Nick Nye

On this episode, Ronnie Martin chats with Nick Nye. Ronnie is the lead pastor of Substance Church in Ashland, OH, and Nick is the founding pastor of Veritas Church in Columbus, OH, and is currently serving as the lead pastor of Apostles Church Union Square in New York City. Today we talk about Nick's church planting journey, the challenges in the early days of planting, and the challenges that came later as the church grew, and much more. 

Learn more about Substance Church here.
Learn more about Apostles Church here.
Learn more about Sojourn Network here


Introduction: Hey this is Jamin Stinziano from Summit Church in Fort Myers, Florida, and this is Sojourn Network.

Mike Cosper: Hi there, welcome to the podcast at Sojourn Network. We exist to help pastors plant, grow and multiply healthy churches that last.

I'm Mike Cosper, I serve on Sojourn Network's board, and here, I serve as your host. And on today's show, you're going to hear from two of our church planners, Ronnie Martin, Pastor of Substance Church in Ashton Ohio, and Nick Nye, who is the founding pastor of Veritas Church in Columbus Ohio, and is currently serving as the lead Pastor of Apostles Church in Union Square, in NeW York City. Nick is also a member of Sojourn Network's board.

On our show they're going to talk about Nick's church planning journey, starting from his time at Sojourn Church in Louisville, all the way through his current work in New York.

He'll talk about the resistance he got from some of Sojourn's pastors when he wanted to plant and, full disclosure here, some of that resistance came from me. But other voices prevailed, and he moved forward with planting, and I'm happy to say that I've never been more wrong.

As you'll hear, Veritas grew into a thriving church. He'll talk about the challenges in the early days of planting, he'll talk about the challenges that came later as the church grew, and a sense of calling in this place within the church began to shift. It's a great conversation, thanks for tuning in.

Ronnie Martin: So hey, Nick, I want to get right into it with you man. You started your church planting journey at Sojourn Church in Louisville Kentucky. What led you to Sojourn in Louisville, give us a little of that back story.

Nick Nye: Well, we moved to Louisville not planning on Sojourn [inaudible 00:01:50] hearing of Sojourn. I just moved a lot of people to go to seminary at Southern Seminary.

And so, I moved down there for the education but I had obviously wanted to like really be anchored into a church, and I didn't really quite feel at home at Southern Seminary mostly because I didn't have a Southern Baptist background.

And so, randomly, I was applying for a job, no kidding, at a tire changing [inaudible 00:02:17] kind of stores that just does tires?

Ronnie: Yes.

Nick: I was applying for a job there and I got chatting with the cashier guy and he said, “Hey you're a Seminary student, you should check out Sojourn. It's a pretty new church, it's a few years old and you might like it.” I was like “you know, I want to church plant, but I really probably should be in an established church so that I could be sent out or something, or get better training.”

But we checked it out and everybody was super cold and not super friendly, but we felt instantly like, oh these are kind of our people. And that is probably because I'm super cold and super unfriendly, maybe. But we really loved it and, we're able to feel a little bit of relief from the seminary crowd.

But also, just felt like, the people that were in the church were like from Louisville, so it felt like that's a good place we could anchor in and just have friends in the city. And it's true, we met a lot of good people.

Ronnie: You know one of the first things I think about when I think about you Nick Nye, is that you're super cold and unfriendly-

Nick: I know.

Ronnie: [crosstalk 00:03:25] Which is not at all ... Which is so funny that you say that. But what was it like when you first went to Sojourn. Was there something about it that impressed you that gave you sort of a vision for how you may have wanted to plant a church?

Nick: Yeah. I mean it was the first church I ever went into that I was like, this is what I want and what I've always dreamed in my ... And Britney and I, we've always talked about what we wanted to see in a church. And at that point I had worked in the church for several years, I had been a worship pastor, I've done youth stuff like, I had some experience. And I worked for these pastors that, just to put it bluntly, were the worst pastors in the face the planet, and I hope they don't listen to this [crosstalk 00:04:07]

Ronnie: [crosstalk 00:04:08] listen, but carry on.

Nick: And so when I came to Sojourn, it was like, I'm looking at guys, they're a little bit older than me, not much, I was looking at them and I was like they're giving me a new vision for what it could mean to be a pastor. I don't have to fit that mold that I used to work for, I can fit more of this mold.

Ronnie: And so, it just gave me ... That was like the first thing for me that was just like oh, man, I can pastor differently. Good, I can be myself, I can walk into a hard environment and make friends with people pretty easily.

Nick: And so, we quickly made friends, and dear friends. Some of the Sojourn people that we first met, I just had breakfast with them this morning in New York, and so those friendships are still going. So it's incredible even that short period of time how deep we got with a lot of people at that church.

Ronnie: One of the things that I sort of loved is that we share a similar story, in that we faced opposition from people who actually didn't think that we should plant, I'm not going to talk about some of the people that told me that I shouldn't plant. But, you faced that when you were at Sojourn and you had made the decision to want to go to Columbus to plant. Why did they try to persuade you not to plant?

Nick: You know, I was a lot harsher back then than I am now, in one sense where, I was really frustrated at that period of time. But I also, now that I've gone through the ringer of pastoral work, and as a lead pastor and church planter, I look back at that and I think, man I just don't blame anybody, it was a hard season for Sojourn, they'd just bought a building. I mean literally the Sunday before we left, they moved into this new building.

Ronnie: And so, we didn't get to experience the church in a permanent facility. They were going crazy raising money for that, and trying to figure out how to buy it and renovate it. I mean I was part of helping renovate it, but I didn't get to be a part of the building proper ... Like being in it.

Nick: And so, from me, there was a lot of frustration, but also understanding now. Man, their minds were just immersed somewhere else, and here I am in the corner being like, hey guys I came here to plant a church, it's been four years and that's kind of what I said like my timeline would be and-

Ronnie: Right.

Nick: And it was mixed with like, well, you don't have enough preaching reps and kind of the normal church planter, you got to beef up, bulk up on some of these things that I knew I needed to help in. But I had to go elsewhere to find that help.

Ronnie: And so, I had a job actually at another church, and it was blessed by the Sojourn pastors. I worked at another church to grow and preaching, and I led worship there, and so I did other things. And so, it was like one of those moments where I'm like okay, I'm facing this opposition, I've waited for a while.

Nick: Until one day, Robert Cheong, who's my favorite person in the world, I mean, jeez. He takes me out for lunch, and we're eating chips and salsa he just looks at me and says “Nick, you need to go.”

 And, that was the moment for me of like, okay, well I don't know if I'm going to get the full blessing from everybody, because of the season of life of the church, because of unmet expectations whatever it might be. But Robert saying that to me felt like it freed me to okay, I'm going to take a step of faith and go.

And so, it wasn't long after, we packed up ... Started packing up and headed to Columbus.

Ronnie: How did it feel when had gotten resistance, but then, you'd this one person that said “Hey, it's time for you to move forward, it's time to plant.” What was it like then going to Columbus knowing that there were people that had dissuaded you instead of persuaded you to actually go and do this work? Did it create some sense of unsettle ness?

Nick: Okay, so, I don't know if this is a bad thing or not. I think there's a worldly aspect to this, and then there's a godly aspect to this, and kind of it's mixed up. I don't know how to discern what is what.

But, I kind of carried a little bit of this like, dude I'm going to show them. And part of that was like just, a restless youthful dumb ambition, worldly, but some of it was just like man, I was just like ... Columbus is like, it's kind of my home city. I came from there, I knew people there, and so for me, going back to Columbus, was like, I wanted to see them know the Gospel and there wasn't a lot going on downtown church wise I mean.

Churches were closing up shop everywhere, and they were struggling. So for me it was like, it was mixed with that like gospel ambition of wanting the gospel to go forth in the city, and wanting that to be the thing that attracts people to gather as a church, and not be a social club or be whatever thing that a lot of churches can tend towards.

And so for me, it was that that kind of push back created in me a little bit more drive. I've always done better in adversity, as much as I hate saying that, because I don't want any more adversity. I've always felt like that's God's little gift to me, I guess I'll put it that way to persevere in hard seasons, and be ambitious for the Gospel in seasons where laborers are few.

And so the Lord used that. The Gospel went deeper into my heart. Again, mixed with youthful, so I don't want to discount all of the worldliness, if that's the best way to put it-

Ronnie: Yeah.

Nick: That even some of that I still have in my own heart.

Ronnie: Well it's funny because you talk about discouragement in a sense being like kind of a motivation for you. And then I love the story that you've told me before about how the first Corps gathering that you guys attempted was met with just massive discouragement.

And I want everybody to hear this because we always think that we're all very alone in some of our early attempts with church planting, some of the things and the events, and the gatherings that we have to put together that go really, really badly. We always think that we're the only people that end up having disasters of that nature. But I want you to tell everybody about that first Corps gathering.

Nick: Man, it was rather traumatic. But, I'm from Ohio, I'm from Columbus area, and, as we really settled on going to Columbus, Britney and I started making this long list of names of people that we could reach out to. And this is before Facebook, you know, Facebook was still like in the college world. This is before social media and all of that stuff. I'm starting to sound okay here but, we emailed this list of about 50 people. We emailed them all.

Almost everybody was like, “Yeah I'm really interested in the church.” And so, we're feeling great. So myself, and then Brad and Courtney Snyder, at that point Brad and Courtney had already committed and they're like “Dude, we're going to help plant the church, we're all in.”

And so Courtney and Brittany grew up together, and had known each other since childhood, so it just worked out so well. They came in ... They both had come in off of crew staffs and it was just an amazing gift for us to have and not be alone in the church planting process.

So it's the four of us, we decide with these 50 names we were going to have like a vision night. Mistake number one was having it a week before Christmas. So we email everybody, say that we're going to have this ... Most people were kind of ... And we kind of made a little open invitee you know, no RSVP, just, hope you can come. So we thought all these people were going to come, because it really seemed really interested.

That first night when we had that, we ... My wife, we went out and bought a gigantic pot, it was like our first thing we spent money on, we made chili for 50 people. We had this giant pot of chili, Brad and Courtney come over, we sit and we wait. We actually had ... You know there's like little kid magnet signs you can draw on-

Ronnie: Yeah.

Nick Nye: At that point, I think somebody had wrote Veritas on, welcome to Veritas or ... It was somewhere around there but, we had that hanging up on a closet door, we're just, this is going to happen. And then nobody showed up.

Mike Cosper: And so literally not one person came to the door?

Nick Nye: Not one person came. It was Britney and I, and Brad and Courtney.

Nick Nye: ... and we got on our knees that night and prayed a lot. But, for me, again, it was the kick in the butt that I won't say I needed, but it reminded me. It just put me in that place like, "Okay, church planting is going to be so hard." It was that moment for us, and it drove us to deep, deep dependence upon the Lord. I love that story so much, because again it's God's way of like saying, "No, I'm going to build my church. You're not going to do this."

Ronnie: Yeah, and it's amazing because we all have those defining moments. Besides that defining moment, you probably still have Tupperware containers of that chili still in your freezer.

Nick Nye: [inaudible 00:14:03] like two years.

Ronnie: Right. At least you didn't have to worry about food for the next two years, because you had all that chili. I think for a lot of us that were at least around during some of the early days of Veritas. I was probably in a couple years into it when we first met and started hanging out. But, it seemed like it was kind of a bit of a quick build or like a meteoric rise and how quickly it grew, and maybe that's not accurate. Did happen like that, or are we all just wearing sort of jealous rose-colored glasses as we look back?

Nick Nye: Oh my gosh. So, in some ways I look back and I'm like, "I don't know. Maybe I created some legend in my own mind, and maybe someways ..." That's kind of a disclaimer. Sometimes I can't even remember. It just felt like it happened so fast, but kind of how I reflect on it was after that December meeting nobody showed up. We had these monthly meetings starting in January. Our first one we had I think like maybe 13 people come, and all of them we knew. A lot of them were our friends we were trying to convince to come help us. Some of them were people we had just met. 

Nick Nye: And then the next month we would have a few more. And then I remember it was in the spring not long after. Well, there's two instances. One was like it's probably like March or something like that. I remember looking out and seeing there's like 18, 20 people, maybe 30 people out there. I'm looking in this little, tiny room where we had like we call them these little unplugged services which are just like once month trying to gather interest and, you know, the core group-building stuff. 

Nick Nye: I remember pulling Brad aside and I was like, "Brad, dude, I feel so sick. I'm so nervous." I was so nervous. There was like 30 people there. I'm freaking out. He's freaking out too. We're both kind of giddy, but we're like, "Man, this is actually feeling like something's happening. 30 people." And then there was also a couple of people that came because they found us on the website. We didn't know them, and so we were shocked by that. Almost every gathering we would go out for pizza afterwards. Almost every single person that came to those meetings came to pizza afterwards.

Nick Nye: But those built until like the spring. We had a giant room in this church upstairs building. We had about 75 people circled up, and we would do these like community group style things where I was doing a little teaching through the Lord's Prayer, and we were talking about the church and what we'd seen, and Joe Byler was in at this point. He came like maybe on February, March, somewhere in there. He would just kind of come in and lead worship and check things out. At that point he had committed, and they were getting ready to move their family into the city. It just felt like things were actually happening.

Nick Nye: And then we launched in October and it was incredible, because that first service we had ... At that point our core group was about 75 people, but we had 180 people that came to our first service. There's a couple of pictures that I keep close at hand that somebody took. I mean, I looked terrible like oh my gosh. It was a rough season, but it was incredible to see what God did. Now, 50% of the people that came out, they were just well-wishers. They were coming to check things out. They didn't stick around. But after that we had like 80 people. We probably hovered around 100, 120 people for maybe a year after that. 

Nick Nye: But then that next fall when Ohio State kicked back in, this is where it might be exaggerated. I might be wrong, but I just remember a Sunday where it was like literally 200 people came in one Sunday. New people. We were just like, "What in the world!" It's just crazy.

Ronnie: You're like blowing up. You're feeling like a mega church. You're wondering what's happening.

Nick Nye: Yes. The whole time I'm burning the candle at both ends. We're having people in our house every single night and then for lunch. We just had a baby at that point, so we had two kids. I don't how we were doing it.

Ronnie: I mean, the life of church planting is about transitions, right? So, you're transitioning out of Louisville, you come to Columbus against better judgment, you're transitioning from having this nobody shows up the first night core gathering to a core gathering that gets up to 75 people. And a year later now you have these numbers that kind of put you into position of looking around at Brad and Joe saying, "Hey, we really have something that feels a little legitimate right now." And so it's amazing how those transitions just continue to sort of carry over and carry over. But you guys also went to multi-site what seemed like fairly quickly. How many years and did you go multi-site?

Nick Nye: Three years.

Mike Cosper: Why did you do that? Was it because of sort of the philosophy that you had taken from being at Sojourn, or was that something that you'd always had in your mind as wanting to be a church planting church, wanting to go multi-site and expand in those ways?

Nick Nye: I wouldn't say it's something we always had in our mind. I think a lot of it was driven by two factors. One is Brad Snyder's gifts. He had a lot of really great teaching gifts, and so kind of like, "Whoa, how is he going to fit into all of this if I'm the one who's teaching here mostly, and he's still teaching some too?" He had that, but we both wanted to keep working together. 

Nick Nye: Then we had like about, I don't know, maybe 40, 50 people out in this sort of suburb. It's kind of like a old school suburban part of the city that we have a lot of people coming up from there, and it's a pretty tight-knit community and we thought, "Man, You know, they really could use a gospel center church there. What if we go in that direction?" We'd built a lot of systems at that point and felt like we could transfer them. It's March of 2011 in the spring when we launched over there. Obviously, Brad's leading that, so It's just done amazing. It's been so good. It's been good for the community. It's been good for Brad. 

Nick Nye: In some ways it begun a journey for me of feeling a little bit directionless in sort of my pastoral role. As a founder, I was like, "Do I let go of this?" But it's like kind of my baby too as a church planting wanting to keep planting churches. I'm like, "Maybe we just need to let it go." It'd be its own church. We work so well together, and so for me it begun a journey. I couldn't identify any of that at the time, but it just begun like, "Okay, how do I pastor faithfully?" But I was still leading the Short North Congregation- our original first one. At that point I was just feeling kind of the push and the pull of being a multi-site pastor versus being a local church singular pastor.

Ronnie: Yeah. I mean, it brings out a lot of complexities as I'm experiencing right now with just two sites. I think our relationship kind of came into being around the time that you planted I remember the Tri-Village. I remember, Man, you were just this guy you were doing men's conferences, you had me come out and speak at one of your men's retreats, as well as the conference. It was sort of this vision part of you that was just always looking ahead, always creating momentum. That's sort of how I got to know you, and how our relationship started to develop and flourish as I would drive out to Columbus from where we were.

And Man, there were just those moments when you were really encouraging to me as we had just planted, and we were planting out of just a tumultuous situation that obviously we're not going to get into here today. But, it's interesting that not that many years later things changed for you at Veritas. You had gone on a sabbatical, you came back, you were trying to move into a different role at Veritas, and then things kind of changed to create another transition for you. Talk about what that was like when you got back from sabbatical and you went to this new role. What happened?

Nick Nye: I think like the big transformation in some ways happened right before sabbatical where I felt this tension of who am I? This identity crisis. Am I this one Short North local church pastor? Should I just dig my heels and invest here where I lived and what I knew best, or be this sort of movement leading all the multi-site, that work? I look back on that and I think I didn't know, but I think at the time I thought I knew, which I was really drawn to think movement. I was drawn to think big picture and planting new works. For me, I was just leaning into those gifts a lot at that season. 

Nick Nye: And so We installed Joe Byler to lead the Short North Congregation, and I was going to kind of help oversee all of that. I went on sabbatical, and sabbatical was so good. It was incredibly encouraging. I had some great coaching, and some counseling and care. There was a lot of rest involved, but there was also that season of like who am I? How do I pastor? Just through that I felt like the Lord was just, "Nick, I want you to preach. I want you to be a faithful shepherd in one church and just dig in there." I just felt really drawn in that direction, and so I came back.

Nick Nye: It was a hard season, because I'm like, "I gave my job away. I don't know if I want to lead this." Quite frankly, it required a lot of management, and a lot of skills that I didn't want. And so I just got stuck, and it just kind of led me down this process of maybe this is God's timing, maybe this is God's place for us to think about just leaving. I came in Veritas too extremely gifted and capable, and godly and great leadership, and stepping away for a season. I shouldn't say season, but stepping away.

Ronnie: Sometimes doesn't it? It takes stepping away from something to know that, that is where you were meant to be. Sometimes being in the middle of something creates that fog, and you have to step out of the fog so you can have some clarity of vision. And so you are this founder and planter of Veritas. At this point it had grown to a multi-site church with four locations, but it comes time that you need to move on, you need to leave Ohio, and then an opportunity comes up in New York city which I know was not your first choice, but yet you took the leap. What made you take the leap to Apostles New York City?

Nick Nye: In some ways it was really challenging, so we actually asked ...

Nick Nye: Was really challenging. So, we actually asked about 10 people at Veritas. They weren't on staff, they were just strong, Godly people in the church. We actually got them together, and we called them a little discernment team. We got them in a room and just said, "Ask Brittany and I questions. Help us discern what's next."

