Dr. Scott Silverii, a retired police chief with almost 30 years of experience in law enforcement, including deep undercover and special ops, felt he was called to build a virtual church… before there was a pandemic! You may think he’s crazy for walking away from a full pension with benefits, but Scott says he was just listening and being obedient. It’s never easy, but God always rewards obedience.
Scott’s early life was spent in law enforcement where he served 12 years undercover (which is a HUGE deal) and then moved onto the next 16 years in SWAT and special ops. To say these experiences carried some trauma and PTSD would be an understatement, leaving scars that wouldn’t be dealt with until many years later. (side note: his biceps put Mike to shame).
He also consulted AND taught as a professor during this time (did I mentioned he has a phD) which is how he met his wife, Leah! She was methodically researching police techniques for an upcoming book she was working on and the rest, as they say, is history.
Scott and Leah had created their own publishing company years earlier, originally to serve their own writing needs but over the years, he felt led to open up their services so they could help other authors develop and publish their ideas. Providing high level, professional editing, creative design and even helping develop the story into something others would enjoy reading are just some of the ways he’s bringing his experience to others.
Scott’s 3 pieces of advice for budding writers:
- Be persistent.
- It’s your voice, protect it.
- Look for ways you can write however you can, blogs etc.
LAUNCHING A VIRTUAL CHURCH BEFORE IT WAS COOL
With only 4 years left to retire on a full pension with benefits, God spoke to him one day and let him know it was time to move on. Reluctant (as it would reduce his pension and benefits significantly) but wanting to obey, he walked away and over the next year, found himself lost, gaining weight and dealing with depression related symptoms.
This wilderness time helped him find himself and his new purpose in life which included launching an online church, years before Covid pushed so many things online. With over 175,000 engaged folks, they’ve successfully found a way to deliver small groups, mentoring and discipleship through the world wide web.
ADAPTING TO CHANGE
As a practical type of person who needs to see the regular paycheck, the structure and order in things he found the adjustment from his structured law enforcement days hard. Learning to accept the seeds of creativity, he’s developed the ability to let his imagination roam, and thinks that’s something we all need to learn how to do.
SABBATHS AND REST DAYS
It’s important to rest. God’s model was for a day of rest and we’re supposed to follow that model because he didn’t need to rest, but did it anyway. It’s actually a commandment that’s often overlooked. Scott’s wife, Leah was challenged so strongly by God in this area that she took 6 months off and didn’t work one day, to make up for all the ‘Sabbath’s she’d worked over the years’. Not because of guilt, but she realized that she hadn’t been receiving God’s gift of rest that he’d been trying to give her.
- Stewardship is how we care for what we’ve been entrusted with.
- Everything we have belongs to God. None of it is ours.
- God values obedience above our logic or ideas.
- Losing his badge meant losing his identity.
- Apostolic model of raising people up and sending people out.
- Don’t try to replicate what has evolved before, stick to the original model.
- Handling change. Embracing structure.
- We need rest. God created a Sabbath for a reason and it’s his gift to us.
- “Be kind”.
- “Everything belongs to God”
- “It’s about giving in any way we can.” – MT
- “The way you care for the gift is reflective of the way you care for the gift giver.”
- “Felt that God was tearing down the walls of the American Church.”
- “What you focus on you magnify.”
- “God loves us so much that he wants us to have rest.”
Beyond the Yellow Brick Road by Pastor Juan Martinez (Houston)