Our Crazy Bivocational Lifestyle

There are more and more people interested in bi-vocational ministry these days. And more reasons that people want and even need to be involved in jobs that go hand in hand with their vocational ministry.

In this episode, Caesar and his wife Tina share their incredible 30+ years of doing full-time ministry while starting and running dozens of businesses and other non-profit ministries. Their story will encourage anyone who is considering alternative ways to do ministry and pay the bills at the same time!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How to have the flexibility and freedom to do what God is calling you to.
  • How Caesar and Tina combined ministry and business with their family life.
  • The benefits and challenges of working bi-vocationally.
  • Why our identity is NOT attached to our title or specific job.

Get started here…

Our Crazy Bivocational Lifestyle

From this episode:

“Let God route your paycheck wherever he chooses. It is not forsaking the ministry to NOT work at a church. The one mission Jesus gave his Church (that’s us) is discipleship, which happens life on life, in community, throughout the week. Let God provide for that mission in any way he chooses. For most people it will not be by working at a church. That’s by God’s design.

 

Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.
Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Join us on Facebook and take part in the discussion!

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Also, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #355

Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living.

Discipleship and Missional Resources

 

Transcript
Caesar:

Your vocation should follow your passion and calling when times do get tough.

Caesar:

Your why, your reason, your why for doing what you do needs to come from your heart.

Caesar:

Pragmatism alone will not carry you very far.

Caesar:

And by the way, it's not a great idea to work at a church primarily to just put bread on the table because, well, that's all I know how to do.

Caesar:

Would you want to have a pastor who only does his job because that's what he's learned to do in college.

Caesar:

That's his primary motivator.

Caesar:

You can trust God and his generous provision for you and your family.

Caesar:

Hopefully our story shows you that through so many journeys and we're not wealthy people, but we never miss a meal yet.

Caesar:

God always provides for that, which he calls us to.

Caesar:

And there may be a lot of stops on the journey like ours have had, and there's probably more to come, but we get to choose a life of trusting God versus a life of trusting our career or denominational position.

Caesar:

Or trusting ourselves,

Announcer:

welcome to the Everyday Disciple podcast where you learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

Announcer:

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle.

Announcer:

This is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.

Announcer:

And now here's your host Caesar.

Announcer:

Kalinowski.

Caesar:

Hey, this is awesome.

Caesar:

Not only are you back with me, but guess what?

Caesar:

Tina's with me today.

Caesar:

Woo.

Tina:

Yay.

Tina:

Hello everyone.

Caesar:

Hey, I know that being on the podcast with me today, honey is probably the best part of your day for oh.

Caesar:

What do you got going on the rest of the day?

Tina:

Once we get done recording this, I am going to be canning applesauce with my mom today.

Tina:

And with any luck, maybe even my grandson, I don't know.

Tina:

Let's see.

Tina:

That would be fine.

Caesar:

Little P is coming over.

Tina:

I hope I, well, he really wants to spend the night with.

Tina:

Grandma and grandpa

Caesar:

Yamma and Yampa....

Caesar:

All right, well, we'll see how that goes.

Caesar:

Hey, if you've not joined us on the Facebook group, uh, we'd love to have you there because that's kind of how we can stay connected pretty easily.

Caesar:

If you can be in your Facebook and just search up Everyday Disciple Podcast, you'll find the group or you can go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward.

Caesar:

Facebook and it'll take you right there and you can join the group.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

Love to see in there and talk about the episodes, ask questions and that's how we can hang out virtually.

Caesar:

Now let me set up where we're going.

Caesar:

And why I have Tina on with me today, and then I'm going to bring her back.

Caesar:

We're going to be sharing our story of being long-term entrepreneurs while being involved in ministry throughout our life, and for pretty much our entire marriage.

Caesar:

And I've been called a spiritual entrepreneur now for years, spiritual entrepreneur.

Caesar:

I love that.

Caesar:

And I think you'll see why when you hear more of.

Caesar:

Uh, I was asked to share this journey on the podcast, and I think it's really a great time to do this.

Caesar:

There seems to be more and more people interested in these things, the idea of being an entrepreneur while doing ministry or some of the bi-vocational sort of understanding of things.

Caesar:

And there seems to be more reasons for people to want, maybe even need to be involved in work and vocations that go hand in hand with their ministry.

Caesar:

So maybe you're one of these people, maybe you're looking for more flexibility and freedom.

Caesar:

To do what God's calling you to doand sometimes running your own business can provide that.

Caesar:

Now it's also hard work.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

But there's ways as you will see, or maybe you're feeling the call to have more time for ministry with your family and your neighborhood and in your Missional Community and leaving and driving to a job where you have to be there for eight or 10 hours a day.

Caesar:

And then driving back is eating up so much of your time.

Caesar:

It's not working for you or things are going so well in ministry, locally, making disciples there, you want to have some more free time and, okay.

Caesar:

And this is another, this is a big one.

Caesar:

Now with the changing church leadership and employment landscape.

Caesar:

Maybe you need to be by vocational or co vocational.

Caesar:

Now, Brad Briscoe, who talks a lot about co-vocation and by vocational work and all that, he was on the show with me, just a few episodes back.

Caesar:

He recently wrote as a result of declining attendance and the closing of many existing churches.

Caesar:

Every major denomination is focusing more resources towards starting new congregations.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

They're trying to make up ground while a lot of people are also leaving.

Caesar:

Now, he goes on, he says in the midst of this proliferation of church planning, one of the most significant trends.

Caesar:

Has been the starting of new churches by, bi- vocational leaders.

Caesar:

Now, by the way, listen, through the lens of you don't have to be a church planter.

Caesar:

Cause all this applies historically the phrase bi-vocational pastor has been used to refer to a leader who served a church that was unable to compensate fully for a pastor, you know, a full-time salary.

Caesar:

Therefore the pastor would work a second or maybe even a third job to supplement the small salary.

Caesar:

The church could provide.

Caesar:

In many cases it was out of necessity.

Caesar:

Rather than preference, but here's where this is where it's starting to get.

Caesar:

Interesting.

