Pictured above is Ryan at one of the first local serving days, Serving Saturday, he launched with Cross Point church.
Ryan Bult is the West Nashville Dream Center Pastor and CEO. He has been in ministry for 12 years. In that time, he has led community groups, local and global missions, disaster relief, and he is instrumental in the vision of our center. He was part of the Dream when our center was just a dream. 7 years ago when Ryan was Missions Pastor at Cross Point Church, plans and prayers began for the West Nashville Dream Center. He is the father of 3: Ryder, Lawson, and Dibora. He is also proud to be called “Dad,” by Kani and Du’sean. He and his beautiful wife Teresa have been married for 20 years.
I was probably around 16 when my Dad decided to ruin our Thanksgiving by inviting a local foster care child to have lunch with us. I was incensed that he would denigrate a sacred holiday and bring a stranger into our home. Sadly, it would take me several years to realize how important that moment actually was. My dad invited in a broken, hurting young man and gave him a seat at our Thanksgiving table.
That moment, over 30 years ago, is etched in my mind as the perfect example of being Christ-like. It was a selfless act and a reminder how important it is to do for those who are hurting. Dad was selfless in his love for this young man and I saw in his eyes exactly what that act of Thanksgiving kindness meant to him. He felt cared for and wanted, the same basic needs we all long for in life.
My draw to ministry has always been the messiness.
Our lives, like the world, are marred and dirty, but in the midst of that mess are people who need to know that they matter. When you show up for people and believe in them, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.
My heart has always been drawn to missions. I’ve traveled around the world and I’ve worked numerous disasters. In each of these instances, I have found a common denominator of hurt that always needs to be addressed. Probably one of the greatest thrills of my life is hugging someone in need and seeing the gratitude written all over their face. When they just need to be heard or to be comforted, it feels good to be the person that brings that love.
This past Summer, I really needed a break from the Dream Center. All of my serving seemed very routine and almost more like a task than an opportunity for ministry. Thankfully, I got to go to Houston for a week and do disaster relief for those hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. I can’t tell you exactly what it was, but my heart was set free and I felt truly alive. There was something powerful about doing something for someone else even when they had nothing to give in return.
So why am I part of the dream?
Because I love people and I’m hopelessly committed to the idea that every person on this earth matters and has a greater purpose in which to serve. I get up and serve my neighborhood every day, not because it’s easy, but because God called us to serve and love our brothers and sisters. He has given us a special place like the Dream Center to nourish the souls of every man, woman, and child. Our love for others can pierce any darkness and give hope to the hopeless. I’m thankful to be a part of a place that believes this to be true and lives it out every day.