May you have the opportunity to rest, abide, and meditate on the wonder of Christmas.
We’ve prayed for years for a location we could call home. A place that would be reverent, peaceful, and allow us to film, teach and gather without having to constantly setup and teardown.
That prayer has been answered through the generosity and cooperation of First Baptist Cumming. The StoryDrive Studio which will be in the Youth Ministry Building will feature filming room, room for prayer and hospitality, and small group gatherings.
We’re in the process of moving in and getting things ready for a January open house and celebration! Check The 3:15 Project Facebook and Instagram pages for inside and behind the scenes updates on our progress.
If you or someone you know would like to make a special gift towards covering the costs for some basic remodeling of the studio room, studio furniture and equipment, that would be most helpful and appreciated.
Gathering room for prayer, story sharing, and watching and celebrating stories
If you or someone you know would like to make a special gift towards covering the costs for some basic remodeling of the studio room, studio furniture and equipment, that would be most helpful and appreciated.
The 3:15 Project helps Christians know and share their story.
Thank you to all who support the ministry and encourage us to continue the mission!
I was about to head out of town for a lacrosse tournament with my oldest son, but felt the nudge to record some of the thoughts in my head and heart before I left, so i did. Here it is, unedited from June 21, 2018.
StoryDrive was birthed out of a ministry we started called the 3:15 Project. The 3:15 Project is really all about helping Christians know and share their story. We would see these I AM SECOND videos, we'd see these baptism videos that were being done at some mega church, and we said, "Why wouldn't every Christian get the chance to do that? Why wouldn't we want to give every believer the opportunity to know and tell their story in a way that's reverent and relevant, using the tools of the age; the video cameras and the internet?"
And what we found was, there's a lot of inertia, and a lot of apathy, and a lot of busyness. So Story Drive, it was put on my heart. And it really just started as a simple idea like, "What if we started doing what the American Red Cross does with blood drives, except instead of harvesting blood, we'll go to churches and communities and schools and we'll harvest stories?" Then I realized that less than 5% of eligible blood donors give their blood.
And then I realized, "Gee, I wonder what percentage of eligible Christians, followers of Christ would be willing to give their story?" And so far, in six years, that percentage has been far lower than 5%. And I'd be like, "Why? What are we missing? What are we doing wrong? What are we doing that we ought not to be doing, and what are we not doing that we should be doing?" So StoryDrive's kind of taken on a life of its own.
It's asking the question, "How do we help create momentum in a forward direction, through action, through intentionality, that will help people be intentional about being willing, able and ready to know their story, know it here, know it here, be able to tell their story? And at that moment, or as close to that moment as possible, when the Holy Spirit's moving, how do we make sure that we're willing, able and ready to harvest that story and not just on an iPhone or have someone do a selfie video, but with the same reverence and excellence and in care that we'd put into worship or adoration?"
So StoryDrive's not only about how do we help move the church in a forward direction by leveraging the power of story, but it also asks, "What are the obstacles and the barriers that are keeping us from sharing our stories and harvesting our stories?" And I'm realizing there's obstacles and barriers in each heart, Whether it's the person in the pew or in the Sunday school class sitting in circles and small groups, or the guy or the girl behind the pulpit.
But there's also obstacles in the church itself, with the management of the church, leadership of the church. Anytime you get an institution or an enterprise, it's hard to change, sometimes it's impossible to change, especially when it's a new idea. What's ironic is, like this isn't a new idea. Wesley did it hundreds of years ago. He'd collect stories and publish them in books, and Paul wrote letters and sent them out. So, this idea that helping people testify to what God's done for them and capturing it and getting it out to the ends of the earth. How can this be a new idea?
I would submit and challenge us to think, this is what the church did in the first century, this is how Christianity spread. Revelation 12:11 says, "We overcome the him (the enemy) by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony." So if we want to overcome the enemy, if we want to take back territory, we've got to be willing, able and ready to tell our story.
And what good is just telling our story if there's no one there to hear it. With social networks and video platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest (and the list goes on), we've got all these platforms and that literally connect us, not just to the community we know, but the community that they know, and even the communities that they don’t know!
It's like viral word of mouth marketing with the greatest message ever in the history of the world: God loves us. God is real. God can transform your life. So, we're walking this thing out everyday missionally saying, "What can we do to help other people become willing, able and ready to know and tell their story? And what can we do to make sure that even if the local church isn't willing, able and ready to harvest those stories, harvest them, direct them, edit them, get them out there on the internet, that a group of lay people from all different denominations could come together in a community and make sure that we are willing, able and ready to do it?”
And with or without the church, and sometimes in spite of the local church, we're doing what we can as lay people, coming together from all different denomination and walks of life to make sure we're willing, able and ready to harvest those stories in love, of washing their feet, directing those stories, capturing it on film, good video, good audio, and teaching and equipping young people and adults so that they too can become story harvesters.
If people can make a Wednesday night's supper like nobody's business, if people can dribble and coach basketball games and leagues and sell Christmas trees, and all these wonderful things that we get human capital and volunteerism to pull off, if you will, at these local churches, I know, I know without a doubt we can do this with video cameras and iPhones and just basic video production skills. We're not looking to find people that are award-winning video people, we are looking for people that don't mind holding a hammer on a habitat project or hauling lumber or cooking a bunch of spaghetti or barbecue.
We can teach and equip the people to just use best practice skills and create an army of story harvesters. So, you've got like this chicken and the egg thing, either get a bunch of story harvesters and video capacity and competency, create it in hopes that the local church will start equipping and encouraging their people to be ready to share their story in front of a camera, or, and we start a movement of discipleship where we help everyday Christians remove the obstacles and the barriers that are in their head and their heart and their calendar and their priorities, and help them become willing, able and ready to tell their story so that there's this tsunami of testimony, like, are we not going to harvest these things?!
We're not overthinking it, we're just seeing it, and seeing the problems, seeing the opportunity, and we're doing what we can every day to just advance the cause. For six years since we started the ministry, we've been praying, "God, please open the doors to the local church." Whether it's the guy behind the pulpit or the person in the pew, we don't care. It can go top-down, grassroots, bottom-up, but give us some folks with an open mind and open heart, moved by the spirit, that would say, "We ought to be doing this. This clearly could and should be done."
And it's been a slow go because the church doesn't move that fast and the church is largely filled with congregants who are, let's be honest, they're customers, Churches get 90% of their funding from the people in the congregation. Well, by definition, and I don't like talking about the church as a business, but the local church is acting more and more like a business from what I can tell as a 45 year old guy. The customers are always right. That's the first rule of business. The customer is always right.
So, if 95% of your customers don't want to share their story, they're not willing, they're not able, they're not ready, why in the world would church leadership make it a priority, or even make it a thought? There's so many other things that the congregation wants to do; great worship, great programs, great service, great children's ministry, great Sports ministries. And those are all awesome ways to build community and share the gospel, but the one thing, the one thing that will overcome the enemy is what Jesus did on the cross and the words of our testimony.
And when I read Acts 1:8, it says, "When the spirit comes upon us, we will be witnesses to Jerusalem, Samaria and the ends of the earth." The amplified Bible says, "We'll have the power and the efficiency," and I see it. I see, yes, there is a person with the Holy Spirit inside them, they have the ability to witness to what God's done for them, and in 15 minutes and a couple of clicks, that story, that witness could reach the end of the earth and transcend time and space. We have this unlimited historic power and we're hardly even touching it.
The biggest threat to this movement is that church or that church leader that says, "We already do this," to which I reply, "What is 'this'? Is it filming a couple testimonies and sharing them in service? Is it filming a couple testimonies and putting them on Facebook? Or is this an intentional, persistent and pervasive movement, a change in culture, a change in the DNA that says, 'if we're not doing everything we can at all times to help lift up and encourage each other, to become willing, able and ready, to tell our stories with our whole heart ,and capture them on video and send them out as a weapon against the enemy, a weapon to take back culture, a weapon to get God back in the conversation ... “ Personally, I think it's a sin of omission. I think we know we could do it, I think we know we ought to do it, and I think there's just busyness and culture and listening to where congregations want to go instead of where Jesus needs us and asking us to go is a big reason why this movement gets snuffed out before it even gets started.
We had a major breakthrough earlier this summer. The Georgia Baptist Mission Board, they're helping over 3,700 churches in Georgia help their youth pastors, help their students tell their story.
It's an initiative they're doing called, This Is My Story. So we created a little survey, and the survey results are coming in, and the results are heartbreaking, yet exciting. We asked the youth pastors, "What do you think is the reason that more youth don't share their story?" And it wasn't ability. It was a lack of desire and a lack of willingness. And then we asked the youth pastors, "Why do you think your church isn't harvesting more stories on video?" This time it wasn't a lack of desire, it was a lack of time and knowledge and resources.
The American church was given a $114 billion in the single calendar year of 2014, yet most pastors and church leaders that we're serving are telling us they lack the resources to help their people share their story on video. So this all just drives me nuts. So I keep doing some research, and I researched, how are pastors paid? If you're going to change the status quo, let's at least take a hard look at what status quo is. So, how do church pastors get paid? I didn't know what I would find, but the answer didn't surprise me. Church pastors by and large get paid based on the attendance and the size of their church.
So the customers that are giving them money to the church to fund it, and the elders and the leaders that are setting the finances and the budget and the strategy for the financial stewardship of the church, apparently are saying, "Grow the attendance in our church, and that will be the largest single predicting factor of your salary." So we're sending this clear message to church pastors that say, "Grow our church and attendance and size, and that's far, far, far more important than whether the people in the church are willing, able and ready to tell their story or that we harvest those stories and get them to the ends of the earth."
Then the internet marketing consultant egghead in me from my previous life says, "Well, you can't improve what you don't measure. And if you're not measuring it, you're not paying attention to it." So what are the top metrics tracked in churches? Well, people being willing, able, and ready to tell their story didn't make the top 15. I doubt it would make the top 100. And this problem or opportunity is not unique to any one denomination. We've seen this in every denomination we've come across, in churches of all sizes, big or small, contemporary or traditional.
In 2014 Americans gave the southern Baptist churches in this country $11 billion, and yet the leaders are telling us they don't have the time and the resources. And of course we all know that it's not that they don't have the resources, is that they're choosing to spend those resources in other areas. And we're not judging the churches. We're not here to say, "You should be spending here. You shouldn't be spending there," but clearly, there's a ton of generosity, there's a ton and abundance of capital that is pouring into these churches, and we have no problem as a church spending money on buildings or bricks or carpet or landscaping or mulch.
So if we could just find some people, a few people, that would be willing, able and ready to say, "What if we just started shifting just the smallest amount towards intentionally measuring and helping our people be willing, able and ready to tell their story, and us as a church being willing, able and ready to harvest those stories?" And people will say, "Man, you make it sound so easy, but shifting the money, that'll cause all sorts of internal strife, and I just can't even imagine our next church meeting. People will go through the roof."
And they would because 95% of them do not want to share their own story. But you can take that whole problem off the table and just say, "Hey, our God is big enough and our people are generous enough that we don't have to make an either/or decision. This can be the power of 'and'." If a church leader or a lay leader says, "We need more resources so that we can help our people share the gospel by telling their story and putting it on video," I cannot imagine there is not at least a couple, if not half the congregation might raise their hand and say, "Brother, sister, that is worthy of being funded."