Caesar:

I think today there's a new movement among leaders, more church leaders and church planters are choosing to be bivocational.

Caesar:

They're making this decision out of the conviction that working this way, planting churches, leading churches, doing ministry bivocationally actually provides a more desirable way to do it rather than on a basis of limited funds.

Caesar:

In other words, it's becoming a first option, not a last resort.

Caesar:

Now the language of, bivocation in covocation and all that, that there was always a little murky.

Caesar:

Brad explained that on that episode, a couple back, a couple episodes back, but here's what he goes on to say in this article, I was just reading the language of covocation pushes against the temptation to compartmentalize different aspects of our lives.

Caesar:

We begin to understand that each of our callings are legit.

Caesar:

And necessary aspects of God's mission.

Caesar:

I love that they can also be leveraged together for his redemptive purposes.

Caesar:

So the out of that understanding of co right co vocation.

Caesar:

So what it is, is bivocational is usually sort of I'm supplementing my income until I don't have to.

Caesar:

Covocation sees your vocation is I've got multiple callings in my life.

Caesar:

And I think we're all called to ministry.

Caesar:

And so I'm not going to try to take myself out of the workforce.

Caesar:

I'm going to see it as part of how God is using me and our lives and our family for his.

Caesar:

Mission for his redemptive purposes.

Caesar:

Now there are a lot of benefits to this.

Caesar:

I think because as we work a normal job out there, people see us and we build relationship and it builds credibility with people, both inside and outside of the church

Caesar:

so in our lives, no one's ever been able to really point at us and say, well, sure you guys can do this and live this way and have people around all that time, because you don't have to go to work all day.

Caesar:

Well, that's not been the case we've, as you will see, is Tina and I are going to tell our story here.

Caesar:

We've always had.

Caesar:

Businesses and jobs, mostly just businesses we've run and a ministry at the same time.

Caesar:

And so it's a lifestyle.

Caesar:

It really is.

Caesar:

And I think the biggest bonuses, all of, all of having a regular job per se or running a business while doing ministry is you're immersed in your culture all day.

Caesar:

You're just building relationships, making friends like everybody else.

Caesar:

And I think that's a huge leg up when it comes to making new disciples in that.

Caesar:

Grow in the church.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

So Tina, come on in and join me here.

Caesar:

The water is fine.

Caesar:

Uh, let's walk people through our journey cause it's been weird.

Caesar:

We were thinking the other day, like I think we've run like 18 plus businesses.

Caesar:

And that's what I had mentioned in one of the.

Caesar:

Uh, listeners here on the show, you know?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Uh, wrote in and said, Hey, why don't you talk about that?

Caesar:

Well, it's actually more like 20 plus it's 23 or four.

Caesar:

We're not sure exactly.

Caesar:

We probably miss some, but we're going to kind of walk you through, uh, our story a little bit.

Caesar:

So you kind of get an idea of the breadth of this.

Caesar:

Now we're going to go, not super deep in every company, obviously, but you'll kind of get the breadth of this and what I want you to pay attention to.

Caesar:

How God's sort of sovereignly knew what he was leading us into and it kind of set us up for the next thing or a whole bunch of things that we ended up learning how to do.

Caesar:

Boy, we needed to know how to do that later for this business or church planting or with this nonprofit we started or this or that.

Caesar:

So it's amazing.

Caesar:

God's provision not only for our food and, you know, paying our bills and all that, but providing what we need in the moment.

Caesar:

And I also want to point out that we knew how to do almost none of the things we did.

Caesar:

So true.

Caesar:

Before we started?

Caesar:

No.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So we get married really long time ago.

Caesar:

It seems like a long time ago.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Over 35 years now.

Caesar:

Ooh.

Caesar:

Anyway, we get married and then what a baby comes, what?

Caesar:

A year later.

Caesar:

Yeah,

Caesar:

I had gotten my first like big corporate job in that time.

Caesar:

And so we were kind of lucky because I had, you know, good benefits and was making.

Caesar:

Reasonable money.

Caesar:

You know, it wasn't anything crazy, but it was doing a lot of customer service and inventory control and working on computers and blah, blah, blah.

Caesar:

And we had our first child while I was working at that job.

Caesar:

I was working at a Harley shop at the time, which I loved I'd been there like eight years ultimately, but it didn't have it.

Caesar:

Wasn't a great salary.

Caesar:

It had zero benefits.

Caesar:

And so Tina had that corporate gig nailing down a lot of the bennies and she made a lot more money than I did back then.

Tina:

I don't know if that's true, but I did get the better benefits for.

Tina:

But then, you know, along that timeframe, just after our son was born, we both had pretty major spiritual awakening, I would say,

Caesar:

you know, like, and God really tapping us for like your mine.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And I'm putting a call on

Tina:

your life.

Tina:

Yeah.

Tina:

And so that really came with some huge changes.

Tina:

Cause I think, you know, we'd already been having some of these conversations, but you were really feeling pretty convicted about your job and uh, just about this time, I also got pregnant with our second child.

Tina:

So then we were really having to think about like, well, what's it going to look like going now?

Caesar:

Interestingly, I probably would've just worked and I could have probably worked at that Harley shop till today still.

Caesar:

I mean, it's the biggest Harley shop in the states, but those owners were super entrepreneurs.

Caesar:

They owned all kinds of businesses.

Caesar:

And I learned basically how to run business from them because at 18 they made me parts manager.

Caesar:

The largest Harley dealer in the country, it was nuts.

Caesar:

And I learned so much from that.

Caesar:

I also had to unlearn a lot of stuff because they were somewhat unscrupulous at times.

Caesar:

And at the same time, we start going to a lot of music festivals.

Caesar:

And my background was, I was a musician at the same time I was working at the Harley shop.

Caesar:

I was making my living as a.

Caesar:

Guitar player and a singer.

Caesar:

And I was just kind of out there playing, and now we're listening to lots of Christian music and I ended up at this cornerstone festival, some of you know what that is.

Caesar:

And I met some people from refuge records and they had this Christian record company called refuge and they had just started something called pure metal.

Caesar:

And well, uh, I got a job for them and I was like, okay, great.

