Leadership and Influence

Leadership and Influence

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my favorite leadership passage in Scripture.

Speaking of King David, the psalmist Asaph says, “He chose his servant David, and took him from the sheepfold; from tending the nursing ewes he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel, his inheritance. With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand.” Psalm 78:71–72 NRSV

I want to focus on a few thoughts from these verses for our consideration.

First, as with God’s selection of other leaders in the Bible, there is a clear acknowledgement of that which is God’s responsibility and that which is the leader’s. God “chose” David and “took him from,” and then “he brought him to.”

God often surprises us with His choice of leaders—many times He selects the unexpected and the unlikely to step into this calling. He sees what we often don’t see, like the heart and mind of the person. He then takes them “from” a current place or position and “to” something new that is both challenging and rewarding.

While we often only think of positional leadership in our Western mindset, I believe God has chosen each of us to lead, to influence, and to make a difference in our families, communities, and workplaces. While David was chosen for the specific leadership position of king, we all have been called by God to be salt, light, ambassadors, living epistles, fragrant aromas, disciples, priests, and much more.

Embedded in each of these callings are the joys and responsibilities of influencing and making a difference for Jesus in this world.

I also love the descriptors in this text of David’s responsibilities—to be “his servant,” to “be the shepherd,” to lead and tend with “upright heart,” and to guide with “skillful hand.”

The word “skillful” is used about 42 times in the Old Testament and is often translated “wisdom” or “understanding.” Also, the word “hand” is not the common Hebrew word