Brooklyn and I have taken 3 major jumps in our ministry together.
The first was a leap from college life in Ohio to Brooklyn’s first paid youth ministry position in Florida. We didn’t know anything about anyone at this 150 person Nazarene Church. All we knew was they were willing to hire a female youth pastor, and it was close to the Seminary I would attend. We grabbed the other’s hand and jumped.
The second leap was from a 300 person Nazarene Church in Florida to a 4,000 person Methodist Church in Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas. Again, we didn’t know anything about anyone other than their willingness to hire Brooklyn as the High School Pastor and me as their Young Adult Pastor. It was a shift from a staff of 4 people to a staff of about 30 people. We grabbed the others’ hand and jumped.
The third leap was back to Florida to a 1800 person Nazarene Church, including a 4 month baby. This time we did know some of the people from our previous stint in Florida. A large staff wasn’t anything new. What made this move feel risky was our decision for one of us to stay at home with our daughter. Me. I would care for our daughter at home, and Brooklyn would work full-time at the church. We grabbed the other’s hand and jumped right in.
Had we not jumped together, I am not sure we both would have jumped. I know I probably wouldn’t. The idea of leaving everything behind to enter an unknown is completely out of my comfort zone. Too scary and too risky. It was our combined courage that provided the confidence to risk a new venture together.
This was our story, but it doesn’t have to be your story. By this I mean, the person who jumps with you doesn’t have to be a spouse. And, you don’t have to move across the country in order to jump. Sometimes the risk of staying put is greater than the option of moving away. It could be a sibling, a friend, or a colleague. Together, you can grab hands and make a jump toward making a difference in the place you currently live.
As a follower of Christ, you are part of a body. You are an individual who is part of a whole. You are never autonomous or independent. You are connected to a living community whom God calls to carry out a mission in this world. God doesn’t expect you to jump alone. God wants you to grab the hand of the person closest to you and jump together.
It’s too scary to jump by your lonesome. It’s okay, you don’t have to jump alone. Find another person(s) God has given to you and invite them to jump with you. It’s easier. You will find yourself leaping toward redemptive possibilities that once seemed too scary.