Caesar:

And it was making half of what I had been making.

Caesar:

And then Tina, like she said, had just gotten pregnant with our second.

Caesar:

And right around that time, we felt like the Lord said when baby number two, who's Christin.

Caesar:

When she comes, I want you to leave that job and be home with the babies,

Tina:

this conversation, and really prayed about this a lot, that it didn't make sense for me to work after I had the second.

Tina:

Baby.

Tina:

And, you know, here we were making a lot less money and we had bought a house.

Tina:

I mean, we got married a little, I guess, young compared to a lot of people these days, but we had gotten married and then we bought a house and then the next year we had our first child.

Tina:

And so now we were working on baby number two, and that's a lot of responsibility to all of a sudden be making half of what you did.

Tina:

Think about me quitting my job.

Tina:

Yeah.

Caesar:

It was definitely one of those things.

Caesar:

We felt God calling us to do that now.

Caesar:

Not very long into working for this Christian record company, we felt very strongly that we recall to start our own company.

Caesar:

Now we had nothing to do with record companies.

Caesar:

We had never, I had only been in a room in a real recording studio one time, because while working for refuge and pure metal, I was actually somehow.

Caesar:

Uh, tapped to produce the first white cross album.

Caesar:

Yeah, crazy.

Caesar:

And though I had done some.

Caesar:

Like home recording with all of our bands throughout the years.

Caesar:

That's kind of how I learned it.

Caesar:

I had never been here's a giant budget and go make a record.

Caesar:

It wasn't actually that giant, but it sure felt like it at the time it was like five grand, I think.

Caesar:

And so I had done that and that record took off.

Caesar:

So all of a sudden I was known as this successful heavy metal record producer.

Tina:

So really just a salesman on the road, 90% of the time.

Caesar:

So I was selling Christian records to Christian bookstores.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:ing our first company then in:Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

I know hard to believe.

Caesar:

Right?

Caesar:

How did we get the name Graceland?

Caesar:

Well, uh, it was a name of a house in Tennessee in Memphis, but it wasn't the name of a company in Illinois.

Caesar:

And so to this day we still own Graceland incorporated.

Caesar:

It's amazing.

Caesar:

So we started Graceland that first record company and right.

Caesar:

Kind of alongside of it, a second label called Intense.

Caesar:

Records.

Caesar:

And we also started then a music publishing company, because that's how it works.

Caesar:

I'm not going to get into the inner workings of that, but you have to publish the songs as well as record them and sell them on records and all that.

Caesar:

And by the way, we actually made records back then.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Actual LP was LPs and tapes.

Caesar:

I remember a few years later having to actually go out and buy a CD player cause there was these new shiny.

Caesar:

Sorta music devices called CDs.

Caesar:

And you can listen to music on this crazy.

Caesar:

Anyway, that's how old we are.

Caesar:

But now here's, what's going on that same time.

Caesar:

When now all of a sudden we went to a half income, then we start this record company.

Caesar:

Guess how much they pay you when you're starting a new company and you own it, nobody pays you anything.

Caesar:

But God provided miraculously literally the first month that we kind of opened up the wicket to start selling our first album and a couple.

Caesar:

Oh, I think it'll be picked up a couple of books to distribute, just cause I I'm calling everybody.

Caesar:

I need something to sell and I think it was a book.

Tina:

I think it was a cassette sometimes Sabbath

Caesar:

striper, like somebody who's anti long-haired bands, but that's what we were selling.

Caesar:

Anyway, we sold, I think it was 50 or $60,000.

Caesar:

In presale of our product, which was like a million, it was like, God showed up.

Caesar:

We couldn't even believe it.

Caesar:

And now at the same time though, we're part of a team that started a church plant.

Caesar:

And that was, we were really intricately involved in that.

Caesar:

Now we didn't see ourselves as church planters.

Caesar:

At that point, we had no idea that years later, that's what we'd be doing primarily was helping to start new communities and multiply out disciple-making and churches, regathering, and all that.

Caesar:

We had no idea, but that was going on just so you know.

Caesar:

So here now we have two babies.

Caesar:

We're running three companies, two record labels and a publishing company.

Caesar:

I'm traveling quite a bit and we're helping plant a church.

Caesar:

So you kind of get the idea.

Caesar:

And I think that all started, we were about what, 25, 26 at the time, something like that, pretty young.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

Now I got to move us head.

Caesar:

There's a lot coming.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:lling our record companies in:Caesar:

Maybe some of you remember frontline records and they took that from us.

Caesar:

And I was employed with them for a while.

Caesar:

But then later on that year ended up leaving there and we started, uh, something called big rage music catalog, and it kind of looked like those Columbia record

Tina:

catalogs.

Tina:

Yeah.

Tina:

It was an actual mail order catalog.

Tina:

We literally printed the catalog and put little labels on them and sent them out all over the country.

Caesar:

Collected thousands of names and addresses of people.

Caesar:

And we had, you know, we were marketing it and all, and we sold kind of underground Christian rock and metal and demos.

Caesar:

And we, we licensed merchandise from the bands.

Caesar:

They would send us boxes of shirts and we would sell them and signed eight by 10 photos and all anyway, and the off we went, okay.

Caesar:

We also in 89, started a rehab business.

Caesar:

We bought our first home and started rehabbing that while we were doing that.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

As if we weren't busy enough.

Caesar:

Uh, it was, yeah.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

And I think we had our third child that year.

Tina:

I was pregnant with our third child at that time

Caesar:

now, along the way though, because of my renown as a record producer, and I now made, you know, several records.

Caesar:

We started a new company called Wonderland and Wonderland records with word, word records, uh, sort of finance the whole operation for us and advanced us more money than I'd ever seen in my life, probably still.

Caesar:

And we started that label.

Caesar:

And then I also started a music production company because they not only wanted the records that we were producing, but they wanted me as a producer to produce for them.

Caesar:

So we had to start temple productions and we started another publishing company to manage all that.

Caesar:

Meanwhile, the other publishing company is still going on.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Now, because all of a sudden we had the production company and this big contract with word to put out lots and lots of records.

