Why Deepening Your Faith is Critically Important

Several years ago Brandon was on a plane for Ethiopia. It was his first time on an overseas missions trip. He had been invited to go plant trees with his friend, Steve Fitch, founder of the Eden Projects. Eden had multiple reforestation sites in Ethiopia in areas stripped by generations of people using the trees to sell in the market, cook with, and heat their homes. In some areas the wildlife had left and the soil had lost its fertility. Deforestation was destroying the communities. These people had nothing but their land and no place to go to if it was taken away from them. “Although it seemed like good and necessary humanitarian work for others, it didn’t seem applicable to my faith journey as a church leader and seemed too shortsighted to hold any true eternal significance for others,” shares Brandon. On the plane he prayed and asked God to help him overcome his ignorance and blindness to this effort.

When he opened his eyes an Ethiopian man said, “Why are you going to Ethiopia?” Brandon replied, “We are planting trees.” The man then spoke something in Amharic to an elderly Ethiopian woman beside him. When he did the woman, who was his mother, began to wail and speak Amharic. Confused, Brandon asked the man what she was saying. “My mother is saying that for thirty-eight years she has been praying that God would forgive them for stripping their land and to please send someone to plant trees,” he replied. Then the woman prayed for Brandon.  In a moment, he gained a new appreciation for what it meant to offer hope through engaging need. In Ethiopia, “I saw trees planted, jobs created, schools funded and churches started. Hundreds of people were coming to faith, and entire communities were renewed with hope by the work of the gospel,” shares Brandon.

He realized his gospel was too small. “We need to consider a bigger gospel. One that builds on rather than restricts us to what we first experienced. Not only to open our eyes to God’s greater redemptive plan, but also to allow us to experience all God has in store for our lives. This will help us to see ourselves as Christ sees us, to see others as Christ sees them, and to become better stewards of the gospel,” reveals Brandon.

Brandon believes there is more to the Christian life than living Sunday to Sunday. If you are tired of living in the shallows of religion he encourage you to go deeper in your faith. Jesus spent the majority of His life teaching us to love our neighbors. He says, “We are to consider deeply how the application of what we believe impacts how others view Him and His kingdom. It’s an exchange in how we think about everything.”

The gospel’s work is not complete at salvation. That is where it begins. The gospel transforms. The true gospel changes our heart’s desire to live like Christ. It changes our perspective. A few years ago Brandon and Jen bought a hundred year old farmhouse in Buda, Texas. The house was rundown, but they could see its potential. They lived in the house during the demolition and deconstruction. At times they were without heat, water, a living room and a kitchen. The fun began when the house was restored to suit their family’s needs. Just as their house was restored the gospel also restores and makes all things new. “Living a gospel centered life is the difference between a constantly yearning faith and a consistently fulfilled faith,” shares Brandon. He says you can have a richer spiritual life just like God promised. He offers the following insight to help you develop a deeper faith:
•    A New Identity – Brandon is an unconventional church leader who rides a Harley, has tattoos, and typically hangs out with a pretty rough crowd. He says, “The old me was the broken vessel of who I was before Christ. The real me is being made new by the gospel.” It is important to remember the truth of our identity is not how others see us, but rather how God sees us.
•    A Deeper Discipleship – “Discipleship is a commitment to the lifelong journey of discovering the heart of Christ and the lifelong calling to be ambassadors of hope and love to a broken world,” reveals Brandon. For years the church has encouraged new believers to leave their secular communities and replace them with church community seven days a week. Brandon believes a complete removal from this world (friends, neighbors, and coworkers) is a mistake. Instead he believes we should use those places as mission fields. For example, at Halloween instead of having a “fall festival” in the church parking lot he and Jen decided to have a mini carnival in their front yard with bound houses and fire pits. This proved to be a great mission field to meet his neighbors and develop lasting relationships.
•    A Better Community – People are searching for connection on a deeper level. Brandon gets together with a half a dozen bikers once a month. Although only half of the guys are believers, they call it “church.” They meet in the back room of a bar to plan their next ride and decide on their next service project. He says, “There is a special kind of community with these men that he has rarely seen on the church campus.”  
•    A Closer Kingdom – When Brandon became a Christian he knew there should be more to life as a Christian than signing up for an eternal fire insurance policy. The fullness of the kingdom is understanding what God has in mind for us today.
•    A Growing Justice – When we are so in love with the idea of God’s mercy in our lives, it’s then – and only then – that we will have a true heart for justice. Engaging justice is about identifying the needs in a community then building relationships, serving, and extending dignity.

After more than 20 years of working in the local church, Brandon co-founded The Legacy Collective with Jen which focuses on partnering, pioneering, and funding sustainable solutions to systemic social issues. They are funding: sustainable housing, called microhomes, in Texas for homeless people; helping orphan prevention and economic empowerment in Ethiopia; and child trafficking rescue and prevention in Haiti.

Brandon co-starred in the HGTV and DIY Network series My Big Family Renovation and has had various guest appearances on other HGTV shows including Brother v.s. Brother and Tiny House Arrest.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Author, A Mile Wide, (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

Host and guest judge for HGTV and DIY Network:  My Big Family Renovation (reairs on DIY Network) Tiny House Arrest and Brother vs. Brother


Co-founder and CEO of the Legacy Collective

Married to author and speaker Jen for 19 years

Children: 3 biological and 2 adopted from Ethiopia


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