Nathan no doubt wins the prize for being the emerging leader who I have spent the most time with, drank the most coffee with, laughed the hardest with, been the most frustrated with, had to ask forgiveness from the most, and who has leveraged what I poured into him more than anyone else I can think of. When Nathan and I first connected many years ago I quickly discerned his potential for impacting the advance of God’s Kingdom. Though not maturely formed or tested, he was clearly gifted, eager to learn and ambitious to serve. And so began the decade-plus discipleship relationship that I believe has shaped and transformed both our lives for the good. Today Nathan is a world class communicator and an extra-ordinary visionary leader who is literally impacting nations with the good news of Jesus Christ. Now hear our story from Nathan’s perspective:
Fifteen years ago, God brought Bill & Jill Randall in our lives. As my wife, Erica, and I began our young journey with God, the Randall’s very quickly became some of the most significant, encouraging, and prophetic voices in our lives.
For years, we gathered weekly, along with many other young adults, in Bill and Jill’s living room. They taught us, equipped us, challenged us, and empowered us to follow Jesus in every way possible. They have helped us to hear God’s voice, discern God’s leading, take risks, and dream boldly with God. They carry such a beautiful and authentic heart to see the next generation go further, faster, stronger and longer.
Bill and Jill have also walked with us through the most painful seasons of our life. They have helped us to face pain, to deal with discouragement, to forgive others, to embrace forgiveness, and to pursue healing and wholeness in the broken places of our lives. They have given us permission to weep, to feel, to fall apart, and to find God in all of it. They have shown us again and again, ‘It’s ok to not be ok,’ which has freed us beyond imagine.
Nine years ago, the Randall’s empowered us and commissioned us to plant a new church, the Stirring, in Redding CA. Our desire, more than anything, was to reach young adults, to see them come alive in Jesus, to encounter His wild love, and to live with courage the dreams God has placed within them; offering to this next generation what Bill & Jill so generously offered to us. Years later, the Stirring church has grown into a healthy and progressive expression of the kingdom in our city and beyond.
I am beyond grateful for Bill & Jill Randall, leaders and even more so, spiritual parents, who not only believed in us, but also took a great risk to invest their lives so deeply into ours. I can truly say, no couple has a deeper and more lasting impact on our lives than the Bill & Jill. We are profoundly grateful.
The Stirring Church
WE LOVE | WE MAKE DISCIPLES
Question: What do think are the essential ingredients to an authentic discipleship relationship? Leave a comment!