Caesar:

I was like, wait a minute.

Caesar:

I got three kids now I can't live on the road in recording studios.

Caesar:

It usually in LA or Nashville, that's usually where we were at.

Caesar:

So we bought a building to build our own studios in and what we ended up buying was a 40,000 square foot Masonic temple.

Caesar:

This is in 91.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And so this is a, like a half a city block.

Caesar:

It's giant four stories.

Caesar:

It's monstrous it's.

Caesar:

It was just huge.

Caesar:

And not only do we build two studios there, but we, it was giant.

Caesar:

And so we had this ballroom and then huge stage.

Caesar:

And also Tina ran concerts out of there and catering and quinceanera . And we had, it was such a big building.

Caesar:

We also had commercial rentals.

Caesar:

So people like tenants that lease from us and we had to run that all that whole.

Caesar:

And then the studio is opened up the next year in 92.

Caesar:

So what do you call a recording studio?

Caesar:

That's in a Masonic temple.

Caesar:

We called it the Sonic temple.

Caesar:

So there you go.

Caesar:

Right?

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

So there's another business now we're running a studio, actually, a couple of them that we used a lot, but so did other people and paid for that?

Caesar:

Yep.

Caesar:

So now here's, what's crazy as you look at all these things.

Caesar:

Now, I had no idea how to run a record company when we started.

Caesar:

No, I really didn't even know how to make records when I started, to be honest with you, we made some really bad sounding demos and next thing you know, and no one owned a computer, but see Tina had worked at that corporate job.

Caesar:

And so she was not afraid of computers.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And

Tina:

I had had the opportunity to do pretty high level customer service, as well as like dealing with inventory control and working on a computer program to do that.

Tina:

And so it actually, I never seen a computer before that job.

Tina:

Uh, it actually gave me a lot of the skills that we really needed to run that label,

Caesar:

because I had never seen one or touched one, I remember we bought one for like a million dollars and a dot matrix printer anyway.

Caesar:

So all that stuff now, of course, these days and all the things we do and think about how life on computers and online, it's all.

Caesar:

For us, that's when it started.

Caesar:

And we had to get really super involved in a big way, because how do you run a company?

Caesar:

It wasn't in ledger books anymore.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So let's see, where are we at Sonic temple studios in 92 now?

Caesar:

Um, we're still rehabbing homes now.

Caesar:

And then as that happened, so in 94, we start another little LLC to start a new.

Caesar:

Rehab project that was almost like building a whole house that particular a year, uh, with some friends, a guy that actually was one of my best friends bill and worked in the studio with us as well, and also had his own kids and all that.

Caesar:

So that was around 94.

Caesar:

In 96 feeling of God's kind of changing my heart and move towards more things online because all of a sudden, there's this thing called the internet happens right around that time.

Caesar:

And I remember when the world wide web started and was like, what you can put colors on

Tina:

text.

Tina:

Oh my goodness.

Tina:

And you would disappear with our little itty-bitty computer and just like, I'd hear that AOL, you've got mail thing go in and you'd be so excited.

Caesar:

And.

Caesar:

I mean a little too much information, but every time I heard that modem kick in, in the morning, I, I right away, I had a bowel movement.

Caesar:

I had to go, I had, it was just, I was so excited.

Caesar:

It was like, this is adrenaline shot.

Caesar:

He's not kidding.

Caesar:

I'm not sure.

Caesar:

And I started feeling like, man, I feel I'm feeling very drawn to this.

Caesar:

And, and I actually was, and I, all of a sudden out of the blue and I'm still running, we're still running these companies, the building, this huge commercial property rehabbing publishing the record.

Caesar:

The studio, all of it.

Caesar:

And all of a sudden I get an offer from a marketing company to basically run like a new media division.

Caesar:

So, you know, videos and online and all this stuff that was just starting to happen.

Caesar:

And no one knew anything about it.

Caesar:

And certainly I did not, but I somehow convinced them that I did and they hired me and I was doing both for a while.

Caesar:

So then I would go to work kind of nine to five ish.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

But then I was having to make records at night cause I still had

Tina:

contracts to fulfill.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Yup.

Caesar:

Now, along the way, working for that marketing company, one of the projects we picked up was to build a website for a guy who was a nationally known, still is known artists, Ron D Siani, maybe some of you know, Ron great guy, amazing artists.

Caesar:

And we built them out this amazing website for his art.

Caesar:

But then when he got done, he says, well, how do you sell art on it?

Caesar:

And Ron, what's, it's all built in there.

Caesar:

He's up at how do you run this and how do you ship stuff and where do you.

Caesar:

How does this all happen?

Caesar:

And he didn't, he was an artist.

Caesar:

He didn't know, he just knew he needed a website.

Caesar:

So we built it for him.

Caesar:

But then we decided that marketing companies, owner, and myself, that we would partner with him to actually run this.

Caesar:

And we started a company called art to see, and I was kind of predominantly the one helping to set up all that fulfillment and shipping and product and all this and sales and all that stuff.

Caesar:

And that was in 98.

Caesar:

And.

Caesar:

So when my contract ran out with word for all the distribution and production for them and all that, I just let it and I didn't re up it.

Caesar:

And I, I was hard going after this and eventually art to see did very, very well.

Caesar:

And I actually had to leave the marketing company.

Caesar:

And so then.

Caesar:

Partner with my boss and the other guy, and that's what I was doing.

Caesar:

But right around that time, God started taking us on a lot of overseas mission work and all that.

Caesar:

And in 98, along with another just wonderful friend, Kevin Turner started something.

Caesar:

Strategic world impact SWI.

Caesar:

It was a nonprofit missions org, and we went all over the world into war zones, natural disasters, and where there was persecution of Christians and all this kind of stuff.

Caesar:

But because I had the flexibility of having my own company.

Tina:

You were able to go on those trips and

Caesar:

it financed it because God was blessing.

Caesar:

And so even though we were like everybody else with three kids kind of broke all the time, it seemed like God always provided extra, or we a little bump in sales that month or quarter.

Caesar:

And he always provided for us to be able to do those things.

