Over the past few years you’ve watched me do some stuff.
10 years ago it was in Haiti, activating hundreds of churches to go and build partnerships with Haitian churches in the wake of an earthquake that shook a nations core but unleashed a spiritual awakening. And now more recently it’s been closer to home, first in TJ as I got involved with the migrant caravan and supporting migrant care. And now with my work in Ensenada building long-term relationships and sustainable ministry with our church partners there.
At the same time, woven together in some ways and completely apart in others, I’ve started and helped build some great companies. Some have been visible to you and others have not. In 2005, I started Youth Ministry Exchange with $72 and a few friends. Together we built something new and unique that gave voice and offered real help to youth workers around the United States. Then in 2011, I joined Marko in his new bootstrapped venture, The Youth Cartel, with an audacious goal of revolutionizing youth ministry. And we’ve done that. The Youth Ministry Coaching Program, our events, our books, and our digital publishing lines continue to lead the pack in innovation, risk taking, and impact.
That’s been great for the first 20 years of my career. From my time at BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois starting in 1995 until now… my career has been great. These things have provided a wonderful, fulfilling life for me and my family.
But I’m asking myself bigger questions. How can I leverage the first 20 years of my career to maximize my impact, not for myself– but for others, for the next 20 years? If I look at my impact with Haitian and Baja California churches as a side project– which to this point, that’s what it’s been: How much more impact would I have if I put my all into it? What if I wasn’t limited to thinking about one location to pour my energy into? What if it was 20? And what if I could grow a team of people who were deeply passionate about 50? Or 100?
That thought lit my heart on fire!
So that’s why I’m making this transition.
I’m leaving The Youth Cartel in the capable hands of my business partner who has great plans for it. I’m truly excited about what is ahead for Marko and the Cartel. And I’ve done that so that I can focus fully on helping Praying Pelican Missions expand exponentially. There I’ll serve alongside 70+ other full-time staff as their Director of Development. PPM hasn’t focused on trying to survive the pandemic. Instead, they’ve used the time they’d normally be leading short-term trips to look deep within themselves, to work first on their own hearts, then retooling and dreaming big about the organization itself, and are poised to not just dream bigger about their impact, but are putting their dreams into action.
What’s changing for me? Not much. Same house, same zip code, same heart for my community. In the Bible, Jesus tells his followers to take the Good News first to Jerusalem, then Judea, and then to the outermost parts of the earth. I’m leaning into that hard by doubling down on my commitments here in San Diego, and in Baja California, and now to the rest of the world.
Thanks for sticking with me, friends. Kristen and I are just getting started.