If you’re like me, summaries are your friend. It’s not that the full version doesn’t have merit but rather as a result of our decreasing attention spans and demands on our time, a quick summary can give us the information we need to determine whether we are interested or can simply move along. For that reason, I thought I would give you the CliffsNotes™ version of my life. Feel free to judge quickly (don’t we always?) or stay around for the details. Either way, I’m really glad you’re here. If you’re ever in Nashville, be sure to look me up (@broysden), and whether we ever meet in person or not, know this: You are loved and have one life to lead…make it count. #leadlife

Brandon • An Abstract

  • Born in 1983 (90s music is my friend)
  • Son of a Preacher Man (I think I’m surprisingly well rounded)
  • Came to faith in Jesus Christ when I was seven years old (A decision that has totally shaped my past and future)
  • Lived in 7 different houses and attended 9 different schools before graduating in 2001 (Don’t feel sorry for me. It shaped who I am.)
  • Attended Welch College in Nashville, TN where I earned my B.S. in Secondary Education (Taught for 5+ years and loved it)
  • Married my sweetheart Beth in 2005 (PSA: It’s really hot in Tampa, FL for a July wedding)
  • Proud father of Ethan [b.2009] and Kate [b.2012] (They make me smile every day)
  • Earned a M.A.Ed in Educational Leadership from APSU in 2012 (Learning and Leadership are two of my favorite things)
  • Director of Events at Randall House Publications and coordinator of the D6 Conference (Love that my job feels like more than a job)
  • Interests: #sports | #history | #literature | #tv | #movies | #productivity | #vols | #family

Brandon • The Longer Story

Part 1 – A Preacher’s Son

When I was born in 1983, my father had already answered God’s call to preach and was pastoring his first church in Putnam County, TN. My roots run deep in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau and I have lived all of my life in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. Growing up in small Free Will Baptist churches has given me an appreciation for a rural way of life and has taught me that my faith tradition isn’t nearly as heretical as some may want me to believe.

Beyond the life of a pastor’s son, however, I grew up witnessing a deep faith and a loving home. In many ways, I was spoiled as my mom made sacrifices for my sake, and I experienced childhood on the borderline of the Gen X and Millenial generations. My life was made up of church, school, and sports, and it seems I never strayed very far from that trifecta as I grew up.

Part 2 – The Moves that Made Me

Nowadays when someone asks me where I’m from, I usually respond with: “It’s complicated.” From birth to high school graduation, I lived in 7 different houses and attended 9 different schools. In some ways, I suppose I was always a little jealous of those guys who grew up with the same friends and lived in the same community for most of their lives, but I have also come to realize that my transient life is 1) not nearly as much so as others (e.g. military families) and 2) has uniquely shaped me to be who I am. It allowed me to appreciate diversity and feel comfortable in a lot of different situations. One of the last moves we made turned me toward Welch College where I met my future wife and found a community that continues to support me today.

Part 3 – A Technological Revolution

It may go without saying for many young adults, but I don’t think I can underestimate the impact of the changes in technology that I’ve been able to experience. From the Walkman to the Ipod, the Commodore to the Macbook Pro, the Bag Phone to the Smartphone, technology has profoundly influenced my generation. It’s part of what inspires this attempt at blogging. We live in a world of platforms and connectivity, and while I don’t have any illusions that I will somehow become famous through this endeavor, it is an endeavor nonetheless that I hope allows me to connect with people and use what little influence I have for good.

Even though I would not consider myself a digital native, these advances have always intrigued me, and I continuously find myself spending far too many hours exploring and researching new developments and tools that are shaping our future.

Part 4 – The Fortune of Family

I didn’t really date much in high school. Okay…I didn’t date at all. And for those of you who think that makes me uncool, you’re probably right, but looking at my family now, I’m not bothered by that at all. When I got to college in Nashville in 2001, I met a cute girl from Tampa named Beth. At first, she was with all of you guys who thought I wasn’t very cool, but I was finally able to convince her that she didn’t want to live without me, and we got married in 2005. Four years later we were blessed with Ethan who has never met a stranger and whose love for sports and activity is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever known. In 2012, Katelyn came along and stole my heart, and I can’t be thankful enough to God for blessing me with this little family and our little corner in Cheatham County, TN.

Beth and Kids
Kate, Beth, and Ethan in 2014
Part 5 – Doing What I Love

I’ve had the privilege since graduation from college to have two jobs that I’ve absolutely enjoyed and which have brought incredible fulfillment. For more than 5 years, I got to teach high school English, coach JV Basketball and Varsity baseball, and invest in the lives of teenagers at a small private school outside of Nashville, TN. During my time there, I realized that as much as I loved the classroom, I wanted to do more, so I was able to go back to school to earn my M.A. in Educational Leadership thinking that one day I may try my hand at an administrative position.

Shortly after I earned my graduate degree, I received a call from the CEO of Randall House Publications about a position as their Director of Events. While this was not something I ever would have pursued on my own, it provided the unique opportunity to build national programs for students, invest in families and family ministry through the D6 Conference, and gain valuable administrative experience. It has been a great privilege to serve in this capacity since January of 2013, and I can only hope that I can learn to lead well with the opportunities that I have been given.

Part 6 – Lead Your Life

So that brings us to now. If you’ve read this far, I can only imagine you have very little to do today, but beyond taking up the last 15 minutes of your time, I hope that you will stay in touch and join me in our quest to lead life well. No matter your situation, you are called to lead. As a student, as an employee, as a pastor, as a parent, you will lead someone either by position or by influence, and this blog is meant to be a record of that journey. One of life, learning, and leadership. Let me know how it goes. Someone is counting on you.

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