This blog post took me a while to write. I started over, and started over and realized I would never be able to write everything that I truly felt. Everything that grows encounters change. Plants, people, organizations – all change as they grow. And often times, we as humans don’t like change.
Over five years ago, in 2010, GOAT was a small organization that was still growing and learning who it was. We were growing and changing and found ourselves needing to hire our first staff member. Joey Short was that first staff member and came to work at an organization still based out of my home, fighting through growing pains, trying to stay focused on our mission to help at-risk kids realize their potential, break out of the cycle of poverty and become disciples who make disciples.
From his first day on the job, Joey changed GOAT. From developing our internship program to seeing exponential growth in our summer numbers to creating a mountain biking program from nothing and to his pure energy around our programs, our organization and just bikes. Joey helped pioneer our Adventure Team program and saw it through it’s own set of growing pains and changes. Every kid who encountered GOAT over the past five years knows who Joey is, and without a doubt believes that Joey (and GOAT) cares about them and loves them – but also knows that the God who created them, the God they can know through his son, Jesus also loves them.
Over the past few months, Joey found some change in his own life and opportunity in another field in which he excels. As of last month, Joey is now navigating the world of General Contracting. While he doesn’t sit at a desk at GOAT or answer the phone here any more, he’s still here every Monday night and he still knows every kid on the Adventure Team. Because we dislike change as humans, it’s hard to see Joey move on – but when we step back, we remember that growth means change and we’re excited to see Joey grow in his new profession.
I have no doubt – and I can safely speak the same for everyone else around GOAT – that Joey is doing what he is supposed to be doing for himself and his family and that his ministry in his new profession will be no less impactful than his ministry here at GOAT. I know that clients, subcontractors, vendors and employees will see Christ in Joey and the way he treats people in his new role for years and decades to come.
So, while we’re sad to see Joey go, we’re excited for his future and forever grateful for everything he has done for GOAT, and we’re excited that he will continue to be involved with our work here. (even if only because he needs a place to work on his bike, we’ll take it)
From everyone at GOAT, from every intern, every kid who GOAT has ever served and everyone who has known Joey through this wild place – we love you, we believe in you, and we’re grateful for everything you’ve done here – from the bottom of our hearts.
#summerforever #goatforever #joeyforever
-Ryan (and everybody else)