When my wife and I prayed about what our life was going to look like in 2014, and heading into 2015, we did have a direction, but needed affirmation. I had made a living off skating for the past twenty years, and had never had another avenue of income.
Skating had provided, but once becoming a Christian the focus became heavily on The Word, and reaching people with The Gospel, Jesus after all, not only saved us, but did call us to follow Him, and fish for men/women/souls. Going into all the world, was not a suggestion!
As we ended 2013, we got counsel from our home church, and looked forward to the new year at how many doors seemed to be opening. The Bible does teach that ones “gift will make room”, and that those “who do the work of the ministry, should live off it”. I had spent the last ten years being invited to travel and share our testimony, to preach and teach at all kinds of outreaches, events, and churches, and also been hands on in all sorts of ministry.
While its true every believer is a minister, it is also true that for some, there is also occupational ministry. This was the decision that based upon the counsel we had sought, we had felt was answered both in prayer, and also through our home church.
As my wife prepared to homeschool our three kids at home, the church invited myself on to help Pastor and be a City Liaison, overseeing Evangelism, to help preach/teach and to be as involved in as much counsel, service, and fellowship as I could.
With the rest of my time, it was suggested that this should be used to travel and share, encourage and be partnered with ministries around the world, as requests came in. It was this that I struggled with, not within myself as I do feel compelled to do this, but the fact that for twenty years skateboarding was about presenting yourself in many ways with the goal of pushing product, how could this be the case with our faith, and walk?
When the church said it could be our own pride getting in the way, not acknowledging that for once instead of being the family that was able to help others financially while skating provides great income, that now, rather than take a job simply to pay the bills and pursue other things, why not be freed up to preach/teach, travel, and plan for daily ministry while depending on others to support.
This was something that right off the bat did not seem right, as who are we to expect anyone else to help support us, yet as we stopped to consider the walk we have lived, every year more and more schools, churches, colleges, and such groups have invited me in to share at the youth group, help judge or bring testimony at outreaches on weekends and then even spend the sunday morning services bringing Gods Word to the congregations, and beyond.
Every year more and more opportunities have come up and so heading into 2014 we made the choice to step out full time and invite all of those we had met since becoming believers to come along side and support us, simply making sure bills were paid, so that our days could be focused on all of the potential ministry we felt called to.
Right away in prayer our good friend spoke into us about marriage ministry, and soon the phone was ringing up the hook for my wife and I to meet with couples and share the struggles we had faced, and how Gods Word got us through it. This also has led to a book, a marriage devotion, that is due out before april.
2014 turned into a year of balancing time home at Rock Harbor church here in Huntington Beach and traveling certain weekends for the call. Between youth groups, outreaches and churches, in 2014 I was able to share around 100 times all over the world, The Good News of Jesus Christ, and also encourage hearers of His Truth and love for us.
Canada, Australia, England, all over the US and more places were visited for The Gospel. Here in HB we developed and Evangelism course to raise up teams over three weeks, and head out to the streets and also be equipped to help alongside any ministries in need of ready and able workers.
Here we are heading into 2015 with more couples to counsel each week, more travel showing up across America, and even trips to Australia with two church plants that I was invited to come along side to help as an Elder, and even if you can believe it, heading back to England taking a team to serve at Creation Fest, an outreach down in Cornwall.
While its great to share all of this, one of the main things that has stood out over this past year is just how valuable the support of people has become. Both in prayer, and with finances. Yes, even finances. One of the blessings of this avenue we have taken is, while I travel, waking at 6am to head out into what the day may behold, knowing that there are people around the world, who are praying for you and believeing for you, that God is at work and active in your life. A chilly cold hotel room has a different feeling, when knowing that you are in contact with families, business owners, and individuals who are actively standing in the gap for you, and lifting up your days before The Lord.
This also tied to the financial side, where individuals maybe at one time have personally been involved or watched from afar the work God has been doing through skateboarding, in marriages, or howsoever He chooses, have now stepped further into this call, by trusting in that as they support, that as I go in His Name, or as my wife works at many of the weekly opportunities here in HB, that these individuals are both able to watch Gods work unfold on earth, but also are depositing treasures into heaven, for their eternal retirement.
When Rock Harbor said you don’t need to be sitting behind a desk, or off pursuing some new business, or dream, but instead need to start discipling people to do what you do, find the gifts God has given them, and begin themselves to use them as God wills, we knew it would be a step of faith.
We are thankful for the work God has done, and even for the way He has done it.
I wanted to post this to thank people, to say that 2014 could not have happened had you not come alongside us to make sure there was provision for my family and I and to trust that we as a family have given our time carefully to the things we believe God was calling us to.
Rock Harbors non profit account, set up in our name has been a blessing, as it has both allowed us to be supported, but also called people to use money for what it is meant for, furthering The Kingdom. How very real has the verse become in 1 Timothy 6 that speaks of the rich, those with lots of money, to “be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share”.
Thankful that everything that are doing is accountable to the church, that they monitor what we do, and what money comes in, both holding us accountable, and making sure we are honoring God, and the ministry call with it.
I just wanted to post this to say thank you, and even to invite others who want to come along side and partner with my family, to do so, both in prayer, and in finances.
We just had our mid year Rock Harbor staff meeting today, and moving forward 2015 is going to be a year of even more outreach, sharing, preaching, teaching and fellowshipping.
Please note some of the sermons attached and photos attached which would not have been possible were it not for others faithfulness in prayer and support. Click on the bottom images to hear messages.
To support this ministry heading into 2015, please go to this link https://www.briansumner.net/support/
Thank you again.