After Two Years, This Is What Keeps Me Going.

Hey Outsiders!

Two years ago this month, a team helped us launch the book Go Outside.  We chose the week of Derby and it’s fitting because this season in Kentucky is magnificent outdoors.

The launch team that made it all happen!

I have many vivid memories of that night.  My Dad was still with us and he was there smiling ear to ear.  Tone Spain performed his song, Go Outside.  One of my heroes, Willie Fleming, attended with his family.  One of my best friends, Jay Hardwick, came in from South Carolina to MC the event.

Our literary agency flew in from Austin, TX.  Two of my lifelong friends, Torrey Smith and Melinda Hardin, allowed us to use their downtown buildings to welcome more people then I could have imagined. Rachel and a full launch team worked behind the scenes – Janal, Anthony, Curt, Leslie, Anna, Adam, Philip, Melissa, Danielle and many others.

I’ll never forget Matt Burgin running to Harvest Café to get more protein bites for me or Steve Ladden directing parking on Main Street. What a way to celebrate turning 40!  If I could relive that night, I’d do it again and again.  Check out the video below:

Check out the video of the Go Outside book launch.

When the book first came out, I was sure we’d sell 10 million copies.  That might not have happened quite yet, but I’m grateful.  I’ve had so much to learn, unlearn and relearn about myself and life. Thankfully, God keeps giving me opportunities to stretch my understanding of who He is and who I am through Him.
During the past two years, we’ve become friends with a refugee family from Kenya, our church launched a second location, our kiddos have almost finished another year of school, and our small business has grown…Rachel now has her real estate license. Watch out Chip and Jo!  It’s been a time of fullness, but it has gone by quickly.

Some of you have been along for the ride for the entire time – the book launch, speaking engagements, business lunches, Sunday morning sermons and our first podcast episode, all the way through the recent Coffee Table Sessions.  We’re humbled and honored!

Had a great time sharing the message of Go Outside with students in Simpsonville.

The Go Outside podcast launched in January 2016. This would not have been possible without Philip Devine.  He has the expertise, strategic thinking, and passion for podcasting that has grown on me and many others. (Watch out for his new podcast, Home For Dinner).

Thank you to each of you who have listened, downloaded, shared, or generously participated in the show by telling your story.  You’ve inspired us to keep going.

Philip Devine and I recording an episode. Always a blast!

To be honest, sometimes I’ve wondered why we should continue.  I haven’t measured the traditional metrics like the number of downloads, cost of production or email list growth.  In fact, I haven’t focused on metrics at all. But about the time I think our season of Go Outside has come to an end, I receive an encouraging email or run into someone who shares how the most recent episode impacted them…

  • A friend from college who listened to many episodes and felt like reaching out so we could catch up.
  • A real estate investor who decided that investing in property could have a missional focus – not just create a profit.
  • A non-profit leader who binge listened to the Coffee Table Sessions and took a big leap of faith in the community.
  • A business executive who got clarity when he surrendered his “big idea” to God and recommitted to following Christ.

So the team at Go Outside has been motivated to update our podcast experience page.  All 54 episodes are easy to find and share here. Go binge at least 12 of them and let us know what ya think!

It’s encouraging to hear that people are still being moved by the vision of joining Jesus outside the gates.  Why should I be surprised?  Go Outside is not mine and it definitely wasn’t my idea.

Lord…our gifts, our talents, all our possibilities belong to us only because they come direct from you. – Colin Semper

But what about you; what has He given you?

No more Black and White.

Operating as a follower of Christ in different settings isn’t so black and white anymore.  The line between what is sacred and what is everyday is nonexistent. Whether you are in corporate America, the arts, non-profit work or your neighborhood, our culture is open to the exploration of ideas more than ever, which presents a gaping opportunity for Outsiders. But do we feel ready to lead in settings where it’s not as clean cut as we like to make it sound on Sunday mornings?

In our next series, called Operating in the Gray, I’m bringing on several new guests who will share how they manage the tension of living out their faith in a world where absolutes have disappeared.  In places where life gets a little messy.

  • You’ll hear from someone who operates in the sex industry and has become genuine friends with club managers.
  • You’ll hear from business leaders who created a safe space to learn from each other and think through tough issues they face every day.
  • You’ll hear from leaders in the public sector, and how they manage to care for those under their authority in an environment where there really are no easy answers.
  • You’ll hear from an artist who operates in an industry typically hostile to Christianity, and why he has decided to stay in it.

I can hardly wait to release this series!

What’s next?

Thanks again for your support over the past two years.  Will you help me take this show up a notch? I’d like to know what you struggle with as you think about your faith and living out your God-given potential.

How have you managed those tensions?  What’s worked for you?  What hasn’t?  Any stories you’d like to share?

Just reply to this email and let me know!

See you outside!



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