Our guest today, Jordan McGaughey, shares of the struggles, adventures, and joys of doing ministry on a small island in the West Indies known as St. Kitts. Due to God’s prompting and call, he left with his family from their small town in Indiana to go and equip the church in St. Kitts to spread the Gospel.
Jordan regularly meets with the churches there to teach and encourage them in how to reach out to the lost and broken people that they encounter on a daily basis. In this episode, he shares his dream and vision of what he wants to see God do in St. Kitts.
What we talked about
Getting to know Jordan McGaughey
Can you tell us a little about your family?
Growing up in a small town in Indiana, Jordan met the girl of his dreams, Kristen, at the age of 14 years old. After dating for six years, the couple married in 2005, and they now have four children with a fifth on the way. Living as a family on the mission field can be chaotic at some points, but they also experience much joy and fun together.
What is it like raising kids on the mission field?
After moving to St. Kitts with his family in obedience to God’s calling, Jordan realized just how difficult it is to raise a family while working in missions. Although his children are very resilient, they still had to learn to adjust with all of the changes in culture, distance from family members, and everything else that comes with living in a foreign country. Through all of the struggles and transitions, God showed Himself in the lives of Jordan’s children, which was a joy for him to see.
What is your current living situation like in St. Kitts?
In St. Kitts, the area is pretty developed, and his needs are easily met as well as having access to electricity, internet, 4G cell service, and nice roads to drive on with his car that he owns. Sometimes, the town experiences power outages as well as water shortages (which occur due to the fact that the island is so small making it hard to access water), but for the most part, the town doesn’t present too many difficulties for his family, and not much is different from home other than the culture.
How do you get around when you return to the US?
Jordan’s church back in Indiana, Horizon Church Fellowship, continually supports and aids him and his family whenever they return to the States. They have a missions van that they give to him as a form of transportation and speak encouragingly to him when he and his family come back to Indiana, and the family stays in close proximity to both the Church family as well as their actual family, which Jordan states is a huge blessing.
Meaningful quote or Scripture
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Can you share a story of a challenge or failure that you’ve faced? And how did you deal with that challenging time?
During the first year in St. Kitts, Jordan and his family faced a daunting year filled with a ministry that didn’t take shape, marital struggles, failure, and learning to live in a new concept of time. Not only that, but this rough year had been preceded by another difficult season. They had closed on their house only two days before moving to the island, and getting to the place they dreamed about did not relieve them of the concerns that they carried. Rather than being a glorious experience, the transition was a frustrating one. Through all of it, they had to learn the pace of the island and how to “Rush slowly.”
In order to face the time of struggle, Jordan and his wife Kristen compiled a list of the things God had promised them through His Word and through encouragement of others. They frequently read the list in order to remind themselves that God had indeed called them to serve there. God used that season in Jordan’s life to humiliate him and teach him that he could not change anything through his own strength, but only with God by his side could change come to St. Kitts.
Engaging Missions Leadership MInute
Scott McClelland of FX Missions shares about the need to take responsibility for failure as well as success. Listen to discover what happened during some missions training exercises and what you can do if you have failed similarly.
If you have a question about leadership that you’d like to have answered on the show, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the ministry
How did you transition from being a youth pastor and teacher to being a missionary?
While serving as a junior high youth pastor at his local church, Jordan had the opportunity to serve alongside his best friend, Brandon Grayson, who led the high school ministry. In 2011, Brandon decided that he wanted to take the youth group on a missions trip to St. Kitts after getting to know a man at the church that grew up there (ironically Brandon became friends with this man after an altercation during a basketball game).
Jordan decided he would go with Brandon on that trip, having no idea how much change the trip would bring, not just in his heart but also his entire life. Once he, Brandon, and the youth arrived on the island, God began “downloading” ideas in Jordan’s heart of seeing the Gospel catch fire all across the West Indies, and the thought burdened him greatly.
Although there were plenty of Christians on the island, the believers there did not take much action to reach the lost. Even after the trip, the burden in his heart became heavier and heavier over the next few years, and no matter how strongly Jordan tried to push it away, God would bring it back to the forefront.
There came a point at which Jordan could no longer ignore God’s prompting, so he went and spoke with his pastor, who completely supported him. With the church behind him in full encouragement and God in front of him leading the way, he and his family began their journey to St. Kitts so that the Gospel might catch fire there.