Caesar:inistry grew and grew, uh, in:Caesar:

God led us to sort of sell a lot of stuff and get rid of some things and sell the building where the studios were and all that.

Caesar:

And I kept running art to see for about another year now.

Caesar:

Here's, what's interesting when that.

Caesar:

Everyone thought I was crazy.

Caesar:

I were selling a building that we didn't know that much more on.

Caesar:

I had two recording studios and all the gear was paid off.

Caesar:

It was like in my world and with my friends in their world, it was like a dream.

Caesar:

I lived the dream life and I was getting to make all these records.

Caesar:

And they were like, I can't believe you're selling all this in . You're not going to do this anymore.

Caesar:

And in their eyes, they thought that was my identity.

Caesar:

But by God's grace, I was not.

Caesar:

Getting my value and self worth.

Caesar:

And my identity from being a record producer or being a guy who owns two studios or fill in the blank and I was able to then follow God's heart towards what was next and guess what was next?

Caesar:

God called me to be a pastor.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Full time.

Caesar:

Like almost audibly.

Caesar:

I don't have that happen very often in my life, but he kinda did.

Caesar:at was, uh, I think in around:Caesar:

Yeah, it was early day.

Caesar:

And I sort of, through a series of miracles was able to leave my own company and leave it in the hands of somebody else we had kind of merged with and I received a sort of a compensation package and all that.

Caesar:

And while I was waiting around to see how God was going to use me to become a pastor, because I wasn't one there again, I didn't know what I was doing.

Caesar:

I hadn't even been to seminary at that point.

Tina:

No, and that was kind of crazy because there are only a few times in our life I would say, and we really felt.

Tina:

Uh, crazy calling and starting our first business.

Tina:

The first record label, when, you know, we were young and having babies and had way more debt than we had money in the bank.

Tina:

For sure.

Tina:

You know, that was one of those times where we both were very clear that you know, that I was supposed to quit my.

Tina:

That we were supposed to start this label.

Tina:

And that's what God was leading us to do.

Tina:

The background was

Caesar:

being redeemed in all the years of playing metal bars throughout Chicago and Wisconsin, Chicago.

Caesar:

Just see how it just came out when I said that.

Caesar:

Yeah, there's the accident.

Caesar:

Maybe that sounds that way all the time to you guys.

Caesar:

I don't know, but God was definitely calling to redeem that part of our life and we knew it and see, that's really important is when you follow a passion and you follow a call,

Caesar:

that's your why.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And

Caesar:

it's important to have that, because guess what all these different businesses over, like now we've been about, there's been about 12, 14 years of stuff here.

Caesar:

We're kind of racing through.

Caesar:

There's a lot of hard times.

Caesar:

There's a lot of meager months of income and time and Headspace and problems.

Caesar:

Seriously.

Tina:

Wondering if.

Tina:

To pay the mortgage and then the money just comes in at the right.

Tina:

We were

Caesar:

just sued.

Caesar:

And then when you're in business that happens, I ain't going to get into lawyers and all this.

Caesar:

So there's all kinds of stuff.

Caesar:

You have to have a pretty clear calling and a passion for what you're doing.

Caesar:

Cause that's what carries you through those times.

Caesar:

And you're reminded of your faith.

Caesar:

And the fact that God said this, and I can trust him and we've never missed a meal yet.

Caesar:

We're not living in a box somewhere under a bridge.

Caesar:

We're, we're making it, God is doing what he said he would do if we would follow him and trust him.

Caesar:

And so on, it went and now he's calling me to be a pastor.

Caesar:

And I was like, that's incredible.

Caesar:

That's incredible.

Caesar:

So I left the company, like I said, I had small compensation package while I waited for God to make me a pastor

Tina:

with SWI and still doing the missions trips, which that was a big, huge part of that too, even.

Tina:

You know, traveling the world and working with people in all these countries that are being persecuted and, you know, seeing their faith that really hugely impacted our faith as a family.

Tina:

And then when the calling came, you know, for it to be a pastor, like it made sense.

Tina:

So

Caesar:

here's the miracle just to kind of move us on.

Caesar:

Uh, the miracle was somehow the church that we had been at.

Caesar:

For about eight years at the time, a huge church giant mega church CCC.

Caesar:

there is Illinois they hired me as a pastor.

Caesar:

And it was, I was director of communications, but it was a pastoral position.

Caesar:

Eventually I was made a head of production, meaning the whole big show on the weekends and Easter and whole thing.

Caesar:

And it was all my responsibility.

Caesar:

And then because of my background with international work with SWI and having been all over the world, when that position opened up, they also made me the international missions pastor, which is really crazy and unheard of.

Caesar:

To have three major departments like that, but I had a giant staff and I was pretty good at multi-purpose thing and multitasking from all these businesses we had run.

Caesar:

See, I wasn't, I was 40 when I started pastoring.

Caesar:

It was crazy, but that's a very late start in life, but feel, but notice all the stuff that God had taken us through music, business, and marketing companies and publishing and license.

Caesar:

Now all of a sudden I'm a communications director for a really huge church, really big organization where it was so much communication that had to go out daily, weekly, you know, all the time.

Caesar:

And I, God had perfectly suited me for that.

Caesar:

In fact, when they hired me, they said you really sort of over overqualified.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

You're overqualified.

Caesar:

But I loved it now just to jump ahead, a wonderful time there.

Caesar:

I ended up being on staff there for three.

Caesar:

And I loved it and I learned a lot.

Caesar:

And like I said, I had communications and I had production and I had international missions and I was still doing quite a bit of, travel and I

Tina:

actually also went on staff at that same church, just a couple of months.

Tina:

Before you did a few months before you did, as the hospitality director, I had run the catering portion that, you know, banquet hall and the concerts and all that stuff.

Tina:

I had been doing that for several years and then they were looking for somebody kind of direct the hospitality.

Tina:

I think church.

Tina:

So that became my job there again.

Caesar:

Overqualified.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

You were overqualified.

Caesar:

You had done 500 plated and served in our Masonic temple ballroom.

Caesar:

How many zillions of times.

Caesar:

And now you're doing sort of events for this.

Caesar:

There's a large church though, but.

Caesar:

Everything there.

Caesar:

And then when they built the giant wing on and they added, uh, atrium thing, um, we built a giant cafe in there and Tina ran that and staffed it.

Caesar:

And so, okay.

Caesar:

So now she's running all of the hospitality, but she's also running basically another business.

Caesar:

Cause it's a cafe it's open, it's got food and drinks and all that stuff.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

So anyway, we ended up.

Caesar:

Eventually being called again out to Tacoma.

Caesar:

And this is where we left that church.

Caesar:

We had been on staff there with the van or Steltz and they were like our besties and they had moved out west and were living in the Seattle area and getting ready to move to Tacoma.

Caesar:

We visited him and God called us to be a part of what then became Soma.

Caesar:e moved out there out here in:Caesar:

Now we're officially church planters.

Caesar:

Yeah, which is even crazier than being a pastor, because I thought that was impossible.

Caesar:

And now we're going to be planting churches and we knew we were not looking to plant giant ones.

Caesar:

We wanted to see, could we do lots of smaller ones in Community

Tina:

and live like a family on mission in our community.

Tina:

We're like,

Caesar:

we're going to live just like when we're overseas, by the way, Tina was doing tons of trips as well with our family, with our kids.

Caesar:

And.

Caesar:

We're going to live in Tacoma now just as if we were in one of those countries, but we're going to move there and we're going to stay there.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And that's part of how Soma started in.

Caesar:journey now, and that was in:Caesar:

Now we're on the west coast and well, what do we need to make an income?

Caesar:

Because we're broke church planters.

Caesar:

We start doing property rehabs again and renting out properties and flipping properties.

Caesar:And the whole thing in:Caesar:ome commercial real estate in:Caesar:

Soma church plant that I was the lead planter on at the time.

Caesar:

And so you see busy-ness right.

Caesar:

But do you see how all these different things we kind of were?

Caesar:

We knew how to flip homes.

Caesar:

We did that for a long time.

Caesar:

So now God's using.

Caesar:

To pay the tab again, because now the, no one's paying you when you're a church planter, we had no income, you know, we just kind of burned through our savings.

Caesar:ise the whopping sum of about:Caesar:

That's all we could raise were horrible fundraisers.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Tina:

Yeah.

Tina:

Fundraising was definitely not.

Tina:

Our, our game are

Caesar:

much better at being co vocational than we were at fundraising.

Caesar:

That's what's going on.

Caesar:

But while that rehab and we'll guess what?

Caesar:

Now we have this space that we've got a completely major rehab for one of our church plants to inhabit, but it was there again, it was built like a giant cafe.

Caesar:

In fact, that's what it was supposed to come become, but it never did, but God kind of used that to turn our head towards man.

Caesar:

There's a huge opportunity in this culture to be a part of and have a third space, like a huge cafe.

Caesar:And then:Caesar:

Through just a series of moves and things.

Caesar:

We are able to buy the most popular, full blown breakfast all day cafe restaurant in our city called Shaka brah.

Caesar:

And you've probably replaced to eat there.

Caesar:

It was everybody's favorite place to eat and it was going to close and we're like, well, we don't know how to run a rescue.

Caesar:

But, you know, with Tina used to do the catering thing and when we had the Masonic temple and all those parties, and then she used, she was head of hospitality at the

Tina:

church.

Tina:

I had one quarter of a culinary school, which isn't a lot for running a business running a restaurant,

Caesar:

pretty humble.

Caesar:

Tina's actually a chef.

Caesar:

But anyway, so now we own this restaurant, you know, and it's all day, seven days a week.

Caesar:

So.

Tina:

While we're still managing properties and planting churches

Caesar:

still doing international work and all that.

Caesar:

So, but God is providing and he provided some of our income and a whole ton of connections to the neighborhood and the community.

Caesar:

We were planting in through having this most favorite place where people lined up, literally down the block to eat at that, at

Tina:

that I think, you know, when they look at that time, that was probably the.

Tina:

Most often the connection to the community through owning that restaurant was such a valuable tool for us as church planters and just in getting, you know, connected with people and

Caesar:

just making disciples, we met so many people of peace.

Caesar:

We still, I mean, think about who our oikos and friendships now to this day still are.

Caesar:

Uh, it's a lot of those same

Tina:

people that open doors to us that we might never have had the opportunity as just church planters, you know, seriously.

Caesar:

No kidding.

Caesar:don't know what the point of:Caesar:

Now we're what six, seven years in there was probably 10, maybe eight, seven or eight, 10 Soma communities now around the area and in other states.

Caesar:

And I was traveling quite a bit before.

Caesar:

And we started to realize, well, not everybody wants to be a Soma, but a lot of people want to know how to make disciples in Community and start Missional communities and multiply them out.

Caesar:

And so the GCM collective.

Caesar:

Had been this little group of guys who were all doing the same thing, but it kind of formalized Gospel Community mission GCM the collective.

Caesar:

And I was sort of nominated to be the first official director of this.

Caesar:

And I started traveling quite a bit to train and equip people in a lot of other cities.

Caesar:

And I was only home about half the time here locally with Soma.

Caesar:Well then in:Caesar:

As a partnership between GCM collective and a denomination out there, very large denomination who wanted to know how to plant churches this way.

Caesar:

They wanted to learn how to start missional communities and multiply them and then re congregate them into church plants.

Caesar:

And so we did that and we moved out for two years.

Caesar:

Wonderful time.

Caesar:

Crazy.

Caesar:

You're kind of going, how the heck are we going to pay for a $4,000?

Caesar:

Apartment it's about the size of a postage stamp.

Caesar:

And yet God worked all that stuff out.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Now, while

Tina:

we were still running the restaurant and the commercial properties and

Caesar:

back on the other coast on the left coast.

Caesar:

So a lot of airtime, lot of flights Tina's back and forth a lot.

Caesar:

I was out still training for GCM, plus all these people in and around New York, very, very busy along the way we partner with 3DM and we start something called launch learning.

Caesar:

And we start giant learning communities to train people in these very same things so we could do more of it.

