As I go about the business of concluding my leadership of the first decade of School of Kingdom Ministry, I've been struck by how personal this whole thing feels. Actually I've been struck by how personal it feels on all sides. I suppose it's probably to be expected that something I've invested so much time and energy over ten years would feel personal as I transition out of my current role, what has surprised me is how personal this feels for so many of our friends and leaders throughout the broader School of Kingdom Ministry network. I have always referred to us as a "family on a journey", and I suppose anytime a transition happens in your family it does feel personal.
Anyways, through a number of conversations with various pastors throughout the network, I felt it would make sense to take one of my posts and write is as a "farewell letter" - in fact not just from myself, but from the first generation of SoKM leadership. This feels good and fitting; we have journeyed together and the adventure has been deeply meaningful on all sides.
To the SoKM Family:
I will treasure our adventure together for all my days. I suspect my side of the whole journey was no less thrilling and exciting than yours was. Each new thing we did was a surprise, and the fruit it bore was a surprise to me as well. In fact, I still can't believe the whole thing actually worked: it felt to me like we were just making it up the whole time, but God chose to fill it up with himself and do something really special. Being able to play the part I did in that was truly humbling - never in a thousand years did I expect I would start something that did what SoKM was able to. I feel a profound gratitude for the journey I've been able to take with you. So many have spent their lives praying to be able to experience what we did together; I want to always treasure being able to be in the midst of God moving in the way he did among us.
I want to say thank you for believing in me in the ways you did. Thanks for trusting me to teach and share the Word with you. Thank you for trusting me enough to take the risks I asked you to take and to see real life-change in the process. Thank you for listening to things that perhaps you have never heard before, and for doing things you've never done before. Believe it or not, I learned to believe in myself in new ways because of the way you believed in me. Thank you for all the support, all the prayers, all the encouragement over all the years. I want to say thank you as well for all the time so many people have invested over the years: time attending classes, leading classes, praying for others and more. SoKM wouldn't have been what it has been without your investment as well.
If I may, I want to urge you to keep investing in the ministry of the Spirit. Keep pressing in, keep taking risks. Keep giving it away; whatever you pour into others multiplies - trust me, that's all I ever experienced in SoKM. The same will be true for you as well.
I'm glad that this doesn't have to mean the end of seeing each other. I'll still be around and doing the kingdom work the Lord calls me to. I don't see this being the end of me being involved with training, equipping, and catalyzing people in the things of the Spirit, the form will just change moving forwards. I'm sure you'll still see me online and at conferences and so on. I'll keep writing here as well.
A few of the team wanted to add some words of their own as well:
From Andrew Janssen
To everyone in the SoKM network; students, alumni, site leaders, and all our other friends and partners. It has been one of the honors of my life to join you on the journey across these years. Thank you for your investment in the Kingdom of God through the School of Kingdom Ministry, and for everything you've done to advance the Jesus' Kingdom in the world. Your partnership with the Kingdom is everything I wanted from my technology work with the the school— thank you. I'll never forget our time shared together. I love you all!
From Brittany Putman
When Putty first started this class, I was excited, but didn’t really have a lot of emotional space to interact with it. After all, I was a first-time Mom with dreams of growing our family as well as growing my business. But, after a few years and many heart-to-heart conversations, Putty asked me to join the team. Indeed, he wanted and needed me to actively support him in this way and not just be a bystander. At that crossroads I had a choice to make. Should I join my husband as an active partner in ministry or stay on the sidelines and let him do ‘his thing’? I chose to join him and I do not regret jumping into this wonderful School of Kingdom Ministry family. Now it’s not just ‘his thing’, but truly it is my thing, it is our team’s thing, and it’s our SoKM Family’s thing. I’m so blessed to know so many of you and it has lightened my heart many times to remember that I have friends across the USA and across the world! SoKM will forever be a part of my story and my heart. I pray many blessings over each participant both in the past, present and future. I pray that the Lord will blow a fresh wind on SoKM and the team taking over to continue the mission of this organization. And, I pray that I’ll get to ‘bump into’ many of you again through the coming years!
From Daniel Putman
I would just like to thank everyone that joined us on this journey with us. Working on this project with all of you has been the most meaningful thing I've ever done. Together I know we have saved lives, healed bodies, freed people from oppressive spirits. We created spaces for people to meet Jesus for the first time or a space where people met Jesus in a deeper way. I've made friendships through this project that I know will last a lifetime, and I believe that the church looks more like Jesus because SoKM was made. Thank you everyone for partnering with us through these last ten years. I know that a lot of you have sacrificed a lot of this as well and I just thank you for it. I hope that we can stay in touch through the years!
From Jess Smuk
SoKM family! It's been such an honor to watch SoKM explode over the past 8 years of my journey here and I am forever grateful for the memories, lessons, and transformation that have occurred along the way. What a joy to see the change that takes place in each one of us as we step into our Identity. I will greatly miss the time we've spent together investing in SoKM, but I look forward to the next chapter God is asking me to step into. Blessings to everyone in the SoKM fam - I love you all and I am deeply grateful for each and every one of you! Thanks for being a part of this journey! What a wonderful time it has been!
Back to Putty
It's been a wild ride friends! I can't believe all it's been, and I can't wait to see what God is up to with us each next! For the kingdom!!