Nick Nye: It was an incredible gift to us to have people in the church leading us, because we felt very disoriented. I felt like I didn't trust myself to make a good decision. It was really challenging, but I remember when the ministry came up and John Starke urged me to consider because I'd process stuff with him, with you. I was like, "Dude, there's no way our family could survive in New York City." I look back at saying that, and I think I was totally 100% right because it is really hard for a family to survive in New York City.

Nick Nye: But it was like, I just didn't know if we could do it, but yet, the role in some ways is exactly what I wanted. It was like replanting in a hurting church. I was getting the plant off the backs of one of my friends and hero, Jr. Vassar. In many ways, I saw this as a place where I could be a small fish in a big pond. To use Henry [inaudible 00:27:29] analogy, for me, I knew God was calling us to downward mobility. That He wanted to put us in a place where we felt small. 

Nick Nye: Coming off that valley and stepping out of the limelight of what Veritas was, and into an unknown sphere, which it's like I'm looking at apostles and this is it. It's New York City, which is kind of cool, and this is New York City. But at the same time, you get here and you realize it's such a big city, people are like, "Tim Keller who? I don't know who that ..." It just doesn't matter. It's exactly what I needed, my soul needed. 

Ronnie: I think it's interesting that you talked about downward mobility, because that seems to be a theme for a lot of pastors. I think that's a general theme that we see in scripture where God takes men, He takes women, and He brings them to places of which they are not completely suited, or against their better judgment. He uses those moments to start shaping and forming himself in them more deeply.

That was what happened to you in Columbus, and then God moves you from Columbus to New York City, and it's happening again. So, this is thematic in your life.

Nick Nye: Dude. In some ways, I look at that and I feel like I'm getting more and more clarity on this as I get older. I think you see a lot of these pastors blowing their lives up. They're looking for a way to hit the eject button. So, they usually do with an affair or some scandal. 

Nick Nye: For me, I wish more pastors would take that journey of downward mobility and be willing to take it and to be willing to risk a lot of things to go there. Because it is sweeter, because it's like it brings you to the core, which is your communion with God, and your relationship with God. And it puts you in that place that God wants you. 

Nick Nye: For me, I needed that. I knew I needed that even though I look in Columbus, and I see these great things happening that I used to be a part of. Some of the things I helped start or some of the things I was giving voice to that I felt like I was important, and here I'm nothing, and I love that. I'm thankful for that, and it's been good for my soul. I wish more pastors would learn more about downward mobility and take the risk and travel it. Go down the valley. Go to the bottom, there's lots of living water at the bottom of the valley and it's not always at the top of the mountain.

Ronnie: So, here's what's interesting. God moved me really a California boy through and through to Ohio, and then he moves you an Ohio boy through and through to New York City. As much as there's all the spiritual implications with that, there's practical implications with that too when you talk about a transition of that magnitude. What was it like when you arrived in this city. What was that like?

Nick Nye: It was horrible Ronnie. You don't even know. I can tell a story after story. We got rejected from for apartments because we didn't make enough money. We're paying like $4500 a month for 950 square feet.

Ronnie: I know, I got those texts, every time you got another rejection, I would get that text from you that said, "Nope, still don't have a-"

Nick Nye: I know. I'm just like, "Dude, what world am I in?" In Ohio, it's like one of the cheapest places to live in the world. And here I am getting rejected from these apartments. We move in the middle of the summer, August 3rd, and then August 4th, I have an all day church retreat with all the leaders. August 5th or 6th, I don't remember, Sunday, the interim pastor steps out and he's leaving. They're moving to Florida and basically my first Sunday preaching is his last Sunday. I get the keys, and Monday morning I wake up and I'm just thinking, "What just happened?" I'm in New York, I don't even know where to go. I don't even know how to take the train around here.

Ronnie: You're a total rookie.

Nick Nye: I'm a total rookie.

Ronnie: You're a total rookie and so, you get to New York City, you feel like the rugs already been pulled out from under me. I think what happens to us is then we realize, oh, God has many more rugs than just one rug. He's going to pull out just lots of rugs that He's going to be pulling. That's kind of what happened to you when you got there.

