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Here we go

“Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.”
~Kermit the Frog

We’ve got a mess in the living room. Right here in the middle of the beach cottage, we’ve got a pile of boxes tilting this way and that, splayed all over the small space we call home. It’s controlled chaos of the best possible kind. Lists of to-do’s piled on the kitchen counters, on dresser tops, even in bathrooms. Lists piled up in our heads, chock-full of reminders: don’t-forgets, got-to-remembers, and very-importants. And they just keep growing.

We’re moving out of the country.

Yeah, that’s right. We are doing that thing, that somewhat fearful, often mysterious thing which many of us hear about during missionary week and think, “Crazy!”. Now we’re the ones packing our worldly goods into storage, throwing some stuff into suitcases, and heading for points south. We’ve been called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Costa Rica.

Somehow, however, when it’s YOU, a bold step of faith into the mission field can lose some of the wow factor.

It feels overwhelming. Unknown. A bit daunting. Kind of scary. And quite exciting.

We’ve always believed in the Great Commission. Those words which our Lord spoke about going to the ends of the earth just before He ascended have been lodged firm in our hearts from the time we were kids. We’ve also had a passion for the nations planted deep from our exposure to our parents’ and grandparents’ lives of faith. From their perspective, and from what they’ve taught their kids and grandkids, it’s just how a Jesus-disciple learns to roll. Going forth.

So from day one, we’ve been a family sold out to the idea of going and sending. We’ve gone out as a family to serve and share the Good News, and we’ve sent our teenaged and young adult kids all around the globe to do the same. We’ve been financial backers, intercessors, letter writers and home-front cheerleaders for many folks we know and love who have taken up the call and gone out to share the message of hope.

All the while, Jesus has taught us how to serve here at home. We’ve plugged in and plugged away, working and learning what it means to love on folks. While Chris has been juggling a full-time business with the joy of worship leading, training, and mentoring young men and dads and husbands, Tiffany has been teaching, blogging, discipling, nurturing. Together, we’ve led groups, taught groups, served on boards for groups and just in general made God’s people the focus of our lives. It’s been a delight. A challenge. It’s been our calling and purpose for the past twenty-six years.

But when we felt the shift – when we sat across the table from Steve and Judi Hertzog and shared visions and watched spiritual fireworks go off – and we knew that a change was coming down the pike, it just made sense. God’s on the move in Costa Rica. People are hungry for His presence, desperate to know Him. In addition, young people who love Jesus all around the globe are being stirred to dive deeper, to be trained to lead and to embrace maturity so that they too can be sent ones. So our creative and imaginative God puts together something we could not have fathomed before this. A school of ministry in Costa Rica. It’s a new thing springing straight from His heart for such a time as this. And we love it.

So now, it’s our turn. A few months back we picked up that Bible that sits next to the bed and scoured it’s well-worn pages for some wisdom on how to walk this out. We talked to folks who know, asking for their wisdom. We fasted and prayed and sought Jesus for how to do this thing right and well. The end result is, we’re stepping out in faith. No safety net, no looking back. And we know that’s the way He wants it.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he urged them to be generous. He had lavishly loved them and served them and taught them Jesus. Then he exhorted them to be generous in return. To meet the needs of the saints and to give freely to the laborer because he is worthy of his wages. Paul knew the secret: the Kingdom can never be outdone; God can never be out-given. When we sow generously, we always reap.

In three weeks we’ll close the door to this little house loaded with priceless memories and hand over the key. We’ll hop on that plane and soar into the adventure that’s been planned before the foundation of the world for us, the crazy Nesbitt clan. The truth is, we need the love, prayers, encouragement and support of the saints. We need you to be generous. Because we can’t do this without you.

There’s no way that we could ever express how much each of you means to us. Your friendship has marked us. Whether we are sharing the love of Christ in the steamy wilds of the jungle or serving folks in the grand USA, we are yours in heart and spirit. Thank you for loving us well. We’re so grateful to have you on our side!

 

Called to Costa Rica

Originally published in Worship Leader Magazine on Oct 14, 2015.


What happens when God asks you to launch an international worship and ministry school in Costa Rica?…

You obey!

The Spirit of God is moving in this Central American nation, stoking the flames of revival and turning hearts towards Himself. We’re watching miraculous events unfold as we invite Him to come and pour out His goodness! He is healing the sick, delivering the oppressed, restoring broken relationships and calling home the prodigals.

We’re convinced now is the time, so we’re taking action. We’re building a worship and ministry school where students aren’t just taught to be revivalists, but every day they are sent out to practice it! They are bringing the Kingdom into public schools, hospitals, jails, churches and the streets, pouring out the love of Jesus in every corner of the nation.

All this is happening right now in the form of ten-day outreach trips, and the next step – ten-week long school sessions – begins in April 2016.

How It All Started

Three years ago the Lord began speaking very clearly to my wife and me about starting a school of worship.

I have to confess that I didn’t receive this word with much enthusiasm; I was confident that the world didn’t really need another worship school. In fact, there were already thousands of effective, fruitful training programs for worship leaders across the globe.

From the time I was 20, I had attended many of these schools myself, including programs led by YWAM, Bob Fitts, Chuck Girard, Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, Bethel and others. Each had value and offered excellent tools, teaching and spiritual depth which helped me to grow as a worship leader.

And there were countless others! – incredible worship schools such as Hillsong, IHOP, Toronto, MorningStar, Christ for the Nations, DLA, New Life, World Revival, Thrive, River, Elevate, Living Light and hundreds more brand-name and independent schools in nearly every state of the US and virtually every nation.

Then there’s also the problem with the vessel. I mean, who’s Chris Nesbitt, anyway, and what business does he have starting a worship school? Seems like the minimum requirement should be at least one CCLI top 10, which means I don’t qualify.

While this sounds completely tongue-in-cheek, and while I fully recognize that the Lord weighs the heart, the practical truth is that we mere humans weigh everything else. Case in point, it was a familiar name that drew me to the worship schools I’ve attended. Why should it be any different for others?

Begging your pardon, Lord, but isn’t this a bit superfluous?

So I responded with a somewhat obligatory, “let your will be done” which was code for: this sounds like a bad idea, and frankly, I’m not that interested.

Nevertheless, the Lord had spoken so clearly that I had to take His instruction seriously. My wife and I entered into a week of intentional prayer and fasting on the matter, concluding with us asking the Lord for a large and obvious confirmation.

About a month later, our church hosted a South African speaker with a very accurate prophetic gift. To our great surprise, she singled my wife and me out in front of our entire church with the words: “You are to start a school of worship.”

The Waiting Game

Most of us understand what it’s like to wait for the Lord to fulfill the words He has spoken. A missionary friend of mine who happens to be joining our team, Jeffrey Simons, put it like this: “God speaks a promise over us, then He grows us into it.” I can relate well, having myself received promises from the Lord which have taken 8, 15, or even 25 years to be fulfilled.

But He is always faithful. If the promise is indeed born of His Spirit, it eventually comes to pass.

In this case, it only took 18 months – a mere blink of an eye in Kingdom time, but just enough delay to get comfortable with the idea that I may not ever have to deal with it. Maybe the Lord had forgotten once He realized that it was just not a priority?

During this time, I met with my pastor and elders and submitted the whole thing to them for direction, accountability, continued confirmation, and the outside chance of passing the buck. They were unanimously supportive and essentially released me to run with it.

Run with what? Where do I start?

It was beginning to feel like everybody knew what I was supposed to do but me.

The suddenly moment arrived on December 18, 2014. I received a call from a stranger – a brother in Christ named Steve Hertzog. He and his wife Judi wanted to meet with us to share a ministry idea, having heard of us by reputation through a mutual friend.

Over lunch, the Hertzogs related that after preparing for 25 years to retire in southwestern Costa Rica, they had heard the call of God and had done an about-face, donating their private land to serve as a campus for a new school of ministry.

It was just the two of them and a vision, and they were believing God to bring ministry partners with a passion for worship and skillsets to match. We then shared what the Lord had spoken to us about a worship school, and Kingdom fireworks ignited as CRSSM began taking shape.

