“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” — Ernest Shackleton’s newspaper ad to recruit men for his exploration of Antarctica in 1914.
Laura and I wanted to share something with you that is burning in our hearts. Since arriving in Charleston, South Carolina last Fall, we have been dreaming of people we love and have shared life with from all over the nation joining us here as an “extended family on mission.” Scripture calls this concept of spiritual household “oikos” in the original greek and it was how the Gospel rapidly spread in the New Testament but it seems to be a lost concept in modern society. Oikos is simply a network of believers usually ranging in size from 20-50 people of both blood relatives and covenant friends all doing life together in a certain place for the Glory of Jesus and the expansion of His Kingdom.
We believe that Charleston is where God has called us to plant roots and raise a family and we want to invite you to be part of that family. Many of you are young leaders that would grow exponentially and make a major impact in your sphere of influence if you said yes to an opportunity like this! Imagine the benefit of continued discipleship by people that already know and love you.
Others of you are already in full swing career and family mode. Think about the benefits of raising kids together and seeing their lives blessed by growing up together with the full support of other families. We could tap into the relational capital we’ve already established together and see God do things for generations because of our covenant community and Kingdom action! Regular times of gathering around meals, celebrating what God is doing in each other’s lives, joining together for prayer, having fun at the beach, vacations near and abroad, and going out on mission to serve the community would be essential practices we share together. I want my kids to grow up in an environment like that!
We currently live on James Island, a mere 10 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean (Folly Beach) and about 5 minutes from historic downtown Charleston. Simply put, it is paradise! In fact, it’s been voted the “Top City in the US” for the last 3 years by Condé Nast. All around us are historic sites from the American Revolution & Civil War, beautiful sunsets, tidal creeks, shade trees, abundant fishing, some of the nicest people in the nation, and perhaps best of all – the food capital of the East Coast.
For all it’s perks, it is still a large city with people that desperately need Jesus. It seems that Charleston is a city constantly receiving new families that are disconnected from a church home and ultimately God Himself. We want to invite you here with us to reach the disconnected, lonely, and lost. The harvest is plentiful but we are praying God would send us more workers for the harvest. This could be your opportunity to truly change the world!
For those of you exploring a call to ministry, we are part of a large life-giving church called Seacoast that has been an incredible learning environment for us as well as a church that has opportunities in virtually every ministry imaginable. We meet in 12 different locations around North and South Carolina and have plans to launch several new campuses in the forthcoming months. There is a lot of room for you to be yourself, use your gifts, and live out your passions with tons of support, encouragement, and accountability. We have over 30 Global Missions trips planned each year and are sending people to every location imaginable. In fact, in December, I am leading a group of young adults to Holland! Our worship services are Spirit filled and full of cutting-edge technology, contemporary music, and in-depth Biblical teaching that is always life applicable. You can even join us online and experience it at http://live.seacoast.org As great as Seacoast is, we are currently believing and asking God for more!
A few key areas we need immediate help are: leaders in student ministry, children’s ministry, marriage mentors, small group coaches, Huddle leaders, local evangelism and outreach in severely under-resourced areas. We have more than just serving opportunities though, we are really committed to raising up leaders in the Kingdom and deploying them into full time ministry, church planters, campus pastors, missionaries, worship leaders, and successful leaders in the business world as well. There are lots of opportunities for you to grow and increase your capacity so that you can live out your calling!
For others of you, especially on the West Coast, simply finding a job and home in Charleston would be a tremendous improvement in your quality of life. The cost of living in South Carolina is considerably cheaper with lower costs of food, gas, taxes, rent, utilities, and colleges. South Carolina is also considered a “magnet” or “sticky” state with an ever increasing population of people moving here for their education, work, or retirement. This has led our economy being more energized and stable than states in the US that have people migrating away from them. We have great resale value on real estate, unbelievable proximity to beaches and rivers, and many educational opportunities for children that simply didn’t exist other places we’ve lived. In the summer, tourists from all over the world and further stimulate local businesses, restaurants, and stores.
Here are some “action steps” you can begin to do if are even remotely interested in joining us as extended family on mission:
- Pray. Seriously, If you are considering making any big decisions cover it in prayer.
- Let’s talk. I’m sure you have a million questions. Let’s connect and address them.
- Come visit us! Why not simply plan a trip or vacation out to Charleston and enjoy the “top tourist destination in the world?!” (also decided by Conde Nast) You’ll be able to get a lay of the land and see if this is a place you’d want to invest your life into. If not, at least you’ll have a great time and get to see us for a week.
- Come for a season and grow! Check out Seacoast’s “All Access” Ministry Internship or our “School of Worship.” Both are incredibly affordable and are great launch points to get you started in a career in full time ministry while working at a nationally acclaimed church of 15k+ people. Many our graduates have found placement within Seacoast or used these programs to build a great resume and references after completion. More info is available at http://www.seacoastschoolofworship.com and All Access Internship.
- Come and Stay. Start looking into jobs, colleges, and housing in the area. Depending on your phase of life, Charleston offers a booming economy, affordable cost of living, and a large spectrum of colleges. I can help connect you to real estate agents, employers in your field, and solutions to moving across the country. For those of you wanting to pursue full time ministry here, we frequently post jobs within our church at http://seacoa.st/jobs