the amazing journey that I am still on 12 years later. I am going to call my mom dropping the book off, my pivotal event and reading every word of it my pivotal moments.

It was 2004. I had been working on a dream to start a youth club of sorts. At the same time I was reading and learning as much about church ministry as I could, hoping to help my home church be relevant once again.

I was reading Visioneering when I pictured what a new, relevant church for the unchurched would look like in Baltimore, MD. Almost a year later that led me to where I am now, jumping on staff with a new church that was going to launch in Baltimore.

I think for me it goes way back to a trip to Chicago in High School where I helped put on a week-long vacation Bible school at an inner city church there. It opened my eyes to a whole new world.

My plans haven't gone as I thought since then but I totally see how that moment led me to full time ministry even if I didn't know it at the time.

Such powerful stories. Love reading these. I pray those moments will continue to come for us... and that we'll help create them for others

After my freshman year at James Madison University (I was studying Political Science and intended to one day go to Law School) I went to a Men's Retreat at Camp Rudolph in Yale, VA with my father and one of my good friends. I can't remember who spoke or what he spoke about, specifically, but when I got back in the car I knew that I needed to change direction, so to speak. I prayed the whole way back to Charlottesville, VA. When I got home I walked upstairs into my parents' room where my mom was sitting and I told her that I was going to transfer from JMU and that I was going to go to Bible College, because God was calling me into the ministry.

She said that she had known since the day that I was born that I would one day make that decision. That same fall I transfered to Atlanta Christian College, graduated 3 years later, and started ministering full time in Virginia Beach in 1994 and I've been here ever since!

The day my father graciously confronted me about the direction of my life. I met Christ. Bam.

Doing a series on pivotal moments called Spark later this year.

Great post.

Swinging on a hammock reading Romans next to a river in Southern Chile in Jan 2003. I had taken a break from my job in marketing to fly fish and pray (a great combination) and while reading Romans 10-boom-knew I had to change everything and spend the rest of my days telling others of Jesus.

I have never been the same since

Unstoppable Force by Ermin McManus completely rocked me from the inside out. Never gotten over it. Soon left a cushy small traditional church pastorate and planted a new church with only faith.

Interning at willow creek in the summer of 2001:

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