Nick Nye: Well, you know, I imagine like you, you probably didn't have like posters of Ohio hanging on your wall when you're a kid growing up in California. 

Ronnie: I did not like. That would be correct. 

Nick Nye: Yeah. I didn't have the New York City poster hang up. A lot of pastors that come into New York City, they have wanted to come here their whole life. They dream about New York City. People think so much about New York City, and I'm just coming in and I'm kind of like a grumpy washed up ... I feel like a washed up pastor who's just like, "Man, I don't ..." The food is fine, it's good. The culture, all the national, that's cool. I know those things are great, but I just feel so unimpressed.

Nick Nye: I think that's probably the Ohio in me. Because of that, I feel like I came into this place like man, I don't know if I'm the right guy for New York City. It's incredibly expensive, it's very hard to live here, maintain life. It's hard for four children, and oh man. 

Nick Nye: John Starke has been the best help and Sojourn Network, and you and so many people that have come around from the outside have been just encouraging us and helping us stay strong in that. But more and more, been here almost a year now, and we're more and more starting to like it. More starting to feel like we're getting it.

Ronnie: I can only imagine that it takes a long time in a city like New York City to sort of feel like you have your feet and that you're starting to even know a little bit of the geography and the streets and the way things are even laid out in your neighborhood. That just can't be an overnight process I'm guessing.

Nick Nye: Totally. Well, I still get lost.

Ronnie: Yeah, I bet. 

Nick Nye: I get lost all the time. 

Ronnie: It's interesting, going back to just transitions in your life. And what we know about transitions is that God transitions people, right? He did it all through scripture. He did with Adam. He did it with Abraham, with Jacob, with Joseph with Moses with Paul, God transitioned Jesus at the end of the day. How are you being shaped by this transition?

Nick Nye: Well, if I can put it one way, I'm starting to hate the word transition just because it feels so heavy and it feels like it comes with so much baggage. But I also do look at our biblical narrative. Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. I know there's a movement in Christianity, and I think there's a good voice out there. But it says you got to stay in one place and be there, and that's the sign of really healthy pastoring for long period of time. 

Nick Nye: I think that there's something good in that. But I also think there's so much wandering, and there's so much journeying. There needs to be a healthy reminder that this place is not our home. Columbus is my home. It's where my family lives, my extended family and my wife's family. So for us, we felt like we were home, we'd arrived. To leave all of that was a massive shake up internally. A massive transition of our own hearts and lives that made us feel like saying, "God, I would rather be a slave," It sounds like I was talking about Veritas like that. But I'd rather be back home in Egypt in this terrible state than free out here.

Nick Nye: For us, it was a lot of, we just had to listen to the Lord and trust that He was taking us on this journey. He was leading us forward and it's okay if we feel a little bit like we're in the wilderness and just embracing that. 

Ronnie: Yeah, and again, not knowing where God is going to ever bring us, but knowing that he is doing a work in us wherever he does take us. And we have to hold on to that as I hope for sure.

Nick Nye: Totally. I wish sometimes that we would really own the season of life God would have and find the contentment in nothing and contentment in plenty. I know for me, these kinds of transitions have been really drawing that out of me. Again, bringing me into that communion with God so that I can learn contentment in all things. This has been God's way of journeying us, taking us on this journey to get that and learn that contentment

Ronnie: Nick, thanks for sharing your story with us man. We're going to all benefit from it. We're with you prayerfully and as brothers and sisters as part of this network. So, thanks again.

Nick Nye: Thanks bro.

Mike Cosper: Thanks for listening to our show today. This is Sojourn Network, is a production of the Narrativo Group. You can learn more about us at It was mixed by Mark Owens, our music is by Sojourn Music. Special thanks to Ronnie and Nick for sharing this conversation with us. We'll be back with another episode in just two weeks. See you then.

This episode produced by Mike Cosper
Editing by Mike Cosper and TJ Hester
Mixed by Mark Owens
Music by Sojourn Music
Graphic Design by Casey Smith
Website Design by Brannon McAllister
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