This is HIS Story Podcast

Rhome van Dyck - Executive Director Interview

March 23, 2020 Todd Turner and Rhome van Dyck Season 1 Episode 1
This is HIS Story Podcast
Rhome van Dyck - Executive Director Interview
Show Notes Transcript

Rhome van Dyck is the founder of Sacra Script, a ministry dedicated to equipping the Church with Christ-centered Bible studies and resources.

Creator of the Sacra Script Bible Ventures App and Bible Compass. 

He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and grew up in various places across Canada. His passion is for the worldwide Church and teaching the message of God’s Word from its original context. Along with a diploma in Biblical Studies from Columbia Bible College, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with an emphasis on the Reformation from Simon Fraser University and a Th.M. in Historical Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for seven years and was ordained at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas by Chuck Swindoll. He has traveled extensively around the world teaching and training pastors often in areas of persecution and continues a busy teaching schedule both at home and abroad. He loves to help people understand how the entire story of Scripture reveals God’s redemptive plan through Christ. He is married to Vanessa, a former college professor and fellow Dallas Seminary graduate. They have two young daughters: Kaleah and Adrielle. Rhome loves the Lord, his family, sports, music, history, and the great outdoors.

Interviewer:

Todd Turner
CreativeDigitalGuide.com

I'm Todd Turner, Creative Digital Guide. I come along side Christian Non-Profits and churches and help them tell and fund their God-Sized missions using their digital channels. Listen in to learn how we tell our stories with integrity and ask people to join our kingdom stories. 

As a former Executive Vice President for an International organization,  I have traveled the world learning and teaching digital strategies in various countries and languages. I have gathered the essentials of Digital Strategies and spend my day helping organizations cut out the fads and trends and learn the simple blocking and tackling of their online fundraising strategies.

FaceBook Group for Executive Pastors and Executive Directors:
https://creativedigitalguide.com/facebook/

Want to be Interviewed on this podcast?
https://creativedigitalguide.com/podcast/

Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Todd Turner and welcome to his story podcast, where we will look into the calling events and personalities of those God is using around the globe as his hands and feet to do his good work . Hello, and welcome to his story. Today's guest is roam Bandai with sacker script ministries located in Plano, Texas Rome . Thank you for taking time today.

Speaker 2:

Thanks Todd. It's a pleasure to be with you all

Speaker 1:

Right, before we get in to , um, SAC prescrip ministries and, and all the things God's doing. And with that, I like to learn a little bit more about you. So I'm gonna let you back way up into childhood. Tell us a little bit about your rearing and where you grew up and how that affected you and changed you and created you. Um, but I get , I'm assuming that we're gonna hear a little bit about hockey and maple syrup right now.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's very hard to hide that I'm a Canadian I've lived in Texas now almost 20 years, but it just doesn't sound that way. So , uh , born and raised in Canada, my dad was a pastor, so I grew up in a pastor's home. Um, I have found that sort of PKS pastor's kids are preachers . Kids are just sort of two forms of them. Sadly, one form is they go well , uh , wildly rebellious and they rebel against the church and everything that they sort of were brought up and grow in and , uh, uh, move away from the Lord and so on. And then the other type is that they follow in their dad's footsteps. And I guess I'd be more of the second and less of the first. I never , uh, went through some wild rebellious time. And so on. I came to know the Lord very early, about age four , uh , grew up where we studied the Bible at home. I have an older brother and my older brother and myself, my mom would read Bible stories every day. And so , uh, later on , uh , younger sister would come along some seven years later. So I'm a middle child , uh, grew up in Canada, as I said, dad was a pastor and , uh , really came to know the Lord in just loving and enjoying his word. When I was about 10 years old, I remember there was a missionary visiting was a Sunday night service , uh , at our church missionary was visiting and was challenging us to give our lives to the Lord in service in ministry. And I remember , uh, being really convicted that that's what I needed to do. Not only to be a Christian and follow Christ, but to give my life in service to the Lord. And so really from the time I was sort of 10 years old on, I kind of knew I was going to be involved in ministry. I didn't really know what shape that would take necessarily. Um, but , uh, I was a committed to , uh, uh, following the Lord and serving the Lord to be honest , Todd , my , my love was music. What I wanted to be was a Christian musician. I wanted to be, you know, maybe in a rock band, I was a drummer and so on. And that was really where I wanted to. It's just, I guess it's the fact that I wasn't very good, that didn't work out the way I had always hoped, but , uh, um, you know, the Lord , uh, used me in a variety of ways. I went to a couple of years of Bible college after a high school , uh, did an undergraduate degree in history. I studied history because I thought it would be good for ministry. My love is really people and studying history is all about studying people and understanding people. And so , um , that was why I chose that degree and just thought it'd be a nice compliment to a ministry. And , uh, ended up , uh, serving the Lord in a variety of Bible study. Teaching situations, was it associate pastor at a church plant in the greater Vancouver area where I'm from and involved there for some time we also had a family business. And so I was working after , uh, after college I was working for a few years, always wanted to go to seminary and through a variety of things thought , um , that door was closed for a period of time. And then the door opened and , uh, eventually I moved to the Dallas area and , uh , went to Dallas theological seminary. And , uh, that started to sort of a refocus my path from that point on.

Speaker 1:

Sure. I would imagine, well, let's back up a little bit to the secular job in hindsight. How do you believe that helped you in ministry? I mean, some people would just go straight from high school and, you know , college seminary and they move on. Did that help form you? Or did this make you realize, yeah, I don't want to do that again.

