A Look Back at 2015

by: Justin Brock, Ministry Director

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21

IT WAS AUGUST, 2013

Clayton had asked if I could meet him at our local coffee shop.  I’m the kind of guy who immediately creates every worst case scenario in my mind anytime someone says, “we need to talk.”  This day was no different.  As I sat with butterflies in my stomach, Clayton proceeded to share that he felt compelled by the Spirit to pack up our ministry headquarters and our families and make the move to Anderson, SC. As soon as he began to share his heart to move, the butterflies began to disappear, and they were replaced with a deep sense of peace!  I was so sad to leave the dear friends I’d made in North Carolina, but I knew deep down that there was something really special about to happen with the ministry that God had entrusted us with. Something beyond my wildest imagination. Something more.

AUGUST, 2014

Sold homes, multiple U-haul trucks, and plenty of tears later, we made the drive down I-85 to Anderson, SC. This “foreign” place felt awkward, uncomfortable, and yet exactly where God wanted us to be. As we settled in last Fall, I remember thinking and reflecting on my life verse - Ephesians 3:20-21:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

God had brought us to this place and even if I didn’t know exactly how everything was going to pan out, He knew that he was about to show me exactly what “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” really looked like!

2015

As I reflect on how much God has done, I can’t help but first be incredibly thankful that He, for whatever crazy reason, gave ME the opportunity to serve with this team of beautifully imperfect people to impact the Kingdom of God for eternity - it blows me away!  Secondly, I am thankful for the faithful and obedient men and women that have contributed through sacrificial giving and countless hours of prayer and encouragement.  One of the biggest ways we saw God show up after our big move was through the generosity of friends of the ministry. I want to take a minute to reflect on a few of the ways we saw God do immeasurably more this year.

EVENTS

Crossroads Summer Camp and Winter Conference are two of my favorite things in this ministry. We saw over 1,000 students and adults respond to the Gospel in unique ways at both of these events. It’s humbling and exciting to see people start their journey with Christ at these events. After 10 years of being in this ministry I now get to see countless individuals share how a CKM event was the “impact moment” that ignited a passion to reach people far from Christ. How cool!  

This summer was no different.  A few generous donors gave our ministry a gift specifically to see more students far from Jesus have an opportunity to come to camp.  We decided to put some of those funds to use through a radio giveaway. The plan was to scholarship five students with a full ride to camp!  Tressa just so happened to be listening to one of the ads on the radio and ended up winning a free spot. She didn’t have a church to come with, so we were able to pair her up with a church that we have a close relationship with. After her week at camp, she felt like she was part of the FAMILY with Bethany Baptist Church, and ultimately surrendered her life to Jesus after hearing Clayton share the Gospel.  This stuff will never get old!  

Sitting in awe of stories like Tressa’s gets me so excited to IMAGINE what life change God has in store for 2016!

MISSIONS

This year our missions department has grown to be something so much deeper than what we ever imagined. We’ve seen the “immeasurably more” happen in Nepal, Haiti, Kenya, and right here in our backyard to name a few. One specific place that is very near to my heart is Guatemala.  One of my favorite stories from this year happened in a little community right outside of Antigua, Guatemala:  

One day I had never heard the name Austin Cromer, and the next I think I had literally heard his name about 15 times from different people. Austin was applying to serve on a mission trip to Guatemala, and had asked his friends and family that knew us to “put in a good word.” To say that Austin is a force to be reckoned with is an understatement. This kid has passion and grit like none other. His desire to see the lost meet Jesus is inspiring! We were so excited to have Austin join us on his first international mission trip, but there was one small problem - MONEY. Austin had worked so hard, but just couldn’t seem to pull together the amount of money needed to serve on this trip. However, because of generous donors to our outreach efforts, we were able to scholarship Austin to serve on a trip!

Because of Austin’s obedience, we saw God do MORE than we could have imagined on their trip - from building houses to serving the community! One specific lady named Maria made such a deep and lasting impact on our team. Her family was one of the many families that our team was able to practically serve by installing a water filter. This enabled Maria to have clean drinking water directly in her home! Maria was so incredibly grateful and expressed how this would change her family’s lives!  

I thank God in advance for the Kingdom impact to come through students just like Austin, trusting that He is the God who can do immeasurably more than all I can ask and imagine!

MENTORING

Our mentoring programs will always hold a special place in my heart.  I had the honor of being in the inaugural group of our Crossroads Discipleship Home (CDH). That year changed my life forever. I learned more about myself, the Word, and authentic community in that one year than all the years previously combined! I love that each year our ministry is introduced to 8 (or 9!) fresh faces that come in and bring life and energy to our ministry team. 2015 was no exception!

Jessie Wiseman had been a camper, mission trip participant, and summer staffer, and we knew without a doubt that she would be a stand out participant in our Discipleship program.  Jessie had just finished her degree at the University of North Carolina, and she needed a year to reflect, listen to the Lord, and map out her next steps.  We were honored that she chose CKM as a refuge to grow.  While Jessie was here, we noticed something very early on - this girl is TALENTED!  She has such creativity and passion!  During her year, we were able to help her grow in her God-given abilities and help her cultivate a discipline to make her artistic abilities more than a hobby.  

As a CDH alum, Jessie is continuing to grow in her relationship with Christ, engage in the local church and community, and living out her dream through her small business, JLouise Designs.

Jessie was given opportunities to challenge her dreams, grow in her confidence and discover next steps to building a business through the program’s value to handcraft individual disciples of Christ.  Because you give, our ministry is able to disciple young men and women like Jessie, coach and train young leaders across the country, and provide free resources to churches.

God did immeasurably more in my life 10 years ago, and I am humbled that I still get to see life change happen each and every year through our mentoring programs.

SPEAKERS

To be honest, sometimes I become numb to the numbers that we report. It’s easy to sit behind a desk for weeks and forget that the numbers that are coming in from our Speakers team are REAL LIFE individuals who are now engaged in a relationship with Jesus! Since we made the move and watched God blow us away with opportunities, we have had the opportunity to grow our speakers team from three speakers to eight! Praise the Lord!

One of our speakers, Trey Bradley, is able to travel multiple time per month to preach redemption and hope to students and adults.  So often, we see students cross over from death to life even though they have been exposed to the truth of the Gospel for years and years. This year has brought about literally THOUSANDS of stories of life changes through our speakers. Recently, Trey was able to meet a young lady who, for years, knew about God but never recognized the need for a personal relationship with Him.  This young lady is now walking with Jesus!  I’m so thankful Trey was obedient to preach the Gospel and make disciples.  

Because you give, we see stories EVERY SINGLE WEEK where people far from Christ recognize a deep and personal need for Him!  

IMAGINE MORE!

I pray that I will forever give Glory to God and come before Him with a sense of AWE and WONDER when He does immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine!  I love to imagine what else God could possibly do in and through this ministry...because whatever I’m imagining, He can do more!

Consider giving to Clayton King Ministries.

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Justin Brock is the Executive Director of Clayton King Ministries. He and his wife Jess live in Anderson, SC and are the proud parents of Emery and Greyson. He is a proud alumnus of Clemson University and was a part of the very first Crossroads Discipleship Home. You can find out more about Justin by following him on Instagram (@justinbrockcu) and Facebook.