If you cannot view “No Regrets: A Second Career with Village Missions,” above, you can read the copy of the article below:
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.
Their positions were secure but God had more for them to do.
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.
As the couple travelled from one Village Missions church to another and saw the impact of their own Village Missions church, God continued His work in their hearts. One evening in 2009, driving home after a Bible study, Ken asked his wife, “Do you think we should go into Village Missions?”
“I’d go in a heartbeat,” said Kris.
It was shortly after that Ron Sallee gave Ken his strange advice.
“By any logical standard, this makes no sense, so you have to do it.”
On the surface, switching careers made very little sense. Ken and Kris were very successful in their careers, were already involved in ministry, and were only a few years away from a comfortable retirement.
1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “But the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
By human logic, “throwing away” retirement years seems foolish, but Ken and Kris saw serving with Village Missions as an opportunity to invest those years in something eternal.
Confidence in God’s Leading
Ken and Kris have served as Village Missionaries in Coram, Montana since 2009 and are still confident in the decision they made.
“This is where God wants us. This is our home. We didn’t have to look back. I have no regrets.”
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.”
Second Career in Village Missions
Are you interested in a second career with Village Missions? Many Village Missionaries, like Ken and Kris, began in other careers before joining Village Missions and bring their unique skills and experiences with them as they serve rural churches and communities. You can find more second-career missionary stories here: villagemissions.org/second-career.
To learn more about serving with Village Missions, contact us in one of these ways:
or call us: 800-617-9905
We would love to connect and help you discern God’s call on your life.
“The Sower”, written by Ken Ainsworth, is a tribute to the ministry of Village Missions and the missionaries serving in rural communities, who Preach the Word and love the people. (Music starts at 0:23.)
“Through Badrock Canyon” is performed by Ken Ainsworth and compares a canyon in the Coram area to spiritual canyons in life.