Archives For Off-Road Ministry

 

ryse_garden

This is me.  I wish.  It is my mindset for 2016.

 

Six months ago I watched this Ted Talk by Brene Brown and it rocked my world.

She basically challenged me to be willing to get naked, per say, and walk into the stadium where all my friends, family, supporters, and lurkers are sitting and put myself out there. Here’s a quote,

“If we want to be courageous and we want to be in the arena, we’re going to get our butts kicked,” she says. “There is no option. If you want to be brave and show up in your life, you’re going to fail. You’re going to stumble. You’re going to fall. It’s part of showing up.” Brene Brown

Thank you Brene Brown.  It goes so much further then her, it is the driving force of my life to be led of the Holy Spirit.  I’m about to get more transparent and vulnerable than I ever have in my life, but will also dare more than I ever have before.

“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is in the arena. Whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly …” President Theodore Roosevelt

Many changes coming in 2016. Why?

I’m on a crusade to not only help pastors, but anyone that stumbles upon this website that struggles with emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual health. To me it is all wrapped holistically. I see the struggles, I hear the voices, I get the emails, I get the texts, and I my heart longs to fulfill my assignment to help.

Moving Forward into 2016

I will be learning, researching, reading, listening, watching, interviewing, gathering, and coaching. I will sift through the piles, clear through confusion, dig into scripture, and pray about how I can then be an instrument and a mouthpiece.

I know pastors don’t have time to read tons of books on health, so I will to save them time and create book summaries.

I will do my best to write two articles a week in 2016 on Tuesdays and Fridays majoring in physical, mental, and emotional health. Within that I will focus on minors, pastoral pain points if you will, that get in the way such as: stress, depression, willpower,consistency, and productivity.

My aim is to not just learn and write about all of this. My focus will be to also experiment in my own life which will bring successes and failures in my own pursuit of health. Perhaps you can avoid my mistakes and learn about my own health philosophy…. the tortoise effect.  You will be able to subscribe via email and opt-in to follow my own journey of health.

I will do my best to post workouts and meals on my Twitter page and Instagram. My personal Facebook profile will transition into a Fan Page so that I can draw a line in the social media sand and not clutter my personal profile with just health stuff.

This website will be getting a new face lift soon, hoping by the start of 2016, and I invite you on the journey with me.

The signature online course Fit Pastors Academy will be completely revised and redone with the new knowledge and lessons learned to create a far premier quality product to focus more on habit formation and lifestyle change.

Once again I will do my best with the greatest of intentions to be of service to you. I don’t want to waste your time or be an annoyance in your inbox.

Please give me grace as I embark to write twice a week and become far more public with my own health journey.

Because I’m perfection? Far from it. Only an instrument that has a heart to come alongside you and encourage you and let you know you’re not alone.

So. I invite you on this epic journey with me and many others to be on a daily pursuit of health so that we can fulfill our assignment on planet earth with as much energy, credibility, confidence, and longevity as possible.

What about you?  Is their something you’ve been holding back?  Has the Lord asked something of you but you are afraid?  Afraid to be vulnerable?  Afraid to get naked in the arena of life?

2016.  Make it your year!  Lets do this together!

 

 

Advertisements

11391206_10154021820319569_4559306479066421517_nYesterday morning I had the opportunity of participating in a local race with 20 others from the Waxahachie area. It 10422499_10154021821354569_2014990748284535088_nwas called the “Down & Dirty” consisting of a 6 mile run with 20 obstacles.

It allowed me to press play on triathlon chaplaincy for a morning. Let me explain. We all wore the same shirt name on the front but on the back got to have a nick name mine being Fit Pastor. Continue Reading…

10945558_799671106793560_8394619314316858810_n10532756_782792371814767_4491374672565700638_n

I’ve got to tell you an incredible story of how God used the seed of physical transformation to bring spiritual transformation!  A few weeks ago I was at an event in New Mexico raising awareness for Fit Pastors and a pastor friend came up to me.  Here’s what he said,

“Ricky, remember when you came and spoke this past January at our church?  I have to tell you what happened. I’m excited but sad at the same time.

There was a woman named Valorie that had only come to our church a few times but was there the day you challenged our church to reclaim their health for the kingdom.  She was so challenged and encouraged to do something in her own health that she showed up to the walk/run group later on that you helped initiate.

Because of that walking group she built relationships with others in the church and got involved in a bible study and shortly after gave her heart to Christ!

Sadly Ricky just a few weeks ago I spoke her funeral after she died in a motorcycle accident.  I just want to thank you so much for what you do, because if you wouldn’t have spoken that message on health Valorie probably wouldn’t have gone to the walking group, thus the Bible study, and might not have given her heart to Christ.

Maybe eventually, but God knew the timing of when you were going to come and speak and where she was at in her life.”

