In His Lane: An Update from Apprentice Tyler Dam

Tyler and his wife Michelle being commissioned by their youth group into their next chapter.

Tyler and his wife Michelle being commissioned by their youth group into their next chapter.

Apprentices with New Ventures are given the space and opportunity to discern God’s calling on their lives over the course of 1-2 years through both formal and informal learning opportunities, experience in ministry settings, readings, courses, mentorship and more.

Tyler Dam is one such Apprentice.

Tyler writes, “A couple of years ago, I was sensing that full-time ministry was not a good fit for the way God created me. I was feeling led to something entrepreneurial despite not having any clarity as to what that might look like. I bought a few business books and began spontaneously praying into the notion for one year. Suddenly, through a chain of events, doors began opening for buying a building and starting a Home Hardware in my hometown.  Initially, I resisted because I'd never considered retail as my business model of choice. Fast forward a year, and I'm absolutely loving retail and discovering on a weekly basis how God has uniquely wired me for the fast-paced, detail-oriented, creative grind of this kind of business!”

Tyler has set up a Home Hardware franchise in Chatham, with the desire to eventually help other young men and women become mission-oriented leaders out of their homes and workplaces. He sees this not just as a business venture, but an opportunity to build important relationships with others in Chatham, helping others discover, as he did, how to best live in their lane. Here he shares some of his learnings after 6 months of his apprenticeship journey, asking the questions of “Who, to where and to whom, and what is God calling me to do?”

Who is God calling me to be?

It’s fun looking back 6 months into the things I was pressing into for myself and seeing where God has prevailed and honoured the vision He instilled in my heart. I’m learning more and more that I’ve been created to be a creative advocate for Christ’s kingdom here in Chatham. He has created me to use my visioning gifting to help people thrive and grow into their legacies. God has told me over and over that my legacy is to be part of many other people’s legacies.

Right now, I’m set on using my diligent stubbornness and my analytic brain to take in lots of information about Chatham and lay it before Jesus’ feet and ask Him where we can join him. Christ is showing me incredible, tangible ways of reaching neighbourhoods and people in a language they can understand.

Dam Home Hardware opened in September 2018.

Dam Home Hardware opened in September 2018.

To where and to whom is God calling me?

I feel especially sure that God is calling me to Chatham, to my fellow neighbors and employees, and to the millennials of Chatham specifically.

I believe that God is calling me to bring tangible life to a city that has been enveloped in hopelessness and stagnancy. He is calling me to assemble a royal priesthood of believers who live counter-culturally yet are nurturing the culture instead of just challenging or trying to change it.

I also sense a special calling to my employees and fellow business owners. I want to continue networking and leveraging Dam Home Hardware for God’s kingdom.

What is God calling me to do?

For one, to build a sustainable business that thrives off kingdom principles. Next, to continue maintaining our Sunday night get-togethers of great conversation, worship, breaking bread, visioneering, and praying for God’s creative kingdom to manifest in our lives. We are continuing to pray with authority, claiming the gifts we have been given.

I am also excited about creating an Instagram account with some local creatives to document the lovely things God is doing in our city through both believers and nonbelievers. In this way, we will begin humanizing the city, and showing beautiful aspects of our city that are often overlooked.

Finally, I envision having a men's discipleship house come under my spiritual leadership. I am beginning to set up multiple houses of working millennials and singles who live in intentional missional community together.

God is calling me to equip people to sharpen themselves, and create mental bandwidth for mission through what I like to call “kingdom concepts.” Recently, we've been pressing into the concept of minimalism as a way of life. We want to go against the grain of materialism and live counter-culturally in the most “mundane” of ways. It’s just as simple as clearing away the massive amounts of stuff we have to create space for more of God, and for loving people! We have become a community of believers who act as deadly weapons, ready to pierce the darkness in Chatham!

Excited about the new things God is doing through Tyler? Here are some ways you can join him on mission:


Tyler asks for prayer:

  • For wisdom as he balances his family, marriage, business, self-care, and ministry

  • For a deeper understanding of the gospel and the shedding of overly religious paradigms

  • For energy, laughter, and abundant joy!


    Support Tyler’s development in ministry.

All donations received are processed through Canada Helps and will receive a tax receipt. The funds go directly to the New Venture Apprentice to be used toward their development and ministry needs.

Bethany Nickel