Speaker 2:

No, no. It was very, very instrumental. And even at the time I knew that I knew I was there for a purpose. We had a little manufacturing company that was growing. I learned how to manage people. I learned a lot about business. I learned a lot about managing money and honestly, part of me is very entrepreneurial. I love to start things I love, I love having no instructions and just starting to figure it out. And so I had done that in business and as it turned out, I'd ended up post starting a ministry. And so we impossible, invaluable the experiences I had in, in directing and shaping our ministry. I knew so much, so many mistakes that I didn't need to make in ministry that we made in business that I learned from so very, very formative for me. And so being involved in ministry and having been somewhat successful in business is kind of a unique thing in a whole variety of ways, managing our ministry. And also just talking with people. I mean, one of the things about ministry is raising money and you raise money from people who are in business. And if you have some understanding about business, it helps them to know that you appreciate them and what they're doing. And the fact that giving is a sacrificial thing. So it's , uh , yeah, I mean, I , I wouldn't trade those years. You know, some of those years were pretty tough, even though we were quite successful. Um, wouldn't trade that for anything

Speaker 1:

I've known you almost 20 years from, and I've never knew you played the drums. So my next question is, do you hone your skills, even have a drum set in the garage? Like, what are you doing with this talent?

Speaker 2:

When I moved from Canada to Texas, I rented a Ford excursion with a flatbed trailer. I put my car on there and I put as much as I could fit of what I owned and everything I couldn't fit got sold. And so the drum kit got sold and , uh, always wanted to get one again. Now I have a family and we don't have room right now where we live and so on. But one day we'll get the drums back. Okay .

Speaker 1:

I got to see this. I'm going to get you a little bongo , just like you see, I didn't know you had rhythm at all. So this is great. I'm going to ask you a deep question, but on the Canadian thing, I want to know this dude . How do you feel growing up Canadian has affected your ministry here in the states? Meaning do you have a lens we don't have, or do we have lenses you didn't have, and you can see things clear. Like what, what are some of the advantages of how you grew up in Christianity there? And now you serve the Lord here.

Speaker 2:

It's a great question. W where definitely I see things differently. I just wouldn't use the word clearly. I just it's tainted a different way. So a couple of things, my dad, I already said was a pastor. He studied in California. So when I was a kid, I lived in California for three years. Um, I learned to talk in California, we moved back to Canada and my older brother had already sort of adapted and so on. And so growing up in Canada, I sounded like a Californian. And I, I say that because I've always had this thing about , I wanted to live in the U S my parents would tell stories about things that happened in California, things that happen in seminary, things that happened . And in my mind goes with the good old days, even though I was only seven or eight or nine or 10. And so in my mind, gotta get back to California, gotta get back to the U S so I've always had this thing of wanting to live in the U S number one, number two, in my history degree, I had to focus on it as an undergraduate level. They wanted you to be broad in your historical focus. And so you had to have three different areas in three different time periods to focus on. One of my focuses was us presidential history. So I learned as a Canadian, an awful lot about the United States before I moved here, I lived in the, in California's for three years, as a little boy, I have a degree focusing part of it, focusing on us history. And then I had traveled in relation to our business. When I moved to Texas, I'd already been to 54 or 44 of the 50 states, excuse me, 44. And now I've been to 49 of the 50. I've only not been to Alaska. Otherwise I've been in every state. And so I'm well versed in American history. I'm, well-traveled in the United States and I've always had this desire to be there. None of those things answer your question. So, so now to actually answer your question , um, yeah, you see things differently. Canadians and Americans, obviously there's a lot of similarities that cultures are very close to languages , the same and so on, but there are differences, especially in ministry, especially in relationship to the nation. It would be rather uncommon to go to a Canadian church and see a Canadian flag on the, on the podium, on the , uh, on the stage. Whereas especially in bigger us churches, that would be quite common. You'd have a us flag. You might have a state flag. You might have one of those Christian flags and so on you, you have a much different tied to the nation in Canada. Canada has no history of being a Christian nation. It's always had Christians, Christians have been profoundly influential in Canada, but it's never been Christian, whatever that means America has something quite different. And so many people, lots of Christian nation, or it was a Christian nation, or it was founded on Christian principles and so on. So you have a different relationship. And I guess I would say even having been here some 20 years now , or almost 20 years , um, I'm not an American, I'm a Canadian, I'm here as a, as a, as a green card and so on, but I'm not an American citizen. And so I do see things differently and I'd also have to say, I'm not really Canadian anymore either. I mean, it's been so long since I've lived there. And I kind of see this, if you look at the apostle Paul, the apostle Paul is a Jew, but he's from Tarsus and he's a Roman citizen. So he's quick to tell you, he's a Jew, he's a Jew of Jews. He was a Pharisee and so on, but he didn't grow up that way. He kind of had to work for it. And so the apostle Paul had a very different view than for example, Peter born and raised in, in, in, in the nation. And so I would say the same thing. I , I look at how America is viewed around the world and I've traveled a lot. I've been in about 60 countries around the world. It's much easier for a Canadian to travel in those places than it is for an American. And so I see some, some differences. I see some things where I think the church maybe has flown too close to political lines and political policy, and maybe moved a little bit of way from, from what Christianity is, because there's such a marriage in the us between the nation and the church and, and this idea of it being a Christian, however, that that gets defined. And so, yeah, lots of particularities, lots of, lots of things to think about, but I definitely see things differently as someone who's kind of a permanent foreigner .

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I love it. That's a whole podcast in itself, what you just said up to a deep topic, but it's interesting that you hold that lens , um, in your ministry. I already see it. I think we'll get to that in a minute. Let's talk about ,

Speaker 2:

Um , well, I , I just want to add, and just say that again, I'm not claiming that I have the right view or that I have a clear view, but I definitely have a different view than a Christian born and raised in. There's no doubt about that. It's definitely different in light of my experiences.

Speaker 1:

I get that. Um, okay. Let's so, you know , packing up and leaving the country and moving to another is no small thing. Even with familiarity. Why Dallas, Texas, why Dallas theological seminary, tell us a little bit about that big move in your life.

Speaker 2:

There are a lot of things that went into that decision, but I guess there's a couple of bottom lines. I wanted to learn the Bible and Dallas had the longest program. And so the more the merrier Dallas had a four year program in it . The other seminaries do an M div as a three-year program. And so that really interested me. I was well aware of some of the professors there and having grown up in the church. I was familiar with a lot of seminaries. And so whether we're talking about seminaries in California or on the east coast or in the Midwest and so on, and , uh, yeah. Uh, opportunities were there. And I guess one of the things that was very influential to me was I listened to the radio a lot , uh, often while I would be working and then got listening to insight pro living with Chuck Swindoll. And Chuck was the president of Dallas seminary when I was there. And , uh, I always enjoyed listening to him on the radio and his preaching. And he would often, even in his broad class included occasional broadcast where he'd speak at Dallas seminary, chapel to the seminary students and hearing those from time to time and on occasion that interested me. And so I think the Lord just opened the door and I was interested in doing something different. I didn't want to do necessarily exactly what my dad had done. And , uh , so I went a different route.

Speaker 1:

So talk about DTS for a minute either. Let's give them a good commercial or let's give them a poor review on Yelp, but talk a little bit about your , your, your experience there. What do you think about doubts with theological seminary and how it shaped you in particular

Speaker 2:

Best four years of my life, real simple. Uh , it was a four-year program by far the best four years of my life. Let me give you a couple of analogies and I'll explain why. So I want you to imagine , uh , the way I think about is kind of like eating. If you're born and raised eating McDonald's cheeseburgers that are adults, she's burgers are great. I mean, it's a quick burger. You can go get it. It's great. Tastes good. And everything's fine. But if someone feeds you at some of the fanciest restaurants, let's say the one of the famous Texas steak houses here in the Dallas area, and these elaborate expensive meals with multiple courses where the meat is so carefully prepared in the vegetables and so on. If you eat this wonderful steak dinner at one of these steak houses, the taste of a McDonald's cheeseburger changes. And yet the cheeseburger is exactly the same, but what's happened is you've now feasted on some amazing food. And the basics that you got by with w no longer tastes the same. It's the cheeseburgers no good anymore. How come it never changed? But my experience at the Texas steak house was, and so that's what seminary was. It was studying God's word three meals a day at the most elaborate steak , where you getting this unbelievable teaching, these godly men and women influencing your lives. These, these wonderful students. I went as crazy as this sounds as an international student because I was Canadian. And so I got lumped in with people who are really internationals from far away places and got friends all over the world. And , and we just, I just loved the people. I love the student life. I love learning, I guess I'd also say having a lot of background having served as the associate pastor and so on. I kind of felt that within six weeks, eight weeks, three months of seminary, that we had already passed everything. I knew that , that , that I knew so little compared to what I was learning. And , and , and I was so weak. I was so malnourished in comparison to, I kind of, I'll just be honest with you. I kind of felt that I knew the Bible well, and compared to many incoming students probably did, but I kind of felt I knew it well. And what I learned at seminary is a little more, right. I, I learned everything a little more, a little deeper everything, but I was like, I didn't think I knew it all. That's not what I mean. I just meant that, that what I learned is that I knew nothing. I knew after 29 years and two years of Bible college and all that I had done, we had surpassed that so quickly and understanding the depth of the text and really how the Bible fits together. And so my, my four years of seminary profoundly influential, radically transformed my thinking in many ways, just a radical maturing process for me , uh, throwing away immature thoughts and realizing , um, God is greater than we ever could imagine. And, and, and his word is richer than, than we realized. And just honestly loving the steak dinners and then wanting to become a chef. I want to prepare steak dinners for others. That's really what , what came of DTS. I never graduated thinking as a master of theology that I'd mastered theology, but what I, what I had mastered in what they had taught me is you're now equipped to go and continue studying on an ongoing basis for the rest of your life. And that's what I've been doing. And that's, there's , it's so rich. And so

Speaker 1:

Th the , the passion to teach others increase, the more you learn, the more you wanted to tell or what, because here's my next question. Why don't you just start preaching at a church? Like, I know that one of the next things you did was worked with Michael Patton at the theologically theological program. Right. And then of course, now you started your own ministry, but you've never been a senior pastor at a church. So tell me how those dots connect.

Speaker 2:

Sure. I grew up, I , I was fine at school. I wasn't a straight a student cause I didn't care. I was a little bit of a class clown fool around guy who got really good marks. I don't know how you want to put that together in your mind, or at least could get good marks. And so I never tried too hard and I never did too much and so on. Um, and I hated teachers. I just want to go on record saying, I always would point out growing up and I look back at this as how humorous God is pointing out that , that this teacher didn't do that. Right. And in grade four , that teacher, you know, why would they explain it like this when they could explain it like that? And , and then I didn't like how this teacher handled this student because this student didn't understand what they were saying and so on. And somehow in all of that was, I always think about information as if I have to explain it myself, why I really can't answer that. I don't know. I've always been that way. And , and so in one sense, no, I didn't want to teach. I just wanted to stay at seminary forever. Right? I mean, with my analogy of this being this rich food that we're feasting on, I just wanted to keep learning and so on. But my heart has always been for people. I mentioned that when I got my history degree, I've always loved people. And my desire hasn't been to be an academic. Although certainly I have great love for that because of my love for seminary and my years there. But to bring this richness that was in seminary back to the regular people. So to answer your question, why not preach? I was open to that. And frankly, going into seminary, I kind of figured that's how I'd come out. I mean, you go to a seminar, you come out a pastor, that's kind of what happens, right? But th th the world kind of opened up for me. I had the privilege of traveling a lot in seminary. I was in 26 countries on four continents in the four years, I was at Dallas seminary. And so I would say this way, I went in with a love for the global , uh , for the local church. I went to seminary with a love for the local church. And I graduated with a love for the global church and an interesting in , in one, and to serve broadly, I enjoyed much more the interaction of more of a classroom than a pulpit and pulpit you preach. And we need the preaching of God's word and praise the Lord for faithful preachers all over the world. But I like to interact and , and , and let students ask questions and wrestle with things. I like to say the wrong thing and see if anyone will stop me. Right. But will they, will they stand up for what's right and so on. And so I was more intrigued with teaching specifically than preaching and ended up sort of following a path that I done. A lot of preaching. I preached a lot of different places and so on, but I've never been a regular preacher and really don't have that desire I want to teach. And , and , uh, and, and developed sort of that core, that core theological knowledge that, that, that we can live off of

Speaker 1:

You . You segue perfectly into my next question. Um , and I'm going to admit, I am a very biased interviewer, because I think you are truly one of the , one of the most gifted teachers I've ever been around. And I've been around a lot with my, my career and life, but

Speaker 2:

Was I supposed to pay you for that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. You said PayPal, right? Uh , but here today about you is I took me, I too , the first time I ever met you, it was in a class where you were peppering the class with questions and people were giving you wrong answers. And you masterfully pulled everyone. You herded the cats to the, to , to where you wanted to go, but you didn't have to preach where you wanted to go. You were allowed to take people's minds and thoughts and get us there. And I thought, wow, this man's really gifted that he can do that. So I like he from day one, as I've set under your teachings. I mean, I've , I've been in small rooms with you at the front of the podium. And , and I've been in, you know , in a Sunday morning with you, but tell me a while to figure out what it is. I liked about you. Like, what is it that he keeps doing that, that whiles me and that I'll walk away having known something that I did not know before. And I grew up in the church, like, I'm with you. I thought I knew the Bible fairly well. And , um, so anyway, my question is, do you, is it how you studied the Bible that dictates how you teach? Or is it how you teach that dictates how you studied the Bible? Because you're really good at showing this thread through scripture and you bring in the old Testament, the new Testament and the Psalms and the Proverbs, and you just tie these big, long themes together. And sometimes you can do it in a series, and sometimes you can do it literally in one setting, but it's , it's, it's your style? How did that style birth?

Speaker 2:

Well, first thing I'd say is it's not intentional. It's not like somehow I had it figured out and went and did it and so on, but very much I I'm selfish, I'm sinful and I'm selfish. And so I designed my teaching for me. Okay. And , and so I've thought a lot about what I received growing up, and then what changed in seminary? And so I would say this, let's imagine this I'm going to use a puzzle illustration. Imagine one of those, you know, a thousand piece puzzles, beautiful scenery, a mountain and , and the sky and the trees and the lake and so on. And you're putting together these pieces. I primarily learned the Bible. I'm learning a bunch of these pieces. Let's say of the thousand piece puzzle. I had learned to 136 of these pieces, but no one ever showed me the cover. Like I had no idea what , what , what are the pieces? Like sometimes I put three pieces together, go look at that. That's a tree. That's really cool, but, but I had no idea how it fit together. And so , um, that has been something that has been so enlightening to me to see that that Leviticus and Ephesians, aren't just two members of the same volume that , that they're both books in the Bible. But literally there is meaning that , that is , that is coming from Leviticus, feeding us into understanding of Ephesians or whatever the books may be. Th th there's been two profound things that shaped me , um, travel and history travel because I grew up and probably like most people, the way I grew up was the right way. Right. I knew that I grew up the right way. I went to the right kind of church and I believe the right kind of things, because that's all I knew. Right. And then I travel all over the world. And then I find out that they're also growing up the right way, which is totally different. They're doing different things. And it's undermining, you know, if you're going to go to church, you got to have a drum set, right. I'm a drummer. That's , you know , no , you don't. And, and, and, and so travel helped me to see the global church looks so different, especially when you start traveling in countries that are closed in countries that are persecuted. When you see believers who have nothing worshiping together, you realize changing your strings on your acoustic guitar to get the best strumming sound just doesn't matter. And so travel and history that is, we don't necessarily have everything right today, but we can learn a lot, not only from today, but we can learn a lot from yesterday and the day before that. And 12 years ago in 200 years ago in a thousand years ago. So all that to say is when I come to the biblical text , I look at it with a background in history and historical theology across time, people studying God's word across time. And so I'm not trying to come up with new thoughts. I'm not trying to cut up with something cutting edge. I'm trying to say what we've always said and see how it fits together. And God's God's purpose and God's kingdom. So profoundly my travel to many countries and my study of history across time of many peoples , uh , heavily has influenced me in , when we come to the text, we work big picture to small picture, which is by the way, how we get to know people, it's our natural way of learning. Start with the big things. You're Todd Turner and you're texting and I'm roam , and I'm originally a Canadian. And so on, we start, we don't start with the details of last Tuesday. We get there once we understand the big picture. And so the big picture helped me. And then it's been very much part of what I want to share, what I want to do.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Before we get into sacker script , I believe that that's a great segue , but I can't, I can't move on without saying some somewhere between seminary and you starting your own ministry, which the Sachar script, which is why we're here today. Um, you have three beautiful women in your life now, right? A wife and two daughters. You want to talk a little bit about them, and then I'd like to hear what came first, the Sachar script or a onesie . I don't , I'm not sure how that works. So tell me a little bit about this.

Speaker 2:

My wife has Vanessa. We've been married 11 years in some months, and we have two daughters, Kalea who's eight and Adrial is six. Uh , Adrielle introduced us to the world of special needs. She was born with down syndrome and a wonderful, beautiful girl who we love dearly and is lots of fun as is CALEA and , uh, uh, creates an interesting home. So , uh, yeah , uh, three , uh, three ladies, I met my wife at church. I was teaching a series of classes. She was a single lady who is , was a college professor here in the north Dallas area where we live. And , uh , she was taking one of my classes. I actually known about her for some time. She'd known about me and so on. And we got to know each other related to this , uh , class and eventually , uh, started dating and , uh , got married. So , uh, met her. I went , I went through seminary without being married. I was single through seminary and single when I use started as a , as an associate pastor and so on. And , uh , then got married , uh, some years after seven .

Speaker 1:

I was just going to ask you, let her finish the class before you asked her outright . I hope you follow protocol.

Speaker 2:

Th that, that was actually a , it was a 10 week class. And I asked her if she wanted to kind of have an 11th session, I guess class is still in session. So I definitely waited until it was over just it wasn't over for her.

Speaker 1:

That's funny. So I'm married. Where were you when, so tell me a little about the birth of Sachar script, and also tell me Vanessa's role in that, where y'all married when you prayed that through, or did she come in to you already working on sacrifice ?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no , it was all right in the middle. Um, so I w th there's a few things when we talk about Sacra script, Sacra script, by the way, is just a play. It's a Latin phrase, Sacra or sacred script, or scripture was the way that the reformers, when they would write in Latin John, Calvin, Martin Luther, and so on in their Latin writings, that's the way they would refer to the Bible as the Sacra script or the sacred scripture, excuse me. And so we played off on that Latin phrase as our ministry, because our ministry wants to be about teaching the Bible , um, sort of straight up. And so , uh, th th th the ideas , the seeds of sacral scripts are, or are formulating and so on for some time from seminary onwards, from some of my ministries and associate pastor involved in teaching and Sunday school classes and so on. Uh , my wife is a college professor. Her background is in education, and , uh , she has a master's in adult education and some of the detailed learning theory, curriculum development, and those things , uh, with an emphasis on reading and retaining information. And so , uh , while we were dating and talking about what the future might hold , uh, she had , uh, challenged me. She said, you know, you're a great Bible teacher and so on. Uh , you , you can be funny and all that, but do you ever think about how they retain what you're giving them? In other words, don't just think about what you're presenting, but are you presenting it in such a way that it can be remembered and retained and recalled , um, which is part of her area of expertise. And so I said, well, we'll have to meet a few more times to discuss whether, whether I'm doing that. And I guess we're still leading in that sense. Um, but it wasn't , uh , until we started dating and so on, I knew I wanted to write and design Bible studies, and , uh , I'd been teaching theology and a involved in a ministry involved with that and, and enjoyed that and so on, but I knew I wanted to create more and write more, again, that entrepreneurial spirit, Vanessa certainly shaped me as to how , what that would look like. And then there were a couple of other factors. So all that to ask your question directly, the , the, the ideas behind Sacra script were forming as Vanessa and I were dating. And so we didn't actually create Sacra scriptural two months after we got married, she quit her job. I quit my job and off we went , um, married and that eventually broke.

Speaker 1:

Right . Right. Well, that sounds good to say is that's a definitely exciting time in a highly scary time, right. Um , of starting a new venture , um, especially one in ministry that's not always funded right up front. Like, is there a backstory to that leap of faith?

Speaker 2:

Um, I'm not that smart, not that wise. So I had , um, having done a lot of teaching in , in the local area here, I had a lot of contacts , a lot of people who had taken a variety of classes that I've taught. I taught these six classes on a systematic theology that I've involved in with the theology program. And Michael patent is you had mentioned earlier. Uh, and so , uh , there were a lot of people and they were looking for just more teaching. And I was looking to maybe we'll start working on books of the Bible rather than systematic theology and so on. So I felt I had quite a bit of support. My church had been very supportive in the fact that they allowed me to serve in so many ways. It was a church that I was on staff at, and now I had continued to attend, even though I wasn't there, I wasn't on staff and so on. And so there was a lot of freedom. And so I felt there was quite a bit of support there locally before we worried about broader than that. And , uh, I guess we, we prayed and we trusted the Lord, raised up some funds for us to get started and , uh , away we went

Speaker 1:

And we're 10 years into that. And

Speaker 2:

We celebrated 10 years , uh, yeah. Uh, 11 years now, actually,

Speaker 1:

Let's, let's , uh, let's for those there's people who are going to listen to this and watch this, that know, you may not know soccer script or they know soccer script and you, and they can't tell the difference between the two, right. Because you're, you're, you're the face of the ministry, but talk a little bit about soccer ship. So you , you you've said it's, it's a Bible teaching ministry, but it's so is 10,000 others, right. So what makes you unique? And what's the mission of Sachar scripts ?

Speaker 2:

So one of the assignments in seminary was that we had to write a Bible argument. And so a Bible argument is kind of defending what the biblical writer wrote, why he wrote what he wrote, not challenging it defending. So it's kind of like you're the lawyer, the Bible book is on trial and you're making sense of what the author wrote in my, in seminary. For me, it was Hebrews. I actually do a Bible argument on Hebrews. And so you study the book and you learn the whole flow of the book. You're not learning just what Hebrews three says, or just the issues in Hebrew six, or the great passage on faith in Hebrews 11 or running with perseverance. And he was probably not alone in the whole thing. You've got to defend. Why did the writer start the way he did with, with , uh, Christ being higher than the angels and so on and working your way through that. And so that was very helpful because that's actually how the Bible was written book by book, it wasn't written with chapters and verses. And so that would be kind of the natural way to study. When I graduated, not hired at the church, I still live right by the seminary. And, and so I pretended to be a seminary and for a few more years. And so I go to the library every night in the seminary and keep studying with one of my friends who we had gone to seminary together with. And he had returned to do a PhD. His PhD program required a Bible argument for all 66 books. So he had one under his belt at the master's level, just like me. I had one under my belt and he just had to write 65 more and probably improve is the one that he wrote. And so he would be studying and I would study with him and I was teaching Sunday school classes. I was involved in a bunch of things. And so I'd just say, Hey, what are you working on? And tell me what I should be studying. And then I'll make a class out of it and I'll teach it in Sunday school, whatever . And so we continued to study. He is a missionary, a missionaries kid, excuse me, who was from Belfast Northern Ireland, but grew up in Spain, in the Kerry islands, in Spain , uh , a family of seven kids didn't have 2 cents to rub together. The family loved the Lord and served the Lord all over the world today. Um, but grew up with very little, their parents were, were , uh , missionaries who planted a church in , uh, in the Kerry islands. And so we were talking and I said, you know, Jonathan, I said, your dad would just have loved to have what you're working on. These Bible arguments, understanding each book of the Bible and why the author is saying this. Why does John start the way he does that? That in the beginning was the word, why does he start there when Matthew starts with the genealogy? Right? And , and, and mark really starts with , uh , with the ministry of John the Baptist. Like what , why , why are they starting to, why are they doing this and learning these books holistically, for lack of a better term. And so I talked to him and I said, you know, your dad, this would just be priceless. I said, the sad thing is it's getting packaged in a PhD presentation, which isn't of much use to the average person. They can't read the Greek, the Greek words, you're including, they can't read the Hebrew words you're including, and the footnotes at three point font and whatever you, you know, th th th th that doesn't draw people in, but what you're writing, what these Bible arguments are, they're brilliant. What if we could package these in a Bible study that any lay person could read. And so that really a discussion in the library somewhere in , uh , 2004 to 2008 range, somewhere in there, it started those seeds of what if we would make Bible studies that go through the books of the Bible, and essentially are a form of a Bible argument. We're simply following what the biblical author is saying and learning how the books fit together. And then furthermore learning how we book fits into the overall story of scripture. And so with Vanessa talking about learning theory and how we want to present material so that it can be retained. And with Jonathan helping me to understand Bible arguments and , and what the biblical authors were saying, and wanting to be a contributor in this ministry. And so on some of the other conversations, all of that birthed the idea of writing Bible studies through books of the Bible. And I guess there's lots of good stuff out there. This isn't about, we're the only ones who do good stuff and so on. But I would say this, that I kind to buy one of every Bible study before we ever wrote, and to see what was out there. And primarily a Bible study today is taking the biblical text and moving it forward into today's context. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to take the Bible students and move them backwards into the ancient context, because in the ancient context, we can get the correct meaning. And once we have the right meaning, meaning travels across time and space, but context doesn't. And , and so that was part of the formation, what I was dating Vanessa and talking to her about education and so on and steadying with Jonathan in the past, and understanding how important these Bible arguments are, all of that birth , the idea of writing Bible studies through books in the Bible.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha . And you're clearly not, you haven't been through all 66 yet. You've got a handful and going, so this is a ministry that can last a lifetime.

Speaker 2:

We really developed a 300 year plan, and it will be up to several generations past us to finish. But , uh, yeah, we've , uh, we've got started. We have five books done. We've also been working on some other things that , that, that play into this, but , uh , five books and hope to continue writing and producing more , uh, more

Speaker 1:

Well that's , that's a great segue because somewhere over the course of time, you have spent a lot of your energy focusing on technology, right. And app, because you realize I'm putting words in your mouth and you can back back up and, and fix what I'm saying, but you realize the reach. And when you print something, it only goes into somebody's hand. Right. But when you do technology, it can go to the world and your reaches a lot wider using an app. But somewhere along the way, you develop the Bible map timeline. And I would say that is the ministry of soccer script at this point. Um, but tell us a little bit about that. What birth that, how did you go from wanting to print books into the bottle map timeline, and talk a little bit about that

Speaker 2:

Before we started Sacra script, we worked on a lot of plans. We didn't just kind of start. And so there were a couple of criteria that I thought would be good. We want it to right in the ancient context, so that work could be translated. So everything we've done, we wanted to be able to translate. Another thing that we saw involved in a lot of different ministries is ministries. Often, if you tie yourself to a certain media that you often get tied to that media, and that's what that ministry is , this is a book ministry, or this is our , whatever our radio ministry or something. And we didn't want to do that. So our goal was always to be in digital and in print. So we want it to be in multiple languages, and we want it to be in multiple media formats. That was in our introduction from the very beginning. And so we originally thought when we started soccer script in , uh, October 31st, 2008, on the 491st anniversary of Luther posting his 95 theses with the goal of those first nine years, trying to finish the 27 new Testament books. Uh , we got five done, only three of them from the new Testament , uh , to old Testament books. Uh , so we didn't quite do that, but , uh , certainly those dates were important and the historical significance of all that. Um, but , uh, the goal from the beginning was to do , do both a digital version and, and a , a printed version. And then whatever made the most sense in some places, one works better than the other, et cetera, et cetera. So , uh, w w we thought at back in 2008, that what we were going to end up creating was elaborate sort of educational websites that, that would pre present the material and you could interact and so on and so forth. What happened in time is that sort of the app world was launched. And so we created our first app, which was our glaciers Bible study , uh , in December of 2012. And so , uh, we had software that included the ability to make an app. And so we kind of made it knowing we could sort of do it for free. It took our time, but it didn't take us buying other things. And it did fine. We continued to sell a Galatians and the digital version every month and people were interested in so on. And , and, and that was all going great. In the summer of 2013, apple , uh, celebrated the five-year anniversary of the apple app store. And we were part of a few different developer groups, Christian developer groups, and so on. And there was some emails sent out. Maybe we should , per app on sale. Apple is going to make this big deal about five years with the app store and so on. And so us along with a bunch of other apps, many apps, so we wanted to make our app available for free. So in the middle of July of 2013, on a Friday afternoon, our app was going to be free from Friday afternoon, till Sunday night in celebration of this big five-year anniversary. What I didn't know at the time was someone had downloaded our app in English. Uh, our Bible study through the book of Galatians, which in print is about 220 pages and it's full color. So there's a lot of stuff going on and things you can zoom in on and timelines that Slade and Soyuz native Sonia , it wasn't just text on a page. Um , but they downloaded it in English. They happen to live in China and they had done a review of it in Chinese. Um, which later I got to see, but couldn't read , um, it appears that it was favorable. And so that review got posted. I believe the Thursday before our app went free on Friday. And in those two and a half, three days, we had almost whatever , 7,800 downloads from China alone , um, of our app again in English. And so I had traveled a lot. I continue to travel and speak, but our , our digital app could travel a lot faster than I could. And it could meet a lot of needs. When you talk about a place like China, there's lots of challenges there. For example, printing, even if you can get books printed, there, it's a huge country, and it's not that easy to get everywhere. And that's not to mention anything about, is it the kind of material that you want to get caught with, or are there challenges with owning that type of material and so on? And so all that to say is our app began to, to show us that that was a , that was a wonderful way to, to reach broadly. Uh , since that time, our app's been downloaded in over 115 , 120 countries around the world. And , uh, uh, we've been able to develop a bunch of different things. One of them, you, you, you brought to a , uh , you already brought up and again, it's a tip of the hat to my wife, who we talked about, how could we use a tablet? They're incredibly powerful, these, these tablets and iPads and Samsung tablets and so on. How could we use that , that power to help study and learn the Bible. And again, you know, my wife was always in the morning interactive, you got to interact with information, which helps your brain learn it. You don't just want to hear it. You want to see it if possible, you want to smell it right? You, you, you want to interact. And so what do we, how do we make the Bible interactive? Obviously there's lots of Bible apps out there and you can read and change the translation. You can take notes and highlight and all that. But we had worked so much with contexts that our books have a lot of maps in it and the timelines, and we got this idea. Could we make a map that covers everything in scripture? Could we make a timeline that covers all the time and scripture and tie them together so that when you move the timeline, the map changes to show you whatever's relevant to that point in time, and then putting information on there and that birth , what we simply called the Bible map timeline. We've never really come up with a name , um , more of a description, but it simply gives an interactive map that you can zoom in and out and change from map Buda , satellite view and so on and a timeline. And in there we have all the profits and we have all the cages and we have all the patriarchs and we have all the judges and we have Jesus' ministry and Paul's ministry. And it interacts with the Bibles that you can be reading the Bible and jump to Nazareth so that you know where Nazareth is. Or you can be reading the Bible and jump to Samuel because you want to be reminded of who Samuel again, and what role did he play and so on. And so it's this interaction between the Bible and space, a map and time being the timeline, and they all kind of fit together.

Speaker 1:

No, it's beautiful. If you're listening to this podcast, watching this, and you've never experienced it, you go download the app. Um , it is an in-app purchase, but I believe you also have a , um, like a sample or something for somebody to accept .

Speaker 2:

You give away the life of Paul so that you can download the app and play with the life of Paul. And you can see how it works. And then if you make the purchase, you get the whole Bible, but you get the life of Paul for free .

Speaker 1:

You can play with it . It's worth it, no matter what the price is, it's worth it. I promised I'm going to ask you a question and it may not even be a good question. I hope you make it into a good answer. And that is, tell me a little bit about the great commission and SAC prescript , or like, what is your, what, what, what's your passion? I know your passion is , is teaching. God gave you that gift, but , um, you know, what , what, what, how do you feel like you're fulfilling that role? Or are you fulfilling your role as a, as a teacher? Explain that a little bit for me.

Speaker 2:

Well, James says that if you're a teacher of God's word, you're going to be held to a higher standard. And so that weighs heavily on me because that's what I do. I do that locally. And then some of the things are written and recorded. And so it, it goes on more broadly than that. And so there's some responsibility there. And Jesus says in Matthew 28, after three years of discipling his followers, his disciples, primarily them not understanding , uh , and failing when he's asked them to try. And so when we see more failure really than success, after three years of this training, this is following Jesus , uh , around the countryside and through all his travels and journeys, Jesus says to them go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always to the very end of the age. And I remember studying and doing some thinking about that. And so Jesus says a disciple is simply a learner. And so God says, Jesus says, go and make disciples, make people, learners, teach them right. Teaching them to obey everything. And , and that's, that's weighed on me because I'm going to be held to account. Did I teach every well? Like , what is everything? Is that Genesis to revelation? Is that everything that's in red? I mean, what , what, what's everything? What , what , what , what does everything look like? And , uh, so I I've thought a lot about that, that , that I can't just teach my favorites or to teach the , the books that I'm most attracted to in some of the harder books to leave those and so on. Uh, th th th creating a follower of Jesus, isn't merely introducing them to the Bible though. It's introduced them to the Bible. It's not merely overviewing the old Testament for the new Testament, although it might include overviewing the whole time, nothing wrong with those things, but it's teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And so the whole thrust of the new Testament is , is on the growing and maturing of the believer, teach them everything. Don't just say, oh, I said a prayer. I walked out of wa and I'll , you know, I feel better card or whatever. And I'm there, it's this idea of growth and development and maturity and where that isn't happening. The book of Hebrews in the book of first Corinthians, there's this admonishment you guys. I mean, you're, you're still drinking milk. It's kind of the, the insulin. You're a bunch of spiritual babies. And so teaching them to obey everything is something that I started to do some research on as someone who studies historical theology, I asked the simple question, how has the church taught everything, teach them to obey everything I've commanded you in the past. And there's been a variety of things. Catechisms have often been an attempt to teach all that Christianity is, or all the theology behind it are all the beliefs. Um, uh, John Calvin in his institutes, he really was trying to articulate the whole breadth of Christianity. It's an attempt to teach them everything. And so that, that was , uh , very influential. And some of the experiences I had in places like Vietnam and other foreign places that I'd serve, where pastors ask questions along the lines of how do we put this all together and give it to our parishioners? You know, not everyone can go to seminary and study for years and years and do it that way. So how do we do this? And so one of the things we wanted to create before Sacra script even existed was I wanted to answer the question, how are we going to teach them everything? And so I , uh, had this idea of creating a course, a series that I simply called Christianity. And it's an attempt to get your arms around everything. It's an attempt at everything. And so , uh, that particular series has four modules and each module is 10 lessons. So it's a 40 lessons series. The idea if it's being used in a church is you kind of do one in the fall, one in the spring, one in the fall, one in the spring, it kind of takes two years. The idea is it's supposed to be slow. It's not supposed to be fast and it's supposed to get your arms around everything. So the way we divided that up was there's, there's two majors things. There's believing Christian life having the right beliefs or theology. And then there's the practical implications of those beliefs, the practice side. And so two modules help to articulate Christian belief and then to argue , uh, modules help to articulate Christian practice, how those beliefs affect how we behave. So beliefs and behaviors makes up the 40 lessons series. And that's just one thing of trying to realize that disciple-making is teaching them, everything, everything that God has said, everything that God has explained. And so that's an ongoing work that we want to do, help support the church locally and globally in being able to teach broadly, teach deeply that all of Christianity

Speaker 1:

And that Christianity series is on your website and on

Speaker 2:

The app or on the app as well. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Another, another great tool for sure. Right ? Here's a tough question, especially with your 300 year , um , um, roadmap for your ministry. Um, one day Rome , won't be here. Hopefully there'll be a trumpet sound when you leave, but just in case there's not, and it's a car crash or something. What if you could pick your replacement, if Sachar script is going to go on further and it doesn't involve you and you were, if God allowed you to pick your successor, what are some traits that are must haves of , you would just say, yeah, you're not going to make it, or you're not going to fit our model. If you don't share these top handful of character traits,

Speaker 2:

Never really thought about that. I've always tried to make, cause I didn't want to build the ministry around me and my name and so on. The hope is that just like in our writings, multiple people participate in putting the materials together that multiple people could keep it moving on. But I think there's people who know about the Bible. There's people who know a lot about the Bible, but I think you've got to have a love that this isn't a job. That's the person who needs it . It can't be, yeah, I'm good at it, but that's great. I mean, it's good. If you're good at it, it can't be hats. It's fun. I like these eight things and this is one of them. It's not that either. It's that, there's the recognition. There's some profound passages that Hebrews chapter one, that through Christ through his word, he is sustaining all things. And so what I would want is someone who believes that, that literally it is the words of God who spoke us into existence. And it is the word of Christ that it is sustaining us, why I'm alive right now. And haven't had the car crash demise or whatever it might be is because Christ has spoken itself. Not because my time hasn't come, or I got that lucky at that intersection where the guy around the redneck , none of that it's that we literally live the spoken words of Christ, that all things were spoken into existence, and then all the things are sustained. And so it would be that belief that, that, that love of God's word that , um, dependence on God's word, anything beyond, that's fine. It's not about tall or short. It's not about leadership quality and none of those matter it's about recognition that it's the word of God. That is the final source of truth. And , uh , it , it would be my hope and my prayer would be that it would be more than one that would be many and that , and that materials could go. I, I honestly hope that, you know, the ministry grows in other languages beyond the bounds of what we do in English. And so maybe it's someone from a far away place speaking another , uh , another language that , that, that does that, but that would be, that would be at the core .

Speaker 1:

I love it. Thank you so much for taking time today. I, we, we go on forever, but I want to encourage everybody to go sacrum script's website, go download the app. And you're going to see a lot of the things that Rome's been talking about. So , uh , Ron , thanks. And I'd like to end in a prayer if that's okay with you , God, Lord, you are an awesome father, Lord full of good gifts, grace, mercy, and love Lord. We , uh, we're grateful to know that you and only you, that our home set are, are in control of all things. Or we thank you for Rome, how you have built him uniquely and walk beside him and beforehand helping shape him into the man father and teacher that he is. Lord. We thank you for the grace that you've shown him , um, or be thank you for giving him a passion to let the world know about your son and his redemptive power, or to ask you to continue blessing Rome . In fact , rescript , we ask that you grow this ministry , uh , now that Rome can rest and retire Lord, but that your son's name be glorified around the globe. That those who listened to his teachings will know more about you, your plans and your son, Lord, show yourself mightily to use the hands and words of this ministry to expose your truth in a world of lies, false teachings, and those just living in darkness. Lord, I pray for a provision for this ministry as they continue to produce Bible teaching content, Lord bless him with new faithful donors , um , who can help fund this important work or we love you. And we thank you for first loving us Lord, it's in your precious name that sends the hand and we pray. Amen. Amen brother. Thank you so much for taking the time. And , uh, I have the joy of knowing you and , uh, I get to continue even after this video stops of rubbing elbows with you and it's a pleasure.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thanks for having me , Todd . No worries.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible] .