But here's the irony; how much money should it take to help people be willing, able, and ready to tell their story and to have someone be willing, able and ready to film it? I believe the answer is zero because we've all got a testimony and we've all got amazing spiritual leaders in our church, great communicators, great pastors, great shepherds, great iron-sharpens-iron types of guys. We have everything we need in the gifts and talents of the human beings in our church to help people be willing, able and ready to tell their story for $0. It's just intentional discipleship
Someone may say, "Well, that may be true, but how in the world that we're going to film and edit all this stuff?" Have you seen the video work that your high school kids are putting out on YouTube? They're hype videos, school videos, these news programs. The next generation has the heart, the drive, and the talent, all usually unharnessed, unmobilized and unleveraged to film tons of stories. I have high school kids coming to me saying, "We cannot find a place to get an after school work, study opportunity in video production."
Most of these churches with the bigger budgets are hiring freelancers and contractors and adding staff instead of equipping the high school kids in their own congregations to do this. And I understand why, I'm a videographer, I'm a marketer. As a church communicator, as a marketing person at a church, you can't afford to have poor quality work on potentially a missed deadline when you're trying to get a big strategic video up on your Sunday service.
But this has nothing to do with that. Go ahead and do those things. You're already doing it. A church does a great job at getting strategic videos up in service. I'm talking about the stories that are otherwise never going to be told. The stories that need to be told, the stories that we're commanded to tell you. Yet, there's a stronghold, and it's nobody's fault. The church pastor says, "Hey, we can do this. We've got people at our church that already film video."And what they're really saying is, "Hey, we're able to harvest these stories. And I say, "But are you ready to harvest the stories? What happens this time next week if your men's ministry leader comes in and your office and says, 'Hey, praise God, I've got 12 men, they want to go public with their faith. They want to share their story on video.'" Well, that media team, those freelancers, those contractors, they can't just snap their fingers and clone themselves, so those stories usually get left on harvested.
So I don't know where this is all heading. These are just the questions that I'm asking myself and I'm looking for answers. I asked God, I said, "God, what do you want me to do?" And he says, "Keep the ideal alive. Keep this idea alive and bear the torch, and be ready to pass the torch to others." So we need people that are willing, able and ready to fund this thing. We need people that are willing and able and ready to have the courage to take their pastor out for coffee and ask him some of the questions that are on your mind after seeing this video.
Ask your church finance committee, "What percentage of our budget are we allocating for helping people share their story on video and getting it out there on the internet?" And then compare that answer to what the church is spending on, what I call consumables; styrofoam, cups, carpet cleaner, toilet paper, all important things, but capturing someone's story one time and letting it spread virally on the internet, transcending time and space; that's infinite ROI.
So how are we going to run our churches like businesses and then leave our ROI brain at the door? The local church needs funding to be sustainable, but it also needs the brains and the common sense fiscal stewardship that we leave at the office Monday through Friday because we're there on Sunday to get spiritually fed and God knows that's important. But we can do both. Let's help our pastors. Let's help our churches, let's help the next generation. Let's help the Church be willing, able, and ready to tell its story, and willing, able and ready to harvest them and send those stories out to the ends of the Earth for God's glory.
Want to help or get involved? We'd love to connect with you.
One of the coolest ways we intersect and serve with a church or ministry is to simple show up and serve at one of their events. In this case, it was a youth retreat called Altar Your Life at Roswell United Methodist church.
Thanks for the continued support and encouragement from our ministry partners for helping make this possible. We hope other churches and ministries will have a desire to help their students offer their praises of thanksgiving!
This year I had the enormous blessing of spending a week teaching and serving students from all over the world in Kona. Through YWAM's School fo Communications, I shared what I've learned over the last six years in helping people overcome the many obstacles that keep us from sharing our stories. Over the course of the week I got to watch each student grow in a number of ways as we created intentional ways to step out of our comfort zones.
We put together a little highlight video of some of the students work from the week.
If you'd like to help us do more things with YWAM, you can visit www.315project.com/ywam
Steve Head is the founder of CBI General Contractors and a supporter of The 3:15 Project. He wanted to have a way to share the history of CBI as well as recognize key people that have made a difference along the way.
