On the first day of May, I started on a new adventure for my family and me taking a new position at Family Church as the Life Groups Director.
On June 1, 2004, I bought my first restaurant, and on the twenty-seventh I married my high school sweetheart. Yeah, twenty-six days apart from two huge life decisions. I had no clue what I was getting into on either front, and I think that helped me. At the time, the store had five employees. We have had many ups and downs but have grown along the way. Since then, we have expanded to two locations and have around thirty employees. The Newman clan has grown as well, and we have three children. Zoe is seven, Luke is five, and Hope is three. God has been so good to us in our time of business ownership, but I have had a tug on my heart toward something deeper.
Not knowing what “the deeper” was, I began to write online. Developing as a writer has further prepared me for this journey by allowing me to delineate thought—to expand and grow, learning to be transparent in failure and success. I never thought this writing journey would lead to ministry. I never thought that writing would be the hinge in my life that would prepare me for a new adventure. Out on the waves of fear, over my head without Him, but that’s how God works. He weaves our lives even when we don’t see it, working towards something greater than ourselves.
We steward our lives as best we can, and God leads us and guides us, and let’s be honest, usually surprises us. We look for answers often, yet God is looking for us to look to Him. We look for why, yet again, He calls us to look to Him. We tell Him that He can have part of our life, but He whispers to us to give it all to Him. There is great beauty in the scary journey of surrendering if we would only trust Him.
For me, in surrendering my vocation, I have found He does know better. As I give Him more, it fulfills me more. I have found great joy in my short stint as the Life Groups Director. In many ways, He has prepared me in ways I never knew; even when I had no understanding of preparation—He is doing the same with you in what He is calling you into. Often, the journey and path is not clear until we look back. We often end somewhere different than we intended in the beginning.
This journey of making disciples that make disciples, in Life Groups, has me passionate, and though the way to accomplish that will change and move over time, that is the target. Our vision is for every person to become a disciple who makes disciples by relationally growing in depth and authenticity with each other and God, to serve one another and the community one person and one group at a time. And in turn, producing a multiplying effect through apprenticing to build a community to reach a community.
My life has been changed and formed by both participating in groups and leading them. I look forward to growing along side you to grow a community to reach a community. Be blessed on your journey.