Hey friends, Brent from Dei Dox here. Lately I have been thinking about how I’m spending my time. As we settle into rhythms of life – or, as we settle into new rhythms dictated by changing circumstances – am I open to God redirecting my path? I have come to believe that in many places my desire to take “the right steps” led to me to taking on more than He asked.
If you’re willing, may I propose a few questions for you to ask God with me…
Lord, would you guide my time and how I spend it? Where have I tried to be faithful but then I went further than what You know is good? And, in my time, where have I not tried to be faithful yet? God, I give you all my best plans.
Open my eyes to see Your best ways, and redirect my steps into the places you wish.
Help me to find rest in these best places, in You, Lord.
Last week I received a notification on my phone that it was 15 years ago to the day when we started filming our first Deidox documentary project. The production was in New York, following a teacher named Lindsay around for 5 days as we developed a new style of documentary that was short, told a story with voice-over, and integrated rich faith. (A little trivia: This was actually the first video to ever be filmed on a DSLR photography camera, thanks to our friend Nate who saw the future before camera manufacturers even knew about it. Since crowds didn’t know a still camera was shooting video we were able to get images beyond the norm. Amazing process and resulting mini-doc, here.)
In 2007, when Deidox launched we set a vision for the organization:
To help the church reflect Christ and redeem culture.
“Redeem culture?” How? We had no idea, but our theory was that if we could tell stories of how God was at work then it would be a special start. Over the next decade we produced several dozen short films, used largely by pastors in the middle of their sermons, but then also released on YouTube, Amazon, and more.
Throughout the first 15 years we were what I would consider “bi-vocational.” We occasionally had budgets donated so we could tell stories with Deidox, but we primarily paid our bills doing outside marketing work for clients. The irony was that people would look at our media and assume we were a large organization with a lot of funding because our skills were in media creation. Our level of productions made us look so well put together, but those on the inside knew that every year was a miracle! Over our entire history we’ve been a nimble and scrappy group of artists doing our best to be faithful with what we’ve been given. And, praise be to God that He used the projects in so many special ways. One example is below if you want to skip ahead…
NEW MOMENTUM AT DEIDOX
Then, as you may recall, 10 months ago a significant shift happened at our ministry. I committed to become the first full-time executive director of the ministry. We knew we had enough for one month of expenses, I closed my for-profit business down, volunteers started coming alongside, we somehow hired some part-timers, and I have been working ever since to discern and take faithful steps into what this next season of Deidox could be.
What a year it has been – It feels very much like God is birthing something new, something that the world has not seen before. 2023 has been a year of laying a foundation. Over the next few months I look forward to being able to start sharing what that foundation is and what we’re headed towards in the next year.
It’s uncharted territory, and it’s exciting.
THIS MONTH’S RECAP
It’s a lot of work laying a foundation for new ministry and vision. As I go through my days, I sometimes wish we had a full nonprofit office with all the departments, but I also smile to see what God has provided through taking the next faithful steps: We are now a group of around 10 to 15, with a few part-timers and even more volunteers – aligned in heart and by the Holy Spirit, taking steps that are beyond what I ever thought I would be working on.
Here’s a recap of some highlights from the past month:
- Free Burma Rangers outreach campaign launched, and a technology foundation was laid for releasing future projects.
- We filmed in Dallas for the Francis Chan documentary.
- We filmed a few days on a yet-to-be announced future feature film.
- Volunteers worked on four episodes for the upcoming Miraculous audio documentary series.
- A volunteer hosted a “Deidox Artist Gathering” on zoom to encourage artists.
- 8 Meetings with partners and potential partners, sharing vision and needs.
- 10 Meetings with artists to shepherd, creatively support, and pray for.
- 12 Prayer meetings held (!) around the ministry and what’s next.
- Ministry successfully transitioned onto our new donor-relationship tech platform. Such an undertaking, and we’re thrilled about the result. Our supporters should start to see the positive impacts very soon!
- Faithful steps forward/shepherding 7 media projects.
- Prayer & Strategy Day to outline a 2024 Vision for Deidox. It’s encouraging.
IN CLOSING, A STORY
As we wrap this newsletter up, I think of a question I’ve been wrestling with this year – How do you scale a ministry like Deidox? Though this is a normal ministry and business question, it hasn’t sat right with me. I think the question of how to scale is incomplete. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean it’s where the Lord wants us to go.
I believe the better question is, how can we scale faithfulness?
With this in mind, here’s an email we received in September which I think gets to the heart of the matter. We received the message in response to the FBR outreach screenings:
What an amazing example of how the Holy Spirit used a story, and the support of many of you, to increase faith and minister to thousands of others. (I wonder how much faith they then inspired in those thousands! How far did the “ripples” go?) God used a story of His work to inspire a family, so that they might keep going in faithfulness to Him.
Stories scale faithfulness. More about this idea in the coming months, Lord willing, because our culture is desperate for a new narrative.
Thank you again for being our partners on this journey as we all do our best to be faithful to the Lord on this pilgrimage into the Promised Land!
God’s stories & God’s glory,
P.S. Thank you all so much for your generous partnership this year. I am incredibly grateful for your financial giving, prayers and encouragement as my family and I have transitioned into full-time ministry. As you can probably imagine there are many expenses in running a nonprofit ministry of media missionaries. If you feel led, make a donation today to help us meet the remaining need: