- The Wiechmans
- Defining the Need
- Meeting the Need
- Desired Outcome
- Breathe Life Board of Directors
THE WIECHMANS | Steve and Jamie got married in 1998 and have four children: Austin, Gabby, Josiah and Ellie. Steve began ministry as a youth minister in Houston, TX and has served in pastoral ministry in four different churches in Texas. Jamie homeschooled their children for 10 years, but is currently pursuing her masters in counseling through the Townsend Institute at Concordia University – Irvine, CA. God has captured their heart for sharing the freedom of the Gospel with Christian leaders and their families. You can discover more about their story at their blog dropnets.com.
Steve currently serves as the Director of Strategy and Operations. Jamie currently serves as the Director of Ministry and Programs.
DEFINING the NEED | After 12 years as a pastor, my (Steve’s) ministry exhaustion and spiritual isolation threatened to sink me. A man named Dave Gentry got in the deep well with my wife and me, and helped us see Jesus lifting my head above the darkness.
Church workers and missionaries increasingly live in a state of social and spiritual isolation. Dr. Dave Gentry shares startling statistics in his 2010 book, Crisis in the Camp: 1700 pastors leave ministry every month; 71% of pastors said they are burned out and battle depression on a daily and weekly basis; over 70% of pastors said they do not have anyone they consider a close friend. (Many of Dr. Gentry’s numbers come from over 20 years of his own ministry coupled with four different research studies)
over 70% of pastors said they
do not have anyone
they consider a close friend
Paul Tripp writes in his book, Dangerous Calling, “Self-examination is a community project. Every pastor needs people in his life in order to see himself with biblical accuracy.” Many church workers and leaders don’t have this kind of safe community. In addition, there are few affordable sanctuaries of help.
In our July 2016 assessment of over 60 church workers and spouses, we discovered that 36% do not have a safe small community in which to have deep faith conversations and prayer, 21% have the gospel applied personally to their lives by another person once a month or less, and 35% don’t have a safe place to get Sabbath rest. Our conclusion: 1 out of 3 church workers and their families live in a place of isolation that is dangerous.
1 out of 3 church workers and their families
live in a place of isolation that is dangerous
MEETING the NEED | Fueled by Jesus, His word, and His grace, we aim to foster a safe place to uncover and explore your own heart and mind with your heavenly Father. Through our three core values of rest, healing and play, we seek to unburden consciences through honest attention to your spirit, your soul, your mind and your story.
Breathe Life is full of space and unhurried time, gospel-compassion and prayer, relationships and beauty – all of it filled by the Spirit to free you from isolation and heavy burdens into the lightness of being truly known and truly loved.
a safe place for ministry leaders and spouses
to be vulnerable and honest with God
We currently do this through 1) Personally Focused Times (PFTs) of listening, care, and prayer, 2) 1/2-Day Guided Prayer Sessions (GPS), 3) 3 1/2-Day Personal Retreats for couples, and 4) Breathe Life Community Dinners (coming soon). To learn more about these go to our FAQ page.
DESIRED OUTCOME | Our goal is to see Christian leaders and their spouses freed from the enemy’s lies, from spiritual isolation, and from ministry guilt and exhaustion by the presence of Jesus. Ultimately, we aim to help increase the environments in which leaders live honestly and vulnerably, walking in the light with Jesus and a few others.
to see Christian leaders and their spouses
freed from the enemy’s lies,
from spiritual isolation,
and from ministry guilt and exhaustion
by the presence of Jesus
BREATHE LIFE MINISTRIES BOARD of DIRECTORS |
Stewart Harms | Chair & Interim Treasurer | Colleyville, TX
Stewart is retired from the U.S. Department of Justice. He served eight years in lay leadership at the church he and his wife currently attend. His positions included a term as Chairman of the Board of Elders and a term as President of the Board of Directors. He currently sits on the Board for Mission Administration for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Texas District. During his time spent in lay leadership, Stewart witnessed and experienced firsthand the intense pressures and stressors to which Christian leaders and staff can be subjected in the course of carrying out ministry goals.
“It was through these experiences that I came to embrace the need for organizations such as Breathe Life to ensure the spiritual and emotional health of those who have dedicated their lives to sharing Christ’s message with others.”
Deb Brazzel | Secretary | Roswell, GA
Deb has studied people for the past four decades, earning a bachelor’s in Human Services Counseling, a master’s in Organizational Development, a coaching certification and an advanced certificate in counseling. After 27 years in the federal government, Deb became a professional volunteer and fell in love with the world of Christian non-profits.
“Since 2013, I have seen such brokenness in God’s people, and especially among those called to lead. My heart is for leaders who were never supposed to bear the weight alone and I’m committed to the vision and mission of Breathe Life to be a place of rest, healing and play for those leaders.”
Sarah Anderson | Houston, TX
Rev. Jonathan Brandenburg | Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Jonathan has served as a pastor in Texas and California for the past 11 years and is currently studying for his doctor of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
“I grew up a simple lad in the heart of the great state of Kansas. I met my beautiful bride in college, and we just for fun decided to have 4 kids…which has been a blast. I’ve been a Lutheran pastor for the past 11 years, and have seen, not only in Lutheran churches, but in all churches, a level of hurt, pain, and exhaustion which seem to come upon all who lead the church. It’s for this reason I’m excited and passionate about the ministry which Breathe Life is engaging.”