Chad helped lead Wheatstone for four and a half years. Now, as he transitions to a new job, he reflects on how Wheatstone continues to give him hope.
I remember our first phone call, five years ago. It was late one evening, shortly after Peter had been appointed Executive Director of Wheatstone. During that phone call, he invited me to join him as the first full-time employee of a brand new team. I remember the hand-trembling joy with which I said, “Yes!” excited for all that was to come. My mind raced with hopes and dreams for this ministry that I love.
When Peter and I first sat face-to-face, we got right to work. We had seen this ministry change lives, and we wanted to see even more. To grow into a new vision and a new model of ministry, we started with a great risk. We decided to cancel summer camp, strike down the old way of doing things, and go back to the drawing board. From the very beginning, our work was marked by an unwavering hope in God’s ability to do great things, and by an acceptance of the risks it would require to see those hopes come true.
We had seen this ministry change lives, and we wanted to see even more.
As we worked in those first few years, our team changed and grew. New companions came on board. Some left, and some still work with us now. These women and men, these co-laborers in the gospel, are my lifelong friends. In all our working, we stayed steadfast and hopeful. Through times of great uncertainty and times of great joy, we looked to our steadfast God and tried to join him in the ways that he was remaking Wheatstone. Together, we’ve witnessed great ministry and great miracles. Each of them have reminded me, time after time, of the power of working in the light of hope, secured by God’s great love for us.
Now, I’m looking ahead to the next chapter. Continuing to follow God’s call toward pastoral ministry, I am stepping away from Wheatstone Ministries as Partnerships Director. It’s a sad decision because I’m grateful for this work and the many friends I’ve made along the way. But, thanks to them, the decision is also full of hope.
How could it be otherwise, when hope led us where we are now? Together, we crafted a vision for ministry that invited youth into Christian adulthood not only through our rite-of-passage summer camp, but through renewed ministry at local churches and schools. We prayed, tried ideas, had failures, and found successes. And just look where we’ve come!
Together, we’ve witnessed great ministry and great miracles. Each of them have reminded me, time after time, of the power of working in the light of hope, secured by God’s great love for us.
When I think of our successes, I think of our friends at Grace Fellowship Church who, over the course of four years, have completely transformed their ministry to help students pursue their questions with courage and vulnerability. These leaders were the first ones to go “all in” with Wheatstone as ministry partners, and our work has paid off. These leaders have grown not only in their abilities, but as disciples of Christ. Their youth group has tripled, and they’ve become more prayerful, more hopeful, and renewed in their commitment to help their students place their adult identity in Christ. They give me hope.
I think of our friends at Whittier Christian High School who continue to push forward with discussion in their classroom, always seeking to refine their craft. When we first met, they were astounded by this vision of what could happen in their classroom. They wanted to see their students boldly pushing forward in discipleship, and wanted to do whatever it took to grow as educators. Over these years, we’ve worked together through private coaching and guest teaching, helping them strengthen their ability to help students seek the truth together. Now, they’re leading students through discussions on a monthly basis. They’ve taken the tools we’ve given them and applied them to students who are beginning to explore the trajectory of their adult lives. They give me hope.
Sharing this ministry with these friends and ministry partners has been integral to my own discipleship these past years. It’s at Wheatstone that I’ve learned how to work with hope, even when circumstances seem painful or confusing. I’ve learned how to direct all of my hopes ultimately and finally toward Christ, who is hope’s true home.
It’s at Wheatstone that I’ve learned how to work with hope, even when circumstances seem painful or confusing.
I can confidently say, even through pain and sacrifice, sleepless nights and long hours, that it’s all been worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, because I believe in this ministry. I believe in this mission, and I want to see it brought to completion. It is my hope and prayer that God will take up the work that I’ve done with his blessing and multiply it for years to come, in many more communities.
As I move on to a new job and ministry opportunity, I can’t wait to see how God makes Christian adulthood ministry flourish through Wheatstone. I want to see more and more youth groups helping students discuss together with courage and humility. I want to see youth leaders as committed to teaching their youth how to pray as they are to teaching good theology. I believe that with Wheatstone’s unparalleled mission, we can show the next generation that Christ and His Church are the best place to be. We can show these dear brothers and sisters that an adulthood placed in Christ is the most beautiful way to live; it guides us through suffering, and gives us hope. Let’s keep showing them that we’re all in this together – that we’ll never stop growing up.
The best is still ahead for Wheatstone, and I’m honored to continue serving this ministry and its mission for years to come.