The kingdom of God is like a man who finds a great treasure in a field, and, in his joy, sells everything he has to buy that field.
Adam Murphy grew up in a spiritually indifferent family, going to church a few times until he was old enough to stay at friends’ houses. He had a general knowledge of God, but he didn’t know him. “I always knew that God existed but I never knew his name, I never knew anything specific about him. I had an idea of what I thought he was like, but it was one that I had kind of created.”
In college, Adam worked all over the music industry, from playing in a touring band to managing the business side of things. A lover of music with business savvy, he looked here for more than a job—he was searching for an identity. His search would eventually lead him to “The Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin, TX, where he would work for an artist manager. It was just the kind of job he was looking for. “I thought it was a really cool job, and I wanted people to think I was influential and important. That’s kind of how I found value and meaning in life.”
Adam finally had what he had invested his life to get; until all of a sudden he didn’t.
Shortly after his move to Austin, the shop where he was working suddenly went bankrupt. Alone, living in an unfamiliar city, and without a job, Adam’s store of the world’s treasure had disappeared overnight. “Everything I had put my value in, everything I had wanted, the life I was trying to build for myself, it all just kind of disappeared.”
“I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, I didn’t have any purpose or direction.”
After finding a job in politics and finding that he still wasn’t satisfied, he befriended a group of people that he met through mutual friends, and every week he’d join them at a burger place for trivia. “I would just hang out with them and do trivia, and it became the thing in my week that I looked forward to the most. Come to find out that some of them were followers of Jesus.”
His new friends invited Adam to go to church with them, and he went; and it wasn’t anything like what he thought it would be.
“I had really never heard anyone teach through the Bible before, and looking back now, the worship music was rich with truths about God and I had never heard that before. I was a little bit unsure of whether I liked it or not—but for whatever reason, I felt drawn back.”
Adam looks back to the hospitality of a service team volunteer as the turning point for him belonging to the church. “One of the greeters was just welcoming people on Sundays and he learned my name. I would walk into church by myself, but I felt like I had a friend.” It would prove consequential for Adam because, even though he was comfortable enough with Christians, he wasn’t interested in Jesus.
“At the time I thought that I was a Christian just because I knew I wasn’t Muslim, I knew I wasn’t Buddhist or Hindu, and I thought maybe my worldview most closely fit in with Christianity. That was the ‘team’ I affiliated with so-to-speak, but I still didn’t have a relationship with Jesus—I just thought categorically that’s what I was.”
Shortly after his first visit, Adam was invited to a class at the church where they were forming their community groups, and in his words, “I was living by myself, I didn’t really have any friends, and I really wasn’t apart of any meaningful community; so I said yes.” He could see that his circumstances were pushing him towards community, but it was kept a secret from him (at least at the time) that his circumstances were being used to draw him to God.
During the first week of class, the secret was out.
“The first week of that class, the guy’s standing up there and he’s talking about community and other church things, and he uses the word ‘gospel’ a lot—he’s saying, ‘gospel, gospel, gospel’, and I think to myself that I have no idea what that word means. I get that that’s a really important word by the way he’s using it, but I have no idea what he’s talking about. Then he finally says, ‘And the gospel is this: that you were separated from God because of your sin, but he sent Jesus to live and die for you and rise from the dead, so that if you turn and believe in him you can have your sins forgiven, your relationship restored with God, and enjoy him forever.’ And I heard that and thought, ‘I believe that’s true. I don’t know why but I believe that.’”
In a moment Adam had been brought from death to life. God had miraculously saved him and given him a new identity—now he would give him a purpose.
“This is the Great Commission, Jesus’ singular mission for the church, that we would go to all the world and make disciples of all nations. This is the way God has ordained that people would believe; and the more I understood what Jesus had done for me, it lit my heart on fire to give my life to his purpose.”
Adam’s life has not been free from pain—he has suffered the loss of his dad to ALS (which, he would be quick to add, God used to save his dad) and a robbery that left him with basically the clothes he was wearing, just to name two—but his perspective towards it all is the same: “My treasure is Jesus, and that treasure cannot be taken from me.”
Now as the Director of Mobilization, Adam is training people to share the gospel here in Lubbock and then take it to places where Jesus has never been named. “My hope in this role at Redeemer is twofold: first, that our church’s motivation to go would be driven by a love for Jesus, that we would be willing to risk the comforts of this world, and second, that regardless of whether we choose to stay or go, that we would be willing to lay down our comforts and walk through hard things for the joy set before us in Jesus.”