The Journey Begins

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    150 150 Strip Church
    When I formed Lace Ministries six years ago, I never imagined where it would lead. I pictured a little “hobby ministry” that included one little mom-and-pop club in rural San Angelo, Texas. I felt inadequate, yet knew God had called me, and I was eager to learn all that I could.

    My official first step as an infant ministry was to join Strip Church Network. It was a no-brainer since I had been using the blog posts on the website for two years as research materials for my graduate studies, each paper reinforced the desire that God had placed in me. Once joined, I dove in head first, relying on the Network for resources, friendship, knowledge, and support. I have always wondered how people engage in strip club ministry without a support system such as this!

    Then the ministry grew. And grew again. And again. Before we knew it, we were in Mexico ministering inside a cartel-driven brothel frequented by American men. During all that growth, I took the plunge and quit my cushy little day job in favor of the uncertainty provided by full-time ministry. It was crazy scary, but I knew God had a plan and this was part of it. However, I never knew how broad God’s plan was until Michelle approached me about taking Strip Church and leading the network. I knew the answer immediately, but I also knew I had to pray about it. In that moment, and in those I spent praying, I realized that this had been part of God’s plan all along.

    It blows me away.

    If I can be vulnerable for a moment, the truth is I feel intimidated to step into Michelle’s shoes. I always believed her to be the perfect leader, someone I to aspire to be. I never knew that aspiration would eventually lead me to placing my feet in her very footprints. And today, as I stand here before you (although figuratively), I feel as if my little child-like feet are swallowed by the magnitude of the grown-up footprints she left behind. But God is so good, and at the same time He reminds me that I am not Michelle, and I will take the path that she started and carry it in new directions — not because I am so great, but because that is what He has ordained.

    I don’t know how to communicate the honor I feel at being given this opportunity with Strip Church, and I thank everyone for the trust they are placing in me. Here’s to a new journey! — Jaz James
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