Each year they have a special dedication service to dedicate the business to the Lord, and thank Him for all He has done and is doing. To learn more visit www.cbigc.com
Pastor Ken Griffis of Trinity Worship Center in Cumming, GA recently took a time out to come share his story. He was kind enough to offer some words of encouragement to other pastors.
We love serving pastors and helping them share their story. If you know a pastor in the Atlanta area that you'd like to invite to share their story, you can send them to www.315project.com/pastors
If you'd like to help underwrite the costs of serving pastors, we'd love your support!
We recently had the blessing of helping people share their stories at Simpsonwood United Methodist. After sharing his story, we invited Rich to share about his experience....
...then we invited him to thank his pastor Dr. Brian Clark, for providing this opportunity.
Here's Pastor Brian's Take on The 3:15 Project
Brian was invited to share his story by one of his congregants who experienced The 3:15 Project. In this video Brian gives a pastor's perspective on the ministry, and the need for it.
We always love to have people share about their experience around preparing their stories. This is Billy Bernard from Memphis, TN. We keep doing what we're doing in part because of all the people like Billy, sitting in churches that are not being given the opportunity or means to know and share their story like this. And of course, we just flat out love helping people do this!
A week or so ago someone shared a great article by Jason Soroski called "Just Drop the Blanket: The Moment You Never Noticed in a Charlie Brown Christmas." It caused me to ponder how God used Linus to impact not only the auditorium in a make believe world, but for so many of us in the real world as well.
How can it be that a dysfunctional young kid like Linus with all of his phobias and anxiety can so eloquently captivate millions of people, generation after generation, across all the lines that divide us? What made him qualified to do that? Why him at all? Certainly Lucy or Sally would have done it better right?
Linus was at the right place, at the right time, and simply decided to make himself available to be used by God. He was willing to share what he knew on a public stage at the risk of looking and sounding stupid, for a reason and purpose bigger than his own fears and anxieties. There's a profound humility that Linus exudes even though he's monologuing center stage in the brilliance of a spotlight. As we watch and listen, there isn't the slightest hint that's he's performing, or any motive other than to serve the need of his friend Charlie Brown to understand. He's so humble in doing it we don't even get the sense he's attempting to glorify God or point people to Jesus! He's just willing to share out of love.
It also strikes me that after delivering a mic-dropping worthy performance on the audience, Linus just walks off the stage, not worrying about whether the audience liked it, or gauging the loudness and length of the applause (there was none). Not the slightest care if he even did a good job. He just did it with what I perceived as "God confidence". He did what he could do, and left the outcome and results to God.
I pray that in this Christmas season, God will awaken the Linus in all of us. That we would come to deeper understand, beyond knowledge, the reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15), and be able to share that hope as gently and reverently as Linus shared the meaning of Christmas.
I pray for our leaders, shepherds, and pastors, that they may through God's grace and power, rediscover their inner Linus.
Each one of us has people in our lives every day like Charlie Brown, that are frustrated, angry, lost, heart broken, seeking meaning, purpose, answers, hope. May we become increasingly aware and open to the notion that God's wanting to use us, probably when we least expect it, especially when we don't want to, in all of our weakness and brokenness, to be His voice, His storyteller, for His glory.
God willing many people will have the opportunity to know and share their story through the ministry next year thanks to the generosity and prayers of so many people. God is preparing people's hearts for us to serve, perhaps yours! We abide and wait to serve those He calls upon and choose to obey.
Thank you to everyone who has walked with, encouraged, supported, inspired, prayed for, and allowed us to serve them through The 3:15 Project. We have been abundantly blessed in so many ways and so expectant as to what God has in store in 2017. As we turn our eyes, minds, and hearts on the birth of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, may He draw us ever closer to experiencing and sharing the fullness and depth of His love, peace, joy, and hope.
If you'd like to help more people know and share their story,
consider becoming a supporter of the ministry.
