With great humility and vulnerability, Richard Williams shares his amazing journey “from selfishness to servanthood . . . from death to life”. After talking about growing up in a loving home of 13 children with a mother who cared for everyone and a father who learned to read at 54, Williams explains how the desire to “succeed” and “fit in” as a college graduate in a professional career led him to years of drug addiction that eventually destroyed his “successful life” and even his relationships with his family.
He then tells us about the amazing journey back to “life” that began when he arrived at Pivot Ministries in Bridgeport, CT. Richard transparently shares his 12-year transformation from a new Pivot student whose life was “all about me” to the Executive Director of the ministry–a position that is “all about the well-being of others”.
Kalim Andraos challenges his audience with the question “Where is the Kingdom of God in your life?”
After sharing his own incredible story of growing up in war-torn Lebanon and coming to the United States as a refugee of the civil war in Beirut, Kalim tells about his introduction to the love of Jesus through a retired missionary in Winston-Salem, NC. Andraos recounts how this missionary visited gas stations talking about Jesus to the employees. Kalim also explains not only the struggle he went through surrendering his life to Jesus (because he feared how much he might lose) but also the amazing vision in a dream that finally brought him to submission. He also describes how he has continually experienced God as kind and loving despite his sinful behavior.
Finally, Kalim shares how he and his wife now try to spread the love of Jesus through extending radical hospitality in their home and by leading mission trips throughout the world to help refugees and encourage those who support refugees. He also recounts some extraordinary experiences and people from his travels.
Kalim leaves his audience with the questions: Do you really trust God when He says to seek His Kingdom and all else will follow? Are you “all-in” for Jesus? Will you hear “well done”? How does the Kingdom of God rank in your life’s priorities?
Dan Haseltine tells us that a songwriter’s job is to describe the world as it is and as it it could be, and he presents his vision of both.
Starting with a painfully vulnerable description of his childhood, Haseltine explains how a dysfunctional and volatile family life pushed him to music, and how music led him to mission. He transparently shares the generational brokenness that resulted in him growing up without access to a father, and then reveals how watching the Live Aid concert in 1985 transformed his understanding of rock and roll and permanently fused in his mind “music” and “mission”.
After describing the unlikely genesis of Jars of Clay at a small college in southern Illinois, Haseltine explains how the band was led to use its platform of musical success to embrace mission by starting the charity Blood:Water.
In telling this story, Haseltine reveals two lessons he has learned about humanity. First, that human beings often try to control or destroy things we do not understand, and second, that we long for “spaceless embrace” with each other but continually drive wedges between ourselves. Haseltine then offers his vision of the world “as it could be”.
With extraordinary vulnerability, humility and courage, Chris York shares his battle with the generational brokenness of addiction, as well as the victory that has set free his children and generations to follow. In describing that battle, Chris reflects on the damage done to those he loved and on what he has learned about himself. He also explains his strategies for freedom and highlights how his wife’s remarkable forgiveness and NCS brotherhood were key components in the victory.