Childhood/ How you were were raised?
Jeff has an incredible passion for knowing God and living out of relationship with God. Growing up, Jeff knew about God, but never really knew what a real relationship with God could look like. He grew up in the great state of Georgia and was raised in a Baptist church where he began to learn foundational principles for faith in Christ. Jeff attended a public school and was surrounded by a majority of either non Christians, or Christians that were not living for God. At the time, Jeff was not concerned with his relationship with God. He was focused on popularity and girls and having a good time. Church was just a box to be checked each and every week. The idea that someone could actually having a relationship with the living God was the furthest thing from his mind. He grew up in a Christian household, but actually actively living the word and doing the word on a daily basis was foreign and was nonexistent – as it is in most Christian households. It wasn’t until he graduated from high school and met a mentor in an unlikely kung-fu environment that his walk with Christ actually began to grow and his view of God began to change.
Running From God (God kept calling, Jeff kept running)
Jeff sought to have the type of deep, intellectually filled conversations that he would have with his mentor, Frank. He would go out on the campus of his college and just begin talking to people on a consistent basis when he wasn’t training with his mentor. He found that not only were people receptive to the things that he was talking about and the advice that he was giving, but they would respond to him with 5 words that he dreaded at the time, “You sound like a minister/preacher.” He didn’t like hearing these words because he knew that he wasn’t living the way that the Lord wanted him to live and that if he were to take that on, it would require that he actually start living the way that the bible said and he wasn’t ready for it. How could he be used to lead without a relationship with the Lord himself or by living in the world? He couldn’t, and it intimidated him. The Lord kept pursuing him through people and began to get more aggressive in his pursuit later with spiritual dreams. There was no place for Jeff to run, where could he run, anyway?