Since then, there’s been no looking back. Ten-day outreach trips launched in 2015 and have been met with unusual favor, as the Hertzogs, led by the Holy Spirit, have set a high standard and rapid pace for loving the lost, taking risks and expecting the supernatural with every step.

The disparity between what I thought God wanted and what He actually wanted is massive. I’ve gone from being fearful and even dreading the idea to being fully in. Truth is, I’ve never been more excited about anything in my life. This is what I was made for.

What is CRSSM?

The Costa Rica Supernatural School of Ministry is an on-location 10-week leadership training program where what you learn today will be put into practice tomorrow. We provide Christian leadership development, ministry equipping, and hands-on mission training for Spirit-filled students from around the globe.

Our mission is to produce passionate Kingdom builders while impacting the region for Christ. We’re committed to the truth that God loves people, gave Himself for them, and has given His Church supernatural power to bring individuals and nations into wholeness. It is our goal to train students to continue in the ministry style of Jesus: to enjoy the presence of God, say what He is saying and do what He is doing. We aim to create a “teach and do” culture where all of our students are expected to take risks to stretch their faith and grow in their understanding of God. The school is designed to equip students to live a supernatural lifestyle, bringing heaven to earth wherever they go.

“Our school’s focus is worship and the presence of God. We are committed to pursuing intimacy, power, passion, and God’s living Word, and experiencing an atmosphere always overflowing with the Holy Spirit.” Steve Hertzog – Founder, CRSSM

 

The School of Worship is a specific discipline built into the 10-week ministry program. Those students who are skilled and called as worship leaders will receive intentional training in the form of mentoring and discipleship, one of the distinctives of this school. Musicianship is a prerequisite, as our imperative is to mentor the heart of the worship leader and activate their ability to host God’s presence. This is done in practicum, with students receiving real-time guidance while they lead worship in small groups as well as in the larger, all-school worship sessions. As the students progress, they will also have opportunity to participate in the training of worship teams in local churches.

Academic instruction is taught by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, giving the learning experience a living perspective with a five-fold distinction. Students receive lessons from high-profile, international speakers who are anointed not just to teach but also to activate in others the anointing which they carry.

Our students are English-speaking, Spirit-filled believers from around the world. Whatever their God-given calling, they possess in common a hunger for a move of the Holy Spirit and a longing to see God’s Kingdom come to earth. We are a multigenerational school where students of all ages learn to create a culture of honor, serving one another in love. Students must be responsible, teachable and fully committed and submitted to their local church body.

As I mentioned, CRSSM also hosts short-term ministry outreach trips. These 10-day trips are for Spirit-filled believers who are mature in their faith and are operating in their spiritual gifts with boldness and humility, ready in season to bring a word, testimony, song or prophecy as Holy Spirit directs.

“Our time in Costa Rica was wild!! Each time we took a risk, God stepped up and released his Spirit!! It was amazing for our team to get caught up in God’s love for the people of this nation and to see him pour out his faithfulness!” Jamie McLeod – Director, MLSSM

 

In both the 10-day outreach trips and the 10-week school sessions, outreach emphasis is ministry to local churches, hospitals, schools, prisons and street corners, bringing salvation, healing, deliverance and prophetic ministry as the Lord leads.

Near the border of Panama on the Pacific side, CRSSM is located in the southeastern corner of Pavon Bay between Playa Zancudo and Pavones (a world-renown surf break). The campus is nestled on a hillside approximately one mile from the beach in Pilon de Pavones.

Get Involved

To date, we’re a very lean team, and we’re laying down everything and leaving behind our careers to chase after this call. But it’s not enough. We need your help, and we are asking you to consider getting involved. Our first session begins this coming April. We still have facilities to build and student enrollment to develop, formidable tasks without a marketing department or budget. But God has already opened door after amazing door:

  • He’s brought high-profile, international speakers who’ve heard God’s call and have committed to come and teach.
  • He’s given us increasing favor with a myriad of local churches throughout the region – believers hungry for revival!
  • He’s removed insurmountable obstacles for my family and others who’ve said yes to serve in this ministry.
  • He’s allowed every 10-day outreach team to witness fantastic miracles of healing and deliverance.

And now, He’s brought you!

You are His next miracle in this unfolding story, and we’re ready to celebrate with you as you jump in!

