It All Started With a Birthday Party….
In 2006, Todd Chase went out with his wife expecting nothing more than a typical birthday dinner celebration. A friend of his wife’s was enjoying her special day, and Todd was sitting at the table with his wife, the honoree and other couples – but not folks he knew very well. One of the men, who Todd had never met, causally brought up that he attended this great meeting at the River Birch Lodge on Friday mornings. And lo and behold, Chase and Bryan Parker, whose wife’s birthday they had celebrated, found themselves at the River Birch Lodge the following Friday.
Chase thinks what he felt that compelled him to go was a “nudge” from God.
He eventually accepted Christ at the first NCS national retreat he attended. He became very involved. Over time, Chase knew he wanted to have a smaller group of guys he could meet with since the regular NCS group had gotten quite large. That is how the Energy Groups concept got started. These groups of 4-6 men meet regularly, without a prescribed topic or leader, and have authentic, intimate conversations with complete confidentiality.
Host by default?
Being a host for the Friday morning meetings was something Chase stumbled into. With Jay Helvey out of town one weekend, and no other members able to host, Chase volunteered. Or rather he was volunteered.
“Actually, I’m pretty sure I was way back in the pecking order and it was kind of like ‘let’s have Chase give it a go – he can’t screw it up too bad, can he?’” laughed Chase.
While he won’t be the judge of how well he did that first time, several years later, he is still going in his role, which he shares with Helvey. And he very much enjoys it.
“I think Jay and I bring complimentary things to the host role. Jay does an amazing job of balancing lightheartedness and deep spiritual teaching. The way he wraps up after a speaker is something I have really learned from. I think I bring humor and probably a little more casual style. I am far from a bible scholar but I think I’m pretty authentic and hopefully relatable to a lot of the guys.”
It’s important for the NCS members to know that Chase’s life has changed immensely for the better since accepting Jesus through NCS 13 years ago. For those who have not yet experienced this, it is his deepest wish that they do.
Walking the walk
Like many of us, Chase feels that one of the hardest things about living out his faith on a daily basis is the busyness of life.
“Between work and family, it can be easy to crowd out God at times,” said Chase. “That’s why it is so important to me to have like-minded friends that I meet with regularly who share the same values and help keep me centered.”
Finally, Chase provides some thoughts on having a “friendship with Jesus”, which is mentioned in the NCS mission. To him, it’s more than a Sunday relationship. It’s something that permeates one’s life. He is still working on the fact that Jesus wants to be his friend, as he knows he doesn’t deserve it.
“I’m not worthy of it considering what Jesus did for me and really how selfish I am and how little I give back. The grace that we all have been given is just amazing.”
A special thanks to Bill Simmons – the “random guy” now turned friend that first shared NCS with Todd Chase.
by Angela Levine