Caesar:

So we could sort of multiply out that training.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So I know I'm moving quick.

Caesar:

You're getting the idea though.

Caesar:

You see how it's all fitting together and weird impossible.

Caesar:

Needs being met and learnings arriving just as you need them.

Caesar:

Kind of like when Trinity downloads.

Caesar:

Helicopter or black Hawk or whatever.

Caesar:

I know I, now I know that that's kinda how it felt like we were just downloading what we needed.

Caesar:

You know, Trinity from the matrix.

Caesar:

Sorry, I'm moving quick.

Caesar:

Everybody knows what I meant by that.

Caesar:

No, no.

Caesar:he end of that partnership in:Caesar:

We're still doing the launch learning communities.

Caesar:

We're traveling all over the world, doing that.

Caesar:

Now God clarify some more things he says, I want you to get.

Caesar:

All of your other businesses.

Caesar:

I just want you to focus on this one thing now.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Making disciples who know how to make disciples, building out communities re congregating them, helping as many people as you can do, do that.

Caesar:

And so we got rid of buildings and we got rid of the restaurant and we got rid of a lot of

Tina:

stuff.

Tina:

It was a hard time for me.

Tina:

I mean, some of that was easy to let go of because it was just, uh, you know, a lot of work.

Tina:

And some of it, like the restaurant was, is like selling my family.

Tina:

Those are our employees, our customers, you know, the people that we got, you know?

Tina:

Yeah.

Tina:

That was

Caesar:

two years to get her heart rate.

Caesar:

Probably, even though we knew we were kind

Tina:

of, and honestly God knew that, and I did not pursue the sale of that business, but he sent someone who kept going through all kinds of different people to contact us.

Tina:

To actually pursue us to, to buy the restaurant.

Tina:

So I finally had to realize even God was saying that too.

Tina:

So

Caesar:

yeah.

Caesar:

Now along the way, I've started writing books by God's grace.

Caesar:

People wanted to hear about these things and how we were doing this, and they wanted to hear more of our story.

Caesar:

And so we're writing books and now we're doing this learning communities and starting to coach more and more people, which now we do a lot of, and we love that so much.

Caesar:

And so along.

Caesar:

We acquired a publishing company, a little one that we could put some of our assets in and create more and more resources in.

Caesar:

And so we still run that to this day.

Caesar:up selling the restaurant in:Caesar:

Over time then with focus on equipping and coaching discipleship and missionally, missional, living that all kind of morphed into what now we just refer to as Everyday Disciple.

Caesar:

That's sort of our whole thing.

Caesar:

It's all in there and that's really what we do.

Caesar:

And then we sort of do that as our outward Epistolic expression of things, but we're also building community here and.

Caesar:

Kind of in the beginnings of forming an oikos here of our own as well and formalizing that in.

Caesar:

So I think that adds up to 23 or 24 things.

Caesar:

I thought along the way, as we were talking, I thought of a couple of little missing ones in there.

Caesar:

We'll add them to the list later, but let me ask, as you guys have heard this and I've been racing through it.

Caesar:

Wow.

Caesar:

What are you hearing in this?

Caesar:

What do you hear God doing?

Caesar:

Does this all sound like freedom to you or an adventure?

Caesar:

Or is it kind of horrifying?

Tina:

Yeah, I had a lot of, uh, especially women asked me through all of these different things.

Tina:

Like how can you do this?

Tina:

You know, like they, you know, they were like, I could never do that.

Tina:

I cause I need security.

Tina:

I need to know there's that paycheck coming in every week, you know?

Tina:

Or I can never let my husband go on these crazy trips to Africa because it's just too scary.

Tina:

And what if he doesn't come back and, and you know, what do you do with your kids?

Tina:

Like you have kids and what do you do with your kids?

Tina:

And our kids have been along the ride on this from the very beginning.

Tina:

That's

Caesar:

something we really didn't say is our kids did all of this stuff with us.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Tina:

From, you know, our very first business where I was literally taking telephone marketing or telephone telesales calls whilst nursing our second child.

Tina:

And

Caesar:

I remember when we had the banquet.

Caesar:

Hall.

Caesar:

I can remember the very first event you did.

Caesar:

500 people played in serve the first event and the chairs arrived like the day of the event.

Caesar:

So we had 500 chairs, times, four legs.

Caesar:

Each that had to have paper and plastic pulled off.

Caesar:

So we got our

Tina:

five-year-old daughter who was really short, pulled all the paper and plastic off the legs.

Tina:

Our eight year old was setting the tables and our 11 year old was helping set the tables and then bus that night whilst wearing his.

Tina:

Tuxedo shirt.

Tina:

It was way

Caesar:

too big.

Caesar:

It's crazy.

Caesar:

It's adult sized shirt.

Caesar:

And that's how we did all of it.

Caesar:

When we're doing the rehabs, the kids were helping haul stuff and scrape things and paint, learn how to paint and all that.

Caesar:

And we just had kind of one life.

Caesar:

We didn't bifurcate her life.

Caesar:

We weren't a family that did ministry over there and that was separated.

Caesar:

And we had to bifurcate that and split all that.

Caesar:

We were a family on mission before we even knew that term, because that's just how we saw life.

Caesar:

And to this day, our kids are really hard workers because they've worked in all of our businesses.

Caesar:

They're all pretty entrepreneurially minded.

Caesar:

And our one daughter, Christin runs her own business to this day.

Caesar:

And even as a teenager, she was hired to run other people's businesses.

Caesar:

It was crazy.

Caesar:

So is this sound like an adventure?

Caesar:

Is this scary to you?

Caesar:

It is a life of trust.

Caesar:

I will say that.

Caesar:

And then I can only imagine that it is scary to some leaders and maybe it's a call of freedom to other.

Caesar:

And I know there still remains the challenge of needing to feel like you have a marketable skill outside the church.

Caesar:

So you can have something to actually sell right.

Caesar:

Or market.

Caesar:

But I want to say, trust God in this, like we said, along the way here, we didn't know how to do most of what ended up needing to be done in any of these businesses until we started them.

Caesar:

We just did them because God called us to, and we knew, well, then he'll provide it.

