A little known fact is that it was an aside in a sermon by Dr. John Piper preached on Sept. 12, 1999 that helped launch Hope Academy (this sermon to be exact).

The text and audio of the sermon are at desiringGod.com. However, right at 29:32, Dr. Piper goes completely off script while seeking to illustrate his central point: that being heirs of the world in Christ should radically change our lives.

In Dr. Piper’s unscripted aside he says this:

“[We have] no sense of being stunned by being an heir of the world … If I had a check for a million dollars here, and I could with a legal counsel show you that it is made out to you from an account filled with a million dollars and Monday morning is all it takes and a signature for it to be yours, I guarantee you the rest of this day would be different.
Test whether you believe this—because that is nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing compared to what I’m saying…”

As Piper shouts (and yes, he shouts) his final “nothing” — a man’s voice in the crowd speaks out with a loud “amen”.

That man was Russ Gregg. The very next day he walked into his boss’s office and quit his job to begin laying the foundation for Hope Academy. May God raise up more leaders willing to render something for God that is a little bit crazy.