David: The Surrendered Life
“Before I came to Extreme, I didn’t know that God would ever want me to preach, nor that He could ever use me to preach. Now it just burns on my heart to share the things that He speaks in the private place and about just what His Word really says.”
At the height of an extremely successful musical career in the Christian metal band For Today, God called David Morrison to leave it all behind to serve as a 40/40 in South America. Talk about something that didn’t make any sense at the time, but David had already resolved in his heart that he would follow Christ wherever He would lead. Saying “yes” to that call has truly been a life-changing experience, both for David and for the people in Ambato. God has used his passion and his surrendered heart to call many who did not know Christ to follow Him with that same fire and dedication, and it is reflected clearly in the lives and leadership of his disciples.
David’s role on the church planting team has spanned many different genres of responsibility, from worship leader, to Bible Study teacher, to accountant. He is known and respected not only for his level of responsibility, but also for the natural leadership he brings in every situation. Although he is a very capable leader, it is impressive how he describes his experience working on a team: “I’ve been learning submission to leadership, because amongst our team we have seven powerful leaders and all sorts of different dynamics. Some of us share very similar gifts and strengths in leadership and some of us have very different gifts. So when we arrive to those points where any one of us could go up there and preach and really release a powerful word, it’s about just learning to submit to whatever the Lord wants to do then.”
About these past two years of ministry, David talks about how the parable of the sower really became vibrant in his life, and how he could see the different types of results that Jesus talked about. The Ambato team has sown many seeds through evangelism events, personal conversations, visits, short-term teams, and Bible studies, and people have reacted in a variety of ways. Some don’t respond, some respond very quickly but have no root, some are divided in their loyalty, and some truly take hold of the Gospel and grow. “I think all of us could look at the people in our church that are really getting it and you see all the people they bring to Encounters, to cell groups, to youth service, to Sunday service, etc. Those people that are really getting it are multiplying so many times over and over and over again. We’re looking for that fertile soil.” The team has seen powerful miracles of healing and provision, that haven’t been as much of a surprise as they have been “great gains” and “joyous testimonies.” Many of David’s disciples readily testify of the incredible ways that God has touched and transformed their lives.
One such disciple is Yesenia, whose radical decision to follow Christ is truly inspiring and challenging. When asked what surprises David has had in this time in Ambato, he said, “A big surprise would be having a youth leader who used to struggle with homosexuality, Satanism, and drug addiction, and a year and a half later is now a fireball for the Kingdom. I love that. I think that God will continue to use her testimony and her strengths and the radical decisions that she took to leave all those things behind to glorify His Kingdom.”
What has been a challenge for David in this transition time? “It has been a challenge to consciously seek people out to really tell them what they mean to you and not just assume that everyone knows that you love them and that you’re proud of them, that they’re doing well and that you see great things in them.” That’s a great challenge for all of us as we learn to not only coexist with other Christians, but to lead, disciple, and be discipled.
After a stint traveling around South America, the Middle East, and possibly Asia, David will move to Boise, Idaho in July to become the Boise Mobilization Manager for Extreme. “This will have myself and our team traveling around the States preaching at churches, college groups, young adult groups and youth camps about what God is doing in South America and how people can get involved by going, giving, and praying.”
David is excited, both about how the leaders in the Ambato church are stepping into their roles, but also about his next step with Extreme. “I heard our new worship leader and our youth leader sharing ideas that they have for after we leave in how to reach more teens and how to pack out the church for youth service. Now they have all the cards in their hands and they’re playing them well. It’s exciting. And I’m really excited to preach! God’s just put a whole bunch of messages and themes in me that have just been burning in my heart over the last couple years. I’m super excited about the next step in life.”
David’s challenge to all of us is to prioritize the secret place with the Lord. “Seek the Lord purposefully so that He can produce the fruit in your life that He has destined you to produce.” David leads the example of the surrendered life and what is possible when a life is intimately planted in love for Christ.
Please pray for David as he continues on with Extreme and calls others to deny themselves and follow the call to step up and be radical followers of Christ.