Caesar:

If we're to once again, be the church.

Caesar:

That's lightweight and reproducible and nimble and sustainable.

Caesar:

Then I think more and more of us are going to have to embrace this and welcome, and even expect that more of our church leaders are going to hold jobs outside the church or run businesses while they continue to serve.

Caesar:

And that's some of you who are listening.

Caesar:

I know it.

Caesar:

I know what the amount of people listening that some of you are going, God's kind of been calling us this I've been feeling an itch.

Caesar:

I've been feeling I need more time, or I just feel trapped by this.

Caesar:

Actually, I, I came to tell you how many people.

Caesar:

The number one thing, keeping me from making disciples and living on mission in my neighborhood is because I'm a full-time pastor.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Tina:

Which is so sad.

Tina:

What I mean, that's wrong.

Tina:

That's just

Caesar:

wrong.

Caesar:

So if you're vocationally employed by a church, what would be the benefits to you and your family and your church?

Caesar:

If you were to do ministry and life while also having a job or running a business or something outside the church, just dream a little bit.

Caesar:

Think about that.

Caesar:

But he'll tell you.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And if you're working for someone else in filling the need for more flexibility in your schedule to have time to be and make disciples and develop others to do the same.

Caesar:

Does any of this encourage you?

Caesar:

I hope so.

Caesar:

I hope it's been encouraging more than frightening.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

I hope so.

Caesar:

You know, and would you share this episode with anybody you think that it would encourage if you've been encouraged?

Caesar:

And, you know, anybody struggling with this or you've talked to about this or people, you know, in ministry that things have changed their church and their finances are different, or, or who knows what all the things we talked about at the top.

Caesar:

Would you share this with them?

Caesar:

Would you share this with a friend or coworker who needs to hear it?

Caesar:

Just text them, say, Hey, you gotta hear this.

Caesar:

This is gonna encourage your heart super easy to do.

Caesar:

This is episode 3 55.

Caesar:

So I'll just make it easy for you can just text them.

Caesar:

Hey, here's the link.

Caesar:

It's Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash three five.

Caesar:

five

Caesar:

There you go.

Caesar:

So now I want to wrap this up, Tina, thank you so much for being on with me.

Caesar:

Well, thank

Tina:

you for having me in.

Tina:

It's great to be here with you guys again, and I, I love getting to sit and talk with.

Tina:

Man, what a trip down memory lane this has been.

Caesar:

I just, I can't even imagine having done any of this without you, honey.

Caesar:

It's just, it's crazy and onward.

Caesar:

We're still going.

Caesar:

And

Tina:

I can't imagine having done any of this without God's calling us to do these things.

Tina:

Honestly, it would have been really scary had he not given us that call and, and this.

Tina:

Then to do the things he called us to.

Caesar:

So, no kidding.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

So as always, I want to leave you with the big three takeaways from today's topic.

Caesar:

It was a little hard, cause there was so much packed in there, but as I thought and prayed through it, I have them.

Caesar:

I'm going to give you the big three and you can get a printable PDF of this week's big three free download.

Caesar:

Just go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash big three B I G the number three.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

Here's the big three for this week.

Caesar:

Your identity is not attached to your title, position or job description.

Caesar:

You hear that it's not, that's not where your worth and value comes from.

Caesar:

You are a dearly loved child of God created to display his creativity in glory.

Caesar:

And there are so many ways we get to do this in life.

Caesar:

Our job is only one of them.

Caesar:

If you're finding your identity and self-worth in your job or your title, you're setting yourself up for a great crash.

Caesar:

If, and when that job.

Caesar:

Number two, your vocation should follow your passion and calling when times do get tough.

Caesar:

Your why, your reason, your why for doing what you do needs to come from your heart.

Caesar:

Pragmatism alone will not carry you very far.

Caesar:

And by the way, it's not a great idea to work at a church primarily to just put bread on the table because, well, that's all I know.

Caesar:

Would you want to have a pastor who only does his job because that's what he's learned to do in college.

Caesar:

That's his primary motivator.

Caesar:

You can trust God and his generous provision for you and your family.

Caesar:

Hopefully our story shows you that through so many journeys and we're not wealthy people, but we never missed a meal yet.

Caesar:

God always provides for that, which he calls it.

Caesar:

And there may be a lot of stops on the journey like ours have had, and there's probably more to come, but we get to choose a life of trusting God versus a life of trusting our career or denominational position or trusting ourselves.

Caesar:

And number three, let God route your paycheck from wherever he chooses.

Caesar:

It's not forsaking the ministry to not work at a church.

Caesar:

Or if you think, oh, that's my biggest goal is to get to work at one.

Caesar:

The one mission Jesus gave his church.

Caesar:

That's us.

Caesar:

If that's People is discipleship, which happens life on life in community throughout the week, let God provide for that mission in any way he chooses.

Caesar:

And for most people it will not be by working at a church.

Caesar:

That's by God's design.

Caesar:

So there you go.

Caesar:

That's the big three.

Caesar:

Again, I hope that all of this and our story today has encouraged you more than it has scared you.

Caesar:

Thanks again, Tina.

Caesar:

I just love doing this with you, sweetie.

Caesar:

So much fun.

Caesar:

Hey, by the way, if you're interested in learning about the discipleship and missional living.

Caesar:

Coaching that Tina and I offer as couples for couples.

Caesar:

I'd love to set up a short zoom call to get to know you better.

Caesar:

Tell you a little bit about it and hopefully get you started in a cohort with Tina and I real soon you can find out more information and you can set up that call by going to Everyday Disciple dot com forward.

Caesar:

Coaching join me next week.

Caesar:

As my guests, Terrence Schilstrra shares a story of how his traditional church, small group slowly morphed into a Missional Community that included several Christian families who were ultimately connected to over 30 other families in their neighborhood and community.

Caesar:

It's a great story of hope, redemption and mission in the normal stuff of everyday life.

Caesar:

You're going to really enjoy this.

Caesar:

I'll talk to you soon.

Announcer:

Thanks for joining us today.

Announcer:

For more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit Everyday Disciple dot com.