A few weeks back, I bought a package of old school army parachute men. My wife and I brought our sons outside and began throwing them up in the air and watching the parachute catch the wind as the little action figures floated safely to the ground.
We gathered our boys together and told them, “This is what Momma and Dadda are about to do. We are jumping out in faith, trusting that God’s grace, provision, and love will catch and carry us to where he wants us to go.” (It was about that time that they started zoning out… so 10 second bible lesson over.)
After 8 years of ministering at CityBridge Community Church, the next chapter of our life is about to unfold.
When I arrived at CityBridge (then Watermark Plano), I was exhausted. Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally I had been running on empty longer than I had realized. It was there that I first saw Jesus words in John 13 play out in a church body, "The world will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another." Countless individuals have lived out that verse in my life.
It was over these 8 years that some of the most joyful and tragic events of our lives unfolded. No matter the moment, our church family was the first we wanted to share the blessings and sorrows of life with. God has given us all his Spirit within us, his word before us, and his people around us to point us to his Son who is with us. For those that God has blessed us with on our journey, thank you for being apart of God's three-fold provision in my life to point me to Jesus.
Although we are saddened that our time on the staff team is over, we are grateful for the relationships and memories God has given us. It was as joy and honor to love CityBridge in the roles I had over the years. But it was a greater joy getting to know the people that God placed in our path.
As we turn the page, we are excited to see what the LORD will continue to do. We have officially launched Storyverse Ministries. This ministry has been on my heart for years and we are fully convinced the LORD has called us to go all in with him. Sometimes in order to pull a parachute you have to first jump out of the plane. We have full confidence that we are not "jumping into the unknown," but rather jumping into the grace, provision, and love of God. What a great place to be!
The heart of Storyverse is to help people fall more in love with Jesus by seeing him through the story of Scripture. Throughout my time in ministry, I have seen first hand what happens in someone's life when they simply sit with Jesus and let his story transform their own. Storyverse will expand the way we share his story through devotionals, podcast, in-person and online classes, and Institute programs. Essentially, we want to make seminary style training available to churches, ministries, and individuals regardless of where they are at in their walk with Jesus.
We are unsure where this journey will lead us. But we do know that in Christ, whether in this life or the next, we will walk deeply together again.
As someone who makes his living crafting together words, I think it's best to say that I love you all more than words can express.
Derek & Mikaela Mathews