My friends Jesse and Katie Rice have a call on their lives. They are convinced in the tradition of old-school Jesus-followers that they are to follow this call forward with or without the certainty of a particular job or method of making ends meet. 

Impractical? Sure. Crazy? Maybe. Yet they are putting it all on the line and pressing forward. 
Jesse, author of The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected are Redefining Community, has launched a new website requesting support from people of faith. Partnerwithjesse.com, which launched today, provides some background and detail on what he and his wife are setting out to do and how people who are so compelled might help.
In his initial post on the site Jesse writes:

It has become clear to me in recent years that my vocation centers on the work of writing, speaking, and creating music. While my vocation is ultimately tied to God’s creatively redemptive work in the world, it is not linked to a paid staff position within a particular faith community. 

As such – and in the tradition of 2000 years of Jesus-followers who have required financial partnership to help fulfill their call – I’m inviting you to partner with me in the following way:


          • I believe that in two years, I will be able to make a sustainable living through my work of writing, speaking, and music. Currently, however, I’m in the initial stages of getting things launched. While I’ve gotten several great opportunities recently, almost none of them are generating any bill-paying power (e.g., I’m keynoting an upcoming conference for equipping ministry leaders but, due to their own financial constraints, they are not able to provide an honorarium). The reality is, it takes time and resources to build a vocational ministry that serves those who can’t always pay for it – and I need your help to do it.
          • As such, I have begun the process of raising TWO YEARS of salary and health insurance – $120,000 in financial support. That’s a chunk of change to be sure, but it works out as just $45,000/year salary and $15,000/year in health benefits (this is a model often used by YoungLife or in church planting, the key difference being that I am moving toward sustainability within two years). My wife, Katie, and I have determined that this is the minimum partnership we would need to get things off the ground while simultaneously getting our family off the ground (and yes, I’m talking about babies).
          • To make a one-time or ongoing investment, clickHERE to go directly to my PayPal account and use your credit card or PayPal account to donate. In addition, checks can be sent to Jesse Rice (please email jessejrice@gmail.com for a mailing address and write “partner with Jesse” in the memo line). Unfortunately, due to my self-employed status, I am not able to make your contributions tax-deductible at this time.  Instead, please consider your partnership an investment in helping me fulfill my call.


I am grateful for your ongoing partnership either through this campaign, or the enjoyment of my books, speaking, and music. I’m excited about the good things that will continue to come from our collaboration as I wholeheartedly pursue what I’m made to do.


–Jesse


For more information or to partner in other creative ways, please email Jesse at jessejrice@gmail.com.

I love this.

I love that this young couple is taking a chance to follow their calling at all costs. 

I love the fact that they are willing to reach out and humble themselves in such a countercultural way. 

I love that this radical move will cause people of faith to reflect on the distinct differences between the ancient way (going without knowing and relying on the support and kindness of others) and what is all too frequently the new way (taking care of ourselves and our loved ones, saving a litt
le for college/retirement/a third television and – if there is anything left – making a donation or two).

What’s your take on this kind of “unofficial ministry”? Is there a place for more of this in the American church in 2010? 

  

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