BY HEATHER HYNDMAN
I met Pastor Josh Martin two months after the launch of Resonate’s very first site in Pullman. It was at a going away party for my brother, who had gotten connected to Resonate briefly before heading overseas. I visited Resonate here and there with him but was weirded out by the dark auditorium, round-table seating, and constant talk of going on mission.
When Josh found out I was a musician on the night we met, he immediately invited me to join the Resonate band. I politely declined. At the time, I was a sophomore in college who believed in Jesus and grew up in the church but was living a very selfish life. Little did I know that this new friend and this church I thought was strange would be two primary factors in shaping the trajectory of my life.
During college, I church-hopped, sneaking in and out and never letting anyone truly know me. I didn’t want anyone to see the double life I was living. I didn’t want them to know that I would claim Jesus in the right crowds, but that in reality I was chasing after all of the things the world offered – recognition that could never fulfill and relationships that would always leave me feeling empty and heartbroken.
After graduating, I was directionless and scared. I had been slowly and cautiously stepping into more community at Resonate. I finally joined a Village and began to let my guard down around other believers who wanted to share life with me and point me to Jesus. Josh Martin asked me to play in the band at a camp Resonate staffs every summer called Centrifuge. That was the week that truly changed my life as a follower of Jesus. I really don’t remember a specific sermon or conversation that had an impact, but I had a lot of time on my own that week and God used that space to speak to me in a powerful and personal way. I came home with a softened heart, finally willing to accept the grace of Jesus and move forward in obedience. I realized I trusted these people who loved me in spite of my flaws, and I trusted this Savior who invited me into a better life – one surrendered to the truth and mission of Christ.
Joining a church staff was never part of my plan. Every aspect of it terrified me, from raising support to sharing the gospel to leading any type of ministry. But it was clear that God was asking me to put trust into action and follow Him where He was leading me. I joined Resonate’s staff in 2012 and spent the next four years being part of a team of people who did whatever it took to make Jesus known among college students. In that time, I witnessed story after story of death to life transformation and the undeniable power only God possesses to redeem and restore. God stretched me repeatedly as I entered a new position on our team every year, asking me to adapt and believe again in the mission each time. He asked me to share my faith with my words and my life, across the table and across the world. He taught me that He didn't need me, but rather He was choosing to use me – in the unique ways He had created me – to have an impact for His kingdom. There is nothing more important, challenging, or fulfilling that I could have imagined doing with my early 20's.
In the midst of all of this, the man I would marry was also being radically transformed by Jesus through Resonate. Matthew and I met working at the same summer camp where my life had dramatically changed a year earlier. God was shaping both of us into people who loved Him, loved others, and desired to see those around us know Jesus. Now Matthew and I have a family of our own, and we pray the same prayer for our two children. We ask daily that God would rescue them, capture their hearts and their desires, and send them on mission for His glory. We want them to grow up surrounded by people who regularly sacrifice and serve for the sake of the gospel so that they will be drawn to do the same.
In our current season of being parents with small children, we know God has given us a unique opportunity to continue to have an impact through Resonate Church. He is not done with us, rather He used our college and post-college years to set the stage for the kind of parents we will be, the kind of neighbors, the kind of co-workers, the kind of friends. We pray that God will continue to use this church to mold us and our kids to look more like Jesus, and that His truth and grace will transform our children in the same way it has transformed us.