You can give a one time or monthly gift at www.315project.com/give
Yesterday, 315 Alumni Christopher Hunnicutt and Eric Smith, came by our headquarters in Atlanta for some prayer, fellowship, and to help with our outreach efforts.
They were kind enough to subject themselves to an improvisational video shoot, and this is what went down. Love their humility and authenticity.
Christopher and Eric are reaching out to encourage people, raise awareness for the ministry and recruit story sharers and patrons. Please join me in praying their partnership would be fun, fruitful, and Spirit led. It's such a blessing to see our alumni hit the streets, cast vision, and carry out the mission.
In the consulting world we love to use all sorts of silly lingo that makes us appear smarter than we really are. At least that’s what I did for 20 years as an internet marketing consultant, and still struggle with it today. One of those gems is “Key Performance Indicator”, or KPI. It’s simply a number or value that we measure and report on that tells us how we are doing in a certain aspect of the business.
I left the consulting world in 2010 after God gave me an undeniable calling to give people an opportunity to take a “time out”, rediscover (or discover) their story, and share it on video so God can use it for His purposes. The ministry I serve is called The 3:15 Project, and it’s based on 1 Peter 3:15…
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
The calling was simple enough to understand but I had no idea how difficult it would be to help “all in” Christians in the marketplace through the process of knowing and sharing their story, and then going public with it.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED IN 5 YEARS
In the 5 years of following this calling, I’ve had the blessing of helping more than 300 people share their story, and in the process spoken with thousands more who were not able or willing to do so, for a number of reasons. Over that time I’ve discovered the hardest part, the biggest obstacle for most people lies not in getting on camera (though they use that as an excuse most often), not in going public with the story (though that’s always a concern), and not even taking the time out of their busy lives to know and prepare their stories. The most challenging part for most people, regardless of their denomination, age, vocation, upbringing, is simply this:
Being willing to step out of the boat, into the unknown.
It’s a scary proposition when you think about it for 10 seconds. Finding the time to prepare the story, revisiting pain, guilt, shame, fear, pride, thinking about laying that all down on camera, and then sharing it with people that think you have it all together, that might see your true self? Forget it right?!
HOW WOULD YOU SCORE?
I’ve found that each person that has shared their story through The 3:15 Project, score well along two KPIs that I believe each one of us can baseline and measure in ourselves, and invite God to give His feedback and perspective.
HUMILITY (NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE)
Humility is an often misunderstood concept, especially in the marketplace. It’s easy to confuse true humility with false humility. By far the most impactful book I’ve ever read on this subject is Humility by Andrew Murray. The crux of it is simply this, humility is the belief and knowledge that I am nothing and He is everything. As C.S. Lewis puts it “humility is not thinking less of oneself, it is thinking of yourself less.” I can easily detect my own lack of humility simply by being honest with myself and God and asking “what am i trying to prove?”, or even how often I use the word “I” in my inner thoughts, and external words. It’s impossible to think about yourself and God or others at the same time.
I would say almost without fail, that 90% of the people that have share their story with The 3:15 Project, you would call humble, or at least genuinely desiring to become more humble. It gets back to the 1 Peter 3:15 verse "but in your hearts revere Christ as Lord". In other words, set Him above anything and everything in your life, including yourself. His Kingdom, not ours. A simple prayer like “Father, when I begin thinking about myself, help me turn towards and meditate upon You.”
SURRENDER (NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE)
Most people, especially men, hate that word and its cousin submission. It’s weak, timid, for losers, or so the world would have us believe. But in God’s Kingdom, which we pray will be done here on earth, it is one of the most beautiful and powerful things we must do to have any hope of experiencing the abundant life.
Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. - Job 11:13-15
Again, as with humility, I would say 90% of the people that have shared their story came through with an attitude or posture of either being willing to lose everything, or had the desire to be willing to lose everything, for the sake of knowing Christ, and being known by Christ more deeply.
What are you holding on to and afraid you could lose if you were take the time to know share your story? Your job? Friends? Reputation? Your mask? The things that we fear losing most are the very things that bind us from being all God wants us to be. I’ll bet you a power lunch that those same things are holding you back from experiencing the fullness of God’s love, and sharing that love with those around you.
It’s not about how well you score or measure. And it’s certainly not about comparing yourself to others. It’s simply an opportunity to assess where you are currently at in your walk, and ask God and others to help you in both areas.
3 QUESTIONS TO PONDER
I invite and challenge you to take 15 minutes of quiet time and ask God these simple questions, and journal whatever He puts on your heart. Share your answers with someone you walk with, and invite them to answer these questions as well. I pray and trust that God will honor and bless your willingness to seek Him in this way.
Father, where in my life do I tend to feel the need to prove myself or desire to impress others?
Father, what am I holding onto, too tightly, that is keeping me from knowing you and serving you more intimately and deeply?
Father, what am I putting ahead of you in my life? What do I cherish more than you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Miechiels is the founder of The 3:15 Project which empowers followers of Christ to know and share their story for God’s glory. He is always looking to connect with Kingdom leaders in the marketplace. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jim Heinz had been a Christian most of his life. So when he signed up to share his story with The 3:15 Project it seemed exciting at first. But through the process, he realized it was a lot scarier, challenging, and rewarding than he could have ever imagined.
Learn more about you can help men and women in your spheres of influence know and share their story.
Elyse Ferrell is a full time working mother of three boys and the wife of Pastor Tommy Ferrell at Briarlake Church in Decatur, GA. She took the time to prepare her testimony and have it filmed at one of our "Story Drives".
After sharing her testimony we asked her if she'd share her perspective around the process and the opportunity.
Tomorrow I turn 45 years old. 5 years into this calling.
Seems like yesterday, yet it seems like forever!
Never imagined living this long when I was little, but I have.
Never imagined God would call me to ministry, but He did.
Never imagined I'd obey despite the sometimes crippling fear, but I have.
Never imagined He could be so faithful, so consistently, so wonderfully, but He is.
Never imagined this walk would be this hard, but so filled with joy and peace, but it is.
My Birthday Prayer
Father, thank you for saving me, thank you for guiding me, thank you for your patience with me.
Thank you for blessing me with a loving wife, and three beautiful kids.
I'm tired, yet more committed than ever before.
My heart breaks for people who don't have hope, and even more for those who have hope and aren't willing to share it. My heart breaks for church and ministry leaders who work so hard to help their people know you and share you, but have yet to see the power you've revealed to me.
Father give me the words to reach them, to help them, to minister to them.
Father give me the wisdom and courage to be first and foremost a disciple, husband and father.
Father I ask and trust that you will take care of my every need, not my every want. Yet, I ask that you would give me the desires of my heart as I acknowledge and give you honor in all that I do.
Father, give me the humility and the courage to ask for and graciously receive help from others.
Free me from the worry, pride, and fear associated with money. Bless the ministry you've entrusted me with, that we may be a blessing to others.
Father, teach me to be the man you want me to be. Lead me, and guide me, that I may lead and guide others towards you.
I give you my life, my ministry, my family, all that I have, and all I'll ever be. It's yours, help me to not just remember it, but breathe it. Thank you for not giving up on me!
I love you, and if in some divine plan I should not be here tomorrow, I guess I'll have the best birthday ever! Otherwise, thank you for an amazing and heavenly year, even with all of its trials and tests. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
My Birthday Wish
That everyone I know would take a moment to thank God for every thing He has done in your life, and share this with someone you love who is distant from the love of God.
Father John Riccardo is the pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan. He has been an amazing encouragement in helping us both understand, and be a part of the New Evangelization within the Catholic church. We are eager to walk with him and so many other amazing people in the Detroit area.
If you'd like to help bring The 3:15 Project back to Detroit, or anywhere for that matter, we'd love to hear from you!