Their pastor’s advice caught them off guard, “By any earthly standard, this makes no sense, so you have to do it.” In time, Ken and Kris knew this was God’s answer about becoming Village Missionaries.
Ken and Kris Ainsworth met in high school. After graduation, Ken enlisted in the Navy and the two married about a year after Ken began active duty.
After the Navy, both went to college in Washington and entered full-time careers–Ken as a school teacher and Kris as a microbiologist. Over time, Ken was promoted to an administrative director position, and Kris received a position as head of her department.
During this time, they began attending a church called Machias Community Church, led by then Village Missionary Ron Sallee. In the late 1990s, Ken and Kris began taking Ron’s Contenders Bible School, now known as the Contenders Discipleship Initiative (CDI).
The goal of these courses is to train and equip men and women for ministry. So, after Ken and Kris had completed the courses, Ron asked Ken if he thought he and Kris would consider going into Village Missions.
The two prayed about it, and while Ken was excited about the possible new adventure, Kris was reluctant.
A Heart for Ministry
Despite waiting on full-time ministry, Ken and Kris had no shortage of service inside and outside the church. Ken served on the church board, Kris helped with AWANA, and together they led worship music. The couple also travelled around the country playing music together. Many of their concerts were at Village Missions churches, where Ken was able to put his Contenders training to effective use by guest speaking.
To those considering a second career in Village Missions, Ken gives four pieces of advice.
- “The process of praying for closed doors is just as important as praying for open doors. That’s why we were so confident in God’s calling. I’m not sure we were all that confident in ourselves, but we were absolutely confident that “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).”
- “Make sure you’re in the center of God’s will.”
- “A clean break is absolutely essential. It would have been very difficult for me if I’d continued to think, ‘What if I’d stayed?’”
- “Go all in.”