How do you turn two spare bedrooms into 122 acres? Bill and Stacy Spencer did just that. In today’s episode, Leary interviews the couple to find out what happened when they put to use what they had.
When Bill and Stacy paused to ponder what they could do with what they have, it led to an adventure they never anticipated: housing and mentoring two young men. Eventually, this experience led them to exchanged their prized possessions—their house and their business—to sow into even more lives. Today, their ministry, Narrow Gate Foundation, has grown into 122-acre property just outside of Nashville, TN, where they welcome and disciple 36 young men every year.
What can we learn from Bill and Stacy?
- They committed to partnering well with each other and with God.
- They reviewed the resources they had, particularly those not being fully used.
- They considered how those resources could be put to better use, and weighed the cost.
- They chose sacrifice, stewardship, and service—and started using their resources differently, to bless others.
Quotes from Bill, Stacy, and Leary:
- “We weren’t planning to start a ministry. It was not our intention. …We were saying, ‘What do You want to do with our lives?’ ‘What do we have to offer?'” —Stacy
- “It’s not about figuring out, ‘What do You want me to do?’ but, ‘What do You want me to do with what we already have?'” —Leary
- “‘What have You already given me? How do You want to use that?’ It started with the physical reality. We had extra room in our home, so we invited some guys who needed a place to live to come live with us.” —Stacy
- “We had already said this prayer, ‘Anything, anytime, anywhere—we don’t care—You just use us until we’re used up.'” —Bill
- “Ephesians 5:15 says, ‘Make the most of every opportunity.’ It doesn’t say, ‘Make the most opportunities.'” —Leary
- “If I could give any piece of advice to husbands in America: Find the quality or qualities in your wife in her life that are the qualities of God. Call them out and call them up. Because you don’t actually add improvement in people’s lives primarily through correction; you add it through encouragement. People respond to esteem.” —Bill
- “Good leadership always says this, ‘If I have the right people on the team, all I have to do is inspire them with the vision, equip them with the resources, and then get out of their way.”” —Bill
- “If you haven’t practiced the art of admiring your spouse, you’re probably not ready to launch a ministry to serve others.” —Leary
This week’s Challenge Me:
There are so many things that we have that we don’t fully use. Think about the resources at your disposal. What do you have in your possession that you could use more fully? Take some time to jot down the things that come to mind and prayerfully consider ways you can start stewarding those resources better.
Resources mentioned in or related to this podcast that may be helpful to you: