We'd like to introduce you to Kyle McMahon! After several months of collecting resumes, receiving filled-out questionnaires, and prayerfully discussing how it seems God is leading, Sojourn's elders are really excited about the potential partnership between Sojourn and Kyle. At this point in the process, we're putting him before you - the Sojourn family - and we're asking you to jump in and get to know Kyle.
We will be having Kyle up for an extended visit on May 16th-20th, but in the meantime, we've provided some ways for you to see who Kyle is - through some of his sermons, his writings, his social media, and his written story. As you have thoughts and questions (we'll be having a Q&A on the 16th), we've also provided a form that you can pass on those questions to us.
Kyle and his wife, Jess, are currently living in Lansing, Michigan, and here is their family story, in Kyle's words:
"As I sit here reflecting on these the past four years of my marriage to Jessica I am simply awestruck at God’s faithfulness. Ours, like many of you, is a story stretching back days, months, and years littered with hurts, healings, and one true hope. Jessica and I are cut from two very different cloths; and yet, woven together with the same true hope. So, a brief word on both of us. Jessica is a Michigan gal born and raised in the Greater Lansing area with deep roots reaching back generations in Michigan. More than geography, Jessica’s life - home and social alike - bears God’s distinct creative marks. David & Diane Hall, Jessica’s parents, faithfully displayed God’s covenant faithfulness in their collective fidelity to their God, church, and family. From the womb onward, Jessica lived in the wake of their faithfulness. At an early age Jessica choose to trust the way of Jesus modeled all around her - it is an odd thing for me to think of my best friend before she knew me and I knew her; but those moments when you see photos, watch videos, and hear stories about the person you love so dearly they only serve to draw you deeper into their story - in Jessica’s case, her story retells an account of a church family that loved her well. So much so, that the love she encountered through her youth leaders inspired her to love in kind. As Jessica would say, “this is the seasoned I owned my faith.” There was no compulsion, no coercing, just the sincere invitation to lovingly serve; and as God would have it, this is where I met Jessica, serving in youth group. You may sense a sappy moment coming; however, ours is not a sappy love story - I personally think those are marketing ploys of Hallmark - rather, ours story tells the tale of true hope.
Admittedly, that too may sound sappy but bear with me. As I said earlier, Jessica and I are not cut from the same cloth; if she was born to family faithfully displaying God’s faithfulness, mine is a bit different. I neither grew up in “churchianity” nor observed faith as a marked value for flourishing. Instead my weekends were spent in a different form of worship, sport. In a somewhat anomalous occurence I fell in love with ice hockey, this would not be odd if I, like Jessica, had deep roots in Michigan, but I grew in San Diego. Hockey and the dominant ethos therein proved to be my home away from home.
If you don’t know much about hockey culture here’s a snapshot: the more you drink, the more you sleep around, and your “toughness” defines your value and in turn your manliness. This is, of course, a gross oversimplification; but, without drawing out the nuances, hockey culture proved a challenging place for a navy brat and momma’s boy tucked into one to “find himself.” Despite the baggage, hockey opened up a path to play hockey in Michigan eventually leading to playing hockey at Michigan State where one of my teammates - a Christ follower - received a unique challenge from his mentor. The challenge was simple, be bold with one teammate and invite them to join you as you gather to hear about Jesus. For two years my teammate invited me with little to no success, but between the summer of sophomore and junior year at MSU God turned on the lights to the person and work his Son. In trust I moved toward Jesus, not really knowing what that meant, but receiving God’s invitation through Jesus not only opened up new life, it too placed me in the life of a local church, the same church that loved Jessica so well.This is, as they say, the tip of the iceberg and there is much more we could and in due time will say; but what I love about our story is that our hope is not in one another, it’s not in the church, or our family, our hope is rooted in the God who calls us his own in Christ Jesus. We are both people with past hurts walking through processes of healing but we don’t do so as those without hope."
Kyle preached often in his previous role as MSU Venue Director at Riverview Church in Lansing. Here are some links to specific sermons:
Kyle enjoys writing, and along with his family story, here is another example: