It's been a long time since we've talked, but here are three good reasons why!
First off, last August, Clayton and I agreed to pastor our church (Newspring) during a time of transition. When we said yes, we didn't know exactly what we were committing to, except to love people in our church through a time which could prove to be confusing and heartbreaking. Initially, we were supposed to start a long-awaited sabbatical (an extended time of rest) of six months because we've been in ministry together for 22 years without one, but we couldn't let go of the calling Jesus dropped in our laps. I haven't written much about this in my blog because I believe it is so important to pray and process before we can adequately know what we are learning in order to know what is a personal lesson, and what might be beneficial to others.
We have served Newspring for a little over a year, and my husband's role is now permanent. He is now a pastor at Newspring, but not in the traditional role we see in the typical American church. Our church has decided to pursue a team leadership model, in which a variety of teachers are pouring into the body of Christ as we follow Jesus as our lead pastor. I am excited about this new calling on my husband, mine and our family's lives! This period of time has caused me to think, pray and ponder what it means to lead...and this will be the subject of the next few blogs I send out, and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on leadership as well.
Secondly, I have been trying to write a book for almost 5 years, but with so much ministry to do, along with raising kids, and our multiple life transitions, I have had to put it on the back-burner many times. However, (in case you haven't heard) I am super excited to announce my book, I Love You More (except when I don't)....Fighting to keep Jesus First, is now available in the store on my website and on Amazon! My husband was so proud of me that he influenced me to celebrate my accomplishment by having a Book Release Party...which ended up being quite a celebration! Over 260 people joined me spreading the message that it is possible to love Jesus more in the most challenging areas of our lives instead of giving up or giving in.
For those of you who attended my Book Release Party or have been integral in the launch of my book, I want to offer my most sincere appreciation for your support and belief in me. I couldn't have done it without you and I am honored to know you, whether in person or through the gift of the internet! If you don't have a copy, go to my store, read my husband's amazing forward, and order yours today!
Finally, my husband and I founded Clayton King Ministries 22 years ago. Since this time, we have spent every summer serving junior and senior high students (along with chaperones and youth pastors) doing summer camps. Six to seven weeks of our summer are full of worship, teaching, fun and fellowship. Our staff ministered to over 4600 students this year and saw 1308 total responses during the messages: 530 first time salvations, 385 calls to ministry, and many people wanting to grow in their walk with Jesus or needing prayer. We take up an offering to missions each week (which is given entirely to missions organizations we know personally) and this year, the students and churches gave $41,650.49.
I'm including these numbers because very rarely do we get good numbers in our news feed. We are surrounded by so much bad news and tragedy that often it's hard to digest or have faith for the good God promises will come out of lives serving and dedicated to Him. So I wanted to share with you, dear friend, that this summer 4600+ students, young people, the next generation if you will, experienced life change, repented, came to know Jesus, and gave their money to people who need to hear the gospel or are in desperate need of ministry.
I hope this blog has served as a cherry on top of whatever stressful situation you've encountered lately. I just wanted to give you a boost of hope and faith until we talk again! Please let me know if there's anyway I can pray for you!
Praying you move forward in your faith until next time...