Elder Candidate: JJ Benson

Family

Early in our marriage, Ashley and I discussed that fact that we both felt called to foster / adopt. In early 2012, our home was officially approved to accept foster children. Over the course of eight months, thirteen different kids came through our home, and we adored every one of them. Fortunately, the final three––Nathan, Eli and Chance––were able to stay with us as a permanent part of our family! They are now fifteen, thirteen, and ten years old. In 2013 we learned that we were pregnant with a little girl, and Elsie was born in December of that year. She's now two and adores her big brothers. It has been such a joy to see how God orchestrated a family for us in a way that we never would have expected!

How did you come to know Jesus?

Ashley and I were still newlyweds five years ago when her conversion to Christianity had a huge and  positive impact on me and our marriage. I wanted to know more, and soon after we met Shane and started coming to Resonate Church. Over the course of the following year, we wrestled with doubts and questions at the Lanier Park MC which was hosted by Matt & Lauren Gray. When I truly heard the gospel for the first time, it changed everything. God revealed the severity of my sin, and I was rocked by the weight of his grace in covering my sin through the blood of Jesus. The more I learned about Jesus, the more I wanted him. My heart was changed, and I was saved. My gratitude fuels my passion for serving others in his name, and I love to share the reason for my hope. I was baptized at age 40, and I'm proof that nobody is too old or set in their ways to be changed by the gospel. I'm flawed, sinful, and unworthy of such grace, but thankfully he is sanctifying me daily!   

Hobbies

My main hobby is music––playing piano and keyboards, singing, and songwriting. I have a band that has been together for 18 years, and we play private parties and weddings throughout the Southeast. I also love collecting vinyl albums, and have always enjoyed politics.

Most Influential Books (Outside of the Bible)

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
King's Cross - Tim Keller
The Reason For God - Tim Keller

Influences

The personal influences that have had the biggest impact on me are my parents, my wife Ashley, Shane England, and Matt Gray. I have also been heavily influenced by the work of C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, Ravi Zacharias, and John Piper.

What are your big hopes / dreams for the Resonate family?

I have been blown away by the growth I've witnessed (and participated in) at Resonate in four short years. Lives have changed, family has been formed, and the larger community has begun to see the impact of God in our city. I hope to see us continue to reorient our lives around Jesus as a family of missionary servants in all of life. I want us to spread the hope of the gospel; I want our church family to meet more and more people in our communities, see them come to know Jesus, and be baptized. I want to see our church family make disciples who make disciples all across Nashville, the southeast, the country, and the entire earth!