Tomorrow I will officially launch our new company and so I wanted to share some of the backstory.
It all started on a plane ride from Madagascar…
Our plane was filled with a crew for an up and coming artist, Trey Songz (never heard of him). Girls went crazy, waving to him on the flight. It was kinda funny.
I brought a few books to read, but I couldn’t concentrate. I pulled out my notepad and began to think about our future. We had just found out we were expecting our first child and, because I was out of the country during the first doctor appointment, I had to Facetime in. My wife, Tisha, sent me this pic while I was in Madagascar.
As I sat on the plane thinking about our future and the future of our company, I began to write down every idea or thought that came to mind. I didn’t even know what we were going to call this new endeavor.
As I was writing, I began to feel a heavy urgency that I needed to begin working on this new company immediately. My friends know I don’t like to use the “God card,” but I really felt God impress on me that now is the time to take on this endeavor. I looked at the calendar and thought there is no way we could launch it sooner than Easter of 2015. But I felt God was telling me to launch in October.
Then, I was trying to think of who I could get to help us launch with a big event. Immediately, Mark Batterson came to mind. The funny thing is, I had never read any of Mark’s books and I didn’t follow him on Twitter. My only connection to him was a podcast I listened to a few years back. Again, I literally felt God compel me to contact Mark and ask if he would partner with us.
I contacted Mark’s people and to my surprise he agreed to give me two hours with him for filming. After booking him, I met several people from his team–as well as others who knew him–and they all were very surprised I was able to book Pastor Mark AND get him for two hours the week before his new book launched. Let me say, Pastor Mark and his entire team were so helpful, accommodating, and just really great to work with. I have since picked up his new book, The Grave Robber, and it is excellent. There is a reason why he is a New York Times best selling author.
So, we all began to work furiously towards the October 7th launch. Now we are here.
The biggest lesson I have learned is that when God compels you to do something or change directions, you might not feel adequate or equipped to do what he is leading. I felt inadequate to lead this project, scared and intimidated at the gravity of launching this. Ultimately, I had to trust him like Solomon said, in Proverbs 3:5-6.
God has directed us throughout this season and will continue to do so as we serve church leaders around the world. I’m still scared, but also excited to make a difference.
I got this email a few days ago from a pastor in Swaziland. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know where Swaziland was on the map. Wouldn’t you know, it’s right near Madagascar…
I could not have done this without an amazing group of people:
Tisha Trapp – Thanks for being so patient while being pregnant while we launch another business. We have sacrificed a ton of time to make this happen.
Wade Bearden – Thanks for leading our sermon content team. You did an amazing job.
Jordan Lieng – Thanks for keeping us all organized and on time!
Tommy Lieng – Thanks for helping me understand the numbers!
Tido Rodriguez – Thanks for making everyone smile bro!
Mark Batterson – Thanks for partnering with us to help pastors around the world.
Marty Burroughs – Thanks for alway being so supportive and an available ear.
Steve Pate – Thanks for your great business advice and teaching me how to be generous.
Andrew Brockenbush – Thanks for being so helpful during this time.
Garland Owensby – Thanks for helping us with a TON of sermon content. Great job!
Patrick Fore – Thanks for amazing art, creative direction AND the Ministry Pass logo.
Lance Dockins – Thanks Lance! The Vrazer dev team has been awesome.
Special Thanks to Hector Vasquez, Shane Harris, Joe Oneal, Joshua Noom, Isaac Salazar, Jaimi Fore, Michael White, Josh Gosney, Codi Gosney, Shaun Eide, Jill Wyman, Baker Publishing Group, Michael Hernandez, Josh Rhodes, Jacob Thompson and many others who have given encouragement, input or involvement to our launch. I am very thankful to you all.
P.S. After hours of working on a launch plan I eventually fell asleep only to wake up to this horror on my flight map screen….