"It's not up to me; it's up to Jesus."
Jesus has been at work in Dax Clinkscale's life for over 25 years, and his story is a resounding testimony to the above quote. Through all that Jesus has taken this humble man of God, Dax is often prompted to circle back to one of his favorite passages of Scripture: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Dax has lived all his life in the Washington–Annapolis corridor. Growing up in northwest D.C., he was accustomed to going to church every Sunday, hearing about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. By the time he was 10 years old, he found himself on more than one occasion in tears of anguish over the suffering that Jesus went through. Those tears brought him to the place of repentance and placing his faith in Christ for his salvation.
A couple years later, Dax responded to the call of Jesus in Matthew 28 to be baptized. Since the age of 12, he has known that Jesus loves him and that he loves Jesus, and has tried to be involved with other believers to help one another in their walks with the Lord. Even through moves by his family to Hyattsville, to the Largo area, and eventually to Bowie, Dax continued to attend the church in which he grew up in an effort to stay in fellowship with Jesus and other believers.
Following high school, Dax attended Bowie State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in broadcast communication. Having interned for WTTG prior to graduation, he was able to secure a job with the television station as the traffic producer, compiling data from traffic cameras and other resources to provide what was needed for the day's traffic reports. He remained there just two years, as the stress and anxiety of the job took its toll.
While seeking employment, Dax was led to a position at Banana Republic in the Annapolis mall. This new job was clearly up to Jesus, as Dax developed a friendship with a coworker who would introduce him to Bay Area Community Church. He then went to work for Chevy Chase bank, despite the fact that Dax does not consider himself a "numbers guy." After all, it was not up to Dax; it was up to Jesus. He was quickly promoted to lead teller, despite his anxiety about his responsibilities. It was here that Dax met his future wife, as she worked at another bank branch and would have to visit his branch to carry out business.
Their relationship developed from bank visits to attending Bay Area together, to volunteering together as greeters to getting married in July of 2008. By this time, Dax had left the bank to start his own landscaping business. Owning his own enterprise brought with it new avenues of worry, and Jesus used this season to challenge Dax to fully surrender to Him. Even though Dax had been a believer since the age of 10, it was the various job changes and the responsibilities of parenting that Jesus used to shed light on the anxiety that Dax had been trying for so many years to either suppress or deal with in his own strength. Dax released his worry to the Lord in full surrender, recognizing more than ever before that what life brings his way is not up to him - it's up to Jesus!
As Dax and his wife Anna continued volunteering at Bay Area, they found that their son struggled to adapt in Children’s Ministry at church. As they sought the Lord on how to handle the issue, they felt if they could be present with their son during Children’s Ministry, he would cooperate. This marked the beginning of Dax's involvement in The Deep Blue. Serving Jesus in this capacity seemed a great fit for Dax, as families were blessed through Dax and he through his service to them.
In the summer of 2015, while Dax was between jobs and seeking the Lord for direction, Children’s Ministry Director Gail Wiles reached out to him to ask if he could fill in temporarily as Bay Area’s KidCare Coordinator for 30 days. It quickly became apparent that Dax was the man God was calling to this ministry; in September 2015, he joined staff. Early on, Dax assisted with the development of Children's Ministry at Bay Area’s Easton campus. Today, he serves as KidCare coordinator and administrative assistant with the gatherings and weekend experience in Annapolis.
Between parenting and his involvement in Children's Ministry, Dax has seen Jesus stir in him a passion for the core family, and what Jesus can do in His church through the family. He has seen hurting families grow and heal through the church's ministry to children. Jesus called His disciples to "let the children come," and Dax has been on the frontlines of facilitating that very thing at Bay Area for over three years now.
Dax shared that he has probably grown more in the past two years as part of the Bay Area staff than in any other period of time in his life. The fellowship, accountability and encouragement among those on staff has been a huge blessing for Dax. Although Dax indicated that he still wrestles with worry and anxiety, he knows that "it's up to Jesus" to allow that thorn to continue as a way to prompt Dax to continue to find his sufficiency in Him.