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Jawbone Hill Seeks to Help Those Who Have Been Turned Off by the Church

Be Inspired | Do Good

With a heart to live, love, eat, shop and support local, Adam Thacker is passionate about the people and community of Roanoke. He grew up here, served on staff at a local church before stepping out in faith on the journey to a brand new ministry. In 2015, he moved to Georgia to intern with the Go Project, but now he’s back in Roanoke as the pastor of Jawbone Hill. Together with his wife Brandy, Adam has embraced the pioneer spirit and the philosophy that when you bet on God with big faith, you’ll never regret it.

Jawbone Hill is a church that intentionally doesn’t call itself a church. Adam knows that a lot of people have been burned or burned out by the church in the past. He doesn’t want the word ‘church’ to turn people away, but would rather invite people who have perhaps been disenfranchised with the church in the past to be involved. However, the perception of what a church is has been one of the biggest challenges for the Jawbone Hill team.

Ever faithful and persistent, that hasn’t deterred Adam. He and his wife have been on this journey for over four years, through ups and downs and ebbs and flows, so it’s a dream come true for them that Jawbone Hill is finally coming to life. In fact, he sees the challenges as refining the team and maturing the vision so that when they finally do launch, it will be a healthy organization. The potential of the team and of their vision is what excites him, and he loves being a part of something that is bringing out the best in people.

The one piece of advice Adam received back in 2013 was ‘walk, don’t run to church planting’ and he didn’t realize how long that walking would take. However, walking through the ups and downs together is part of the process. Adam also now knows from experience that some people who are walking with you will walk away, and that’s okay. That advice applies to business and any area of life that’s worth pursuing, as well as church planting. There will always be different seasons, and you’ve got to take it step-by-step.

The mission of changing lives and living generously isn’t just for churchgoers already, it’s for everybody. A man stepped into faith at their preview party in May, and they have also helped a young man with some personal issues decide to take the right direction in his life. Anybody can get involved, and the team is very diverse in terms of background and stage of life. There are people who love the church, who have walked away or were pushed out of the church in the past, and Jawbone Hill embraces them all. There are also ways to help if you’re interested but not able to be on the team, such as through prayer and even just by getting to know each other. Adam would love to share a meal or a coffee and connect!

The courage of his convictions has been a crucial part of Adam’s journey. Living by the philosophy of ‘risk is right’ and ‘persistence proves your passion’ is what propelled him and his wife to leave their home and business to go on their internship. It hasn’t been a straight light, but the worthwhile things are usually a zig-zag anyway. Adam is not just spending his life on this mission, he’s investing. And just like the stock market has highs and lows, so does life. He embraces the idea that investing his money, his resources, his abilities and indeed his life will always come with highs and lows, ebbs and flows. Ultimately, the risk is right for Adam.

For more information or to find out how you can help, listen to Adam’s podcast.

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