Will you help us?

Spread the word – Tell your pastor, friends, family members and community groups about CRSSM. In addition to our website, you’ll find us on most popular social media sites where you can like us, friend us, tweet us, follow us, plus us, or otherwise grassroots-grow us!

Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     Google+

Join us – Attend our 10-week school or a 10-day outreach. Apply at www.crssm.org/apply .

Donate – CRSSM is building facilities to train and disciple international students and bring workers into the heart of the harvest in Costa Rica. Visit our crowd-funding campaign at www.crssm.org/donate .

Pray – We’re looking to build an alliance of prayer warriors who will covenant with us in intercession. To join the prayer team, send an email to [email protected]

Personal support – God has completely shifted our paradigms as a family, inviting us to be ALL IN. My wife and I are leaving behind our business and careers to chase after this calling wholeheartedly. Will you send us? Visit our personal crowd-funding site at www.youcaring.com/nesbitt .

Costa Rica Supernatural School of Ministry
A call to deeper waters
www.crssm.org
[email protected]


Chris Nesbitt is a business owner, worship leader and a writer of songs, many of which have been selected for Worship Leader Magazine’s Song DISCovery. He has taught worship leaders all over the globe and, except for a few years in Franklin TN, has called San Clemente his home for 25 years. He and his wife, Tiffany, have four children and are in the throes of preparations to relocate to Costa Rica as they launch CRSSM, where Chris serves as Director of Operations. Learn more about the Nesbitt family at www.nesbitt.ws .

Update — May 2015

Greetings from the Nesbitt household! We hope this finds you thriving and well. To those who are far off, we greatly miss your faces and fellowship! To those nearby, we are thankful for the beauty of doing life with you. And to all of you… we have news to share, and we want you all to be the first to know. 🙂

 

In early 2013 the Lord began clearly speaking to us about launching a school of worship. After months of prayer, numerous prophetic experiences, and submitting the whole idea to our pastoral leadership, we entered a season of waiting on the Lord for the next steps.

 

Then, six months ago, we were introduced to a couple with a vision for starting a school of ministry in Costa Rica. Steve and Judi Hertzog had been praying for two things: a couple who would be willing to partner with them in founding and running the ministry, and a worship leader. As we, in turn, shared about a school of worship, all of us recognized the sovereignly ordained kairos moment: God was refining and expanding the vision for Costa Rica.

 

While we spent the next few months in prayer about our potential involvement, Chris drafted the business plan for the new school. In March we brought the vision before our pastors at Heritage, seeking their input and covering. Finally, we made plans to visit the proposed campus site and participate in a fledgling ministry trip on location at the beginning of May.

 

We (Chris and Tiffany) have just returned from that two-week trip, where we experienced the presence of God, clear confirmation, and an abundance of peace about both the endeavor and our role in it.

 

If the Lord wills, our inaugural school session will occur in 2016 and feature both a school of ministry and a school of worship. The school will be outreach-focused, similar in style to Harvest School of Missions in Mozambique, part of Heidi Baker’s IRIS Ministry, with which we hope to be eventually affiliated. The campus will be located in Pilon de Pavones, a tiny rural community near the bottom of Pavon Bay on the Pacific side of southern Costa Rica. The current plan is for our family to reside in Costa Rica half of each year, January through June, and in San Clemente July through December.

 

There are so many more things we could share, but for now, please know this: we covet your prayers! As we move forward, there are plenty of details that have to come together to make this feasible, including maintaining Chris’ business, schooling for Landon, housing in two locations, income, etc. We are asking the Lord even now to continue to confirm this step of faith and direct our path, and we long to be covered with the prayers of our beloved family and friends.

 

In addition, we realize that this letter may beg many more questions than it adequately answers. Chris is now building a website for the ministry which will answer almost every practical question; in the meantime, a Facebook page, which was just launched last week, provides some of the information.

 

We deeply value each of you and are so grateful for who you are in our lives. Thank you for journeying with us over the years and for believing with us as we move around the next bend of this road of faith!

 

Solei Deo gloria, The Nesbitts

 

CRSSM
Costa Rica Supernatural School of Ministry
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