I was very fortunate in my early days of ministry to be working with several other people in our community that helped to direct my thoughts and develop philosophy of ministry. They were willing to take the time to dialogue with me as we invested in each other and our common goal of reaching people for Christ.
Robbie O'Brien has been a friend of mine for about 15 years now and we have certainly seen each other through the tough and the good times. When I entered into ministry in 2003, we had been friends for several years and he was serving at First United Methodist. His experience working with youth was a tremendous blessing to me, but he has influenced me more since he planted The Beachside Church. I appreciate our open and yet challenging conversations and that he was there for us when things fell apart at Tomoka. He is one of those friends that I don't have to talk to very often, but we both know that we are there for each other whenever we are needed.
Drew Powell was the worship leader and youth guy at Oasis Christ Fellowship when I started. We quickly developed a partnership and worked together on several community events. We were fortunate to bring him on staff as he was planting The Beachside Church which gave us a chance to work more closely. Drew is a brother to me and is the most gifted worship leader I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. He is truly anointed and has shaped my thoughts about worship and my attitude towards leading. I would love the opportunity to work with him again as we encourage each other from a distance.
One of my best friends in ministry is John Porterfield. We started working middle school camp together in 2004 and instantly struck up a great friendship. John's experience in ministry was a great benefit to me and he certainly helped to make my years of camp much easier. We were blessed to be an active part of each other's ministry for several years and I consider him a brother and great friend.
There are many other good friends and conversations that helped to shape my philosophy of ministry and still continue to do so: Justin Halleck, Ray & Susan Kelley, Al Force, Jay Gibson, Linda Marshall, Carrie Graham, Charles & Melanie Dolich and Gary Powell to name a few. I am thankful for fellow warriors for Christ and their willingness to work alongside me in the battle for people's souls.