First off, I lift my eyes upward and raise my hands and say THANK YOU LORD to you be all the glory and honor!  I don’t take credit as I know my role is simply to just show up when a door opens and be His mouthpiece and an instrument.

I do want to remind you that Fit Pastors goes so far beyond just transforming pastors physically, but it is planting seeds church-wide through messages, and God is redeeming activity groups to transform people spiritually!

In what way can your church use physical health to bring others to Christ?

Image

QUICK BACKDROP

Exactly three years ago my family moved to the Boulder, Colorado, area as Assemblies of God endorsed U.S. Missionaries to create a ministry template for triathlon chaplaincy that could be reproduced in other cities across the nation.

At the same time, during our support-raising process, we were approached by countless pastors that needed help with their physical health.  We did our best to coach one at a time as we continued to find a balance with chaplaincy, but the need surpassed what we could offer by ourselves, so we launched Fit Pastors.com.

A little more than two months ago we spoke at our denominational headquarters’ chapel service, and what was once a spark, became a flame.  Through a series of God-orchestrated meetings it was evident that God was steering our focus more heavily on coaching and opening incredible doors of opportunity to expand our ministry.  We realized that our current location was the hot seat for triathlon chaplaincy, but the greatest need for pastors was in the Bible belt, where unfortunately the “belts” seem to be larger. There’s also a huge growing community of triathletes in the Dallas area.

During this time Amy and I have had the conversation: Is God calling us to another location so we can make a greater Kingdom impact?  Due to us being U.S. missionaries we are really called to the nation and can live wherever our calling is the greatest.  We also have come to realize that us being in the Boulder area as one couple reaching out to one main group has been effective in laying a ministry template, but what would it be like to raise up other chaplains and other coaches to multiply our efforts nation-wide?

With that said, our rental home here in Colorado was reaching it’s yearly contract again here in June.  And since we can coach and chaplain from anywhere, the whole nation was really an option.  Once again where were the biggest doors opening?  Where was God leading us?  Where is the greatest need?  Where can we raise up others to help make a greater impact?  We also thought about where we wanted to raise our kids, and proximity to both of our families.

After a lot of prayer, input from mentors, denominational leaders, conversations with prayer and financial partners, we’ve decided to move back to where we both graduated from Bible college: Waxahachie, Texas.  Yeah, try and pronounce that one!  Please pray as I’m still licking my wounds at this decision of leaving the incredible playground here in Colorado!  You know this is God calling us for us to give all of this up, but quoting our nine-year old, “People are more important than nature”.

 

PRIMARY REASONS FOR THE MOVE TO TEXAS

Our main focus will be helping ministers in the DFW area and are currently working through a possible partnership with the North Texas District of the Assemblies of God in their initiative of church/pastoral health.

We will also be partnering with the Lead Pastor of the Oaks Fellowship, Scott Wilson, in his personal health, the Oaks School of Leadership, church-wide vision for health, and other initiatives within his influence.   

We are also praying and believing for open doors at SAGU to help cause prevention for younger ministers so they won’t struggle with health later on.

 

OTHER REASONS FOR THE MOVE

  • Both Amy and I graduated from SAGU in Waxahachie, as well as served on staff at a church in the DFW area, so there are roots there
  • We have many relationships in the area and will be almost exactly 5 hours from my family in San Antonio and Amy’s family in the Tulsa area
  • There is greater opportunity for Amy to expand her personal ministry of speaking and writing
  • One of the greatest areas of need for coaching ministers in their health is in the DFW area and it’s one of the greatest places of opportunity with the amount of ministers that live there
  • Texas is a great place to raise our family with values that line up better with our belief system
  • Bottom line…. we have no doubt God is calling us there for such a time as this to continue to create awareness and set up a base camp for Fit Pastors where we can raise up other missionaries for the purpose of coaching and chaplaincy that can help us expand nation-wide

We put our house in Oklahoma on the market (we had been renting it out) toward the beginning of the year and are in the midst of closing the end of June.  We will be searching for a home in Texas over the course of the next month or so.  We will spend the summer mainly with family and stay with Amy’s parents temporarily as we are making the move over the course of this summer.

Colorado has been our home for nearly 3 years.  It’s created a wealth of memories for our boys and is the only place Ainsley has ever known.  It’s allowed us to create a chaplaincy ministry template, as well as helped us launch Fit Pastors.  So while we’re excited, all change comes with emotion.  We’re looking forward to the future, but we’re so grateful for all that God has done in our lives, as well as those we have hopefully impacted.

 

WAYS YOU CAN PARTNER WITH US DURING THIS TRANSITION

Pray for Us

  • Agree with us for patience, favor, and wisdom as we navigate the nuts and bolts of our partnerships and what all that will look like
  • Guidance, timing, and provision as we search for a new home
  • For our family as we transition to a new place, new church, and new school, that strategic God-ordained relationships would await us
  • Passion for the vision God’s given us and open hearts for all the ministers that need help, that they’d be willing to reach out and receive it

 

Consider Financially Supporting Us

We will remain fully endorsed U.S. Missionary Chaplains within the Assemblies of God and will continue to be completely reliant on monthly financial support.  At one point this past fall, we were able to reach our personal/ministry budget goal, which was approved.  However, since the beginning of the year we’ve had three major partners drop off for various reasons.

Although we’ve had a new partner already step up in a huge way we are still in need of replacing $1000 a month.  We will be asking every minister that receives coaching to make their own personal investment in exchange, but really want to continue offering our services as a ministry.

With that said, would you prayerfully consider joining our support team by filling out an online faith promise form here?

We also estimate around $1500 in moving expenses and other various costs that will arise over the summer in making this move happen.  We praise God that we’ve already had partners help in this need!  Perhaps you have followed our journey and would like to contribute as well?  Please click here to do so!  We are beyond grateful!!!

The opportunity of Kingdom impact is huge as we attempt to take care of the incredible ministers that invest so much of themselves week in and week out across our nation in many of the churches we all attend!  Thank you beyond words for your prayers and support!  Please follow us on social networks to stay updated on our journey!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet that sink in for a moment.  Take a deep breath.  It is truly liberating.  You can experience powerful freedom if you accept that truth.  Over 15 years of church ministry, church planting, missions, and coaching have taught me one major lesson.  I’m not anyone’s savior.

It isn’t a lesson I’ve nailed down.  I have to lick my wounds and remind myself daily.  I can remember for specific situations where my heart was shattered because I had allowed pride to make me think I was someone’s savior.

4 Specific Situations I Thought I Was a Savior

1.  I was a 22 years old youth pastor that just found out a student was dealing with homosexuality.  I tried to love him and embrace him, others didn’t.  He fled the church parking lot in rejection.  I chased him wearing my suit.  I was devastated.  I thought it was my fault.  I was a failure and his salvation was on my hands.  I thought I was his savior.

2.  I was a 28-year-old church planter building a relationship with my neighbor who was set in his ways, retirement, and three marriage failures.  I watched TV with him.  I played with his dog.  My boys brought him cookies.  We brought him a Thanksgiving meal.  I was determined to save him!  It didn’t work.  He finally rejected my love and my offer to introduce him to Christ.  I went home and collapsed on my bed and cried harder than any time I can remember.  I thought I was his savior.

3.  I was a 33-year-old missionary connecting with my neighbor addicted to drugs, struggling with his marriage, and growing weed in his basement.  I laid hands on his house after runs.  I raked his leaves.  I left texts of encouragement.  I spent time in conversations on my back porch.  He rejected it.  I was once again devastated.  I thought I was his savior.

4.  Just a year ago I spent time with a pastor friend helping him with his health.  I put together a fitness plan.  I called him regularly.  I wrote on his Facebook wall constantly.  I ran beside him.  I offered him everything I knew about fitness and health.  He rejected it.  I was crushed.  I thought I was his answer to his weight loss.  I thought I was his savior.

Guess what?  All this describes a good-hearted person, but a dysfunction of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel.  There are hints of narcissism here isn’t there?  Who did I think I was?  It is an ego trip disguised as ministry.

I was recently talking to my sister about this as we help people with their health.  We can’t lose weight for people.  Trying to be a savior for people in fitness is so much like discipleship.

I remember a conversation with a friend of my Kevin who told me one day over coffee his recipe for discipleship.  He meets with someone 3-4 times, teaches them everything he knows about Jesus, encourages them, points them to Jesus, and then gets out-of-the-way.   Think about it.  The more we try to get people to depend on us, come to us, drain us, we can only get them so far.  In the end we, along with them, or left hurting because we tried to be their savior.  We can’t.

I mean seriously I need to remember I’m an imperfect messy individual as well. I’ve got my own junk to deal with. It’s so easy to pinpoint others struggles, judge them for it, and quickly forget we have our own. It just makes us feel better about thinking of fixing theirs so we won’t have to fix our own right? The truth is while we’re trying to be someone else’s savior we miss out on receiving THE SAVIOR we so desperately need!

I’m with Kevin in helping others find Jesus and lose weight.  The quicker I can provide the tools, knowledge, resources, and experience the better.  Then I point them to the only one that is perfect and has the power to help them.  It is up to that specific person to take it from there.  My role then?  Get out of their way from connecting with Jesus and become an encourager, an ambassador, an angel, and a protector of their pursuit.

How about you?  Are you currently drowning in being someone’s savior?  Let go and let God take care of them.  Point them to him as quickly as possible and prevent yourself and them from suffering.  WE ARE NO ONE’S SAVIOR!