I can still remember “the old red church”, as we called it. Red carpet, red pews and red book hymnals. Behind the stage were two yellow pine doors leading to our small classrooms. When I think of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Jonah & the Whale, David & Goliath and Noah’s ark, they come to life in my mind, on a light blue felt board with cut out paper characters. My Sunday school teacher, Mary Brown, had this way of making you feel like you were part of the story. As far back as I can remember, this is how every Sunday morning looked as a child. I loved every second of it! I am very thankful for the foundation I had as a child.
Growing up, church was life. Sunday mornings & evenings, Wednesday evenings, weekends & two week revivals, camp meetings and Saturday night services. My parents sang in a gospel quartet when I was little, and they travelled all over the Tri-State area. Growing up, I began to develop a love for singing. My cousin, sister and I began following in my parents and grandparents’ footsteps, and we started traveling all over the Tri-State ourselves. We would see people shouting, crying and altars lined, quite often. We sang together for several years, and I was certain this was God’s purpose for my life. However, in October of 2003, I was sitting in a church and heard God say to me, “Jamie, I want you to preach for me”. I began to weep like a small child, because I knew I was not fit to be a preacher. I was only 18. I was not smart enough. I was unworthy and unqualified. Deep down, though, I knew that God never calls the equipped, but he equips the called. I began preaching and singing.
Fast forward two years. I was happily married after meeting the love of my life in college. I loved everything about church and what I was doing. Over time, however, I became very disconnected. I was disconnected from friendships, church, my singing group and from my calling. I began to compare myself to others. I began to believe the lie that I wasn’t good enough. I was unqualified, and that I would never have a place in the church. I was losing the joy that I had my whole life. I felt like everything that I loved, and had ever known, was crumbling.
One day, I noticed a Facebook post from Tasha Bailey. She and her family were leaving their current church, to go on a wild adventure to help plant a new church. I felt like the Holy Spirit was pounding out of my chest, and that pushed me to ask for some more information. She was very helpful and encouraged me to speak to the man leading this new movement. I met with Aron, and we just clicked. Our shared commonalities and his passion for broken people, all pulled me in to see if this was where God was calling our family.
A few months later, Rhiana and I bought our first home in Lake Waynoka. It just so happened that Aron and the core team were having their very first unofficial meeting in Tasha’s home. We arrived and it was four other couples with their kids. It was definitely different and a little scary. Our time together was very welcoming and inviting. Every time we met, we felt good about it, but we were still driving 50 minutes to my home church.
Finally, God said it was time to leave my home church. It was not easy to leave everything I had ever known. Leaving my family, closest friends and my singing group, to follow a team I barely even knew, was risky. Yet God’s voice overpowered it all. I finally began to get my joy back! I now know that all of those feelings I felt, was God preparing me to make this move.
We have been coming to Resonance Church since it all started in a one-story home filled with love. We would gather on couches, listen to Aron with an acoustic guitar, eat together, laugh together and build a bond that would help set the foundation for Resonance Church. Family. Through all of those years of doubt and wondering, I am finally living in my purpose as Resonance’s Student Pastor.
I said all of that to let you know a few things. First, I wanted you to know more about me. Second, there have been times in my life where I have messed up and things have crumbled around me. I also have had moments where God has done incredible things through me. I am where I am today, because of the foundation my family set in my life. When I have fallen down, my foundation has stood strong. The Bible says:
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I know that it’s not always easy to see the fruit in your children. I know some days you may feel like a bad parent and you just want to hit the restart button, but you are awesome! By bringing your kids to church, you are setting them up to be WORLD CHANGERS! Keep bringing them to church and give them a foundation they can stand on. When they are teens and make mistakes; when they have struggles in their lives; when they don’t feel good enough; when they don’t feel worthy enough and life crumbles around them, they will get through, because of the foundation you have set. Even if they stray, they will never be able to forget what they have been taught. They may not remember a blue felt board in an old red church, but they will never forget how much they loved resKids and how God is a fun and loving daddy.