What were some new skills that you needed to gain before going to St. Kitts?
Jordan and his wife had the privilege of being mentored by a man named Troy Cooper (who was a previous guest on Engaging Missions) in church planting, discipling, and other things of that nature. While preparing to go to St. Kitts, Jordan and his wife had to learn how to start a ministry from scratch, since the place they were going to was “unplowed ground” in a way. Rather than simply sitting under a leader and working in a ministry that was already founded and flourishing, they had to act simply from the vision that God had given them and build from there.
What is your ministry?
Jordan’s ministry primarily focuses on equipping church leaders and believers alike to go out and reach the lost people of their towns. He would love to see the church there become more efficient in discipleship and outreach so that the Truth of God may be spread throughout the island.
As the church sits back and does nothing, other religious groups are making an effort to tell others of their ideas and beliefs, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In order to combat that, Jordan meets with local churches to train them in how to spread the Gospel more effectively, and training usually comes in the forms of Bible studies, meetings, and similar methods.
What passion fuels you to do this ministry?
During all of the hard times and moments of struggle, Jordan continues to push through because of the passion for seeing people “get it” and for seeing people become motivated to share the gospel with the lost, broken, and dying people who need to know that there is a God who wants relationship with them. He is also motivated by the dream that God has given him to see the entire island hear of the Gospel in the next two years.
More than either of those catalysts, though, is the thought that God is worthy of Jordan’s service, no matter how challenging that service may seem. And according to Jordan, Jesus’s call is so simple: Make disciples, love others, teach them, and point them to the One who gave it all.
What is a typical day of ministry like for you?
Being in ministry, especially on the mission field, tends to center around flexibility and variety in how things operate. Jordan faces this in his ministry, but although no day is exactly the same, Jordan has certain ways to reach the lost in his community. Some days, he and his team will meet up with local churches and pastors in order to teach, motivate, and equip them to go out, seek the lost, and share the Good News that Jesus is Lord.
Another part of the ministry includes going to a juvenile detention center and conducting bible studies there with them, as well as doing prayer walks on the island. Due to the relaxed culture of the island, Jordan has been able to spend more time at home with his wife and kids, helping out around the house, and simply serving his family. His basic description of the ministry is hanging out with Jesus and meeting with people.
Focus on YOU, the listener
How would you encourage people in the marketplace who may feel like they aren’t doing anything for the Kingdom?
“This is how He moves; this is how He reaches people: He sticks us, His redeemed, into the lives and into the situations of lost people so that we can be the voice…”
“God has given you guys a platform to reach more lost people than your pastor will ever reach.”
What advice would you give as a first step into active ministry in the market place?
“Start praying for your workplace people by name.”
What would you say to someone who is meeting more and more people in the marketplace who are of different faiths or from countries usually “designated” for missionaries?
“You have neighbors who miss home...and they love talking about home. It’s a great way to form relationships with your neighbors!”
Do you have any internet resources you would like to suggest?
Do you have any book suggestions?
Do you have any parting advice for our listeners?
“Life is a thousand miles an hour, but there is a King who wants to meet with us.”
What is your contact information so that our listeners can have a chance to contact you?
Questions, Topics, and Times
- [00:27] – Introduction to Jordan McGaughey
- [01:05] – Getting to know about Jordan’s family
- [02:54] – The difficulties and experiences of raising kids on the mission field
- [04:55] – The current living situation in St. Kitts
- [07:06] – Finding joy in missionary vans and much-needed support
- [08:38] – Meaningful Scripture or quote
- [10:32] – Facing transition head-on and rushing slowly
- [13:15] – How did you get through that difficult season?
- [15:23] – Engaging Missions Leadership Minute
- [18:09] – Transitioning from teacher to missionary
- [22:14] – What new skills did you need before leaving for St. Kitts?
- [24:32] – Motivating the Church to engage the lost
- [28:11] – What is the passion that fuels you?
- [30:56] – Walking through a typical day of ministry
- [33:20] – Encouraging marketplace missionaries facing “ordinary” life
- [35:58] – Advice for workplace ministry
- [38:03] – Encountering other cultures right at home
- [41:11] – Suggested internet resource and books to read
- [44:39] – Parting advice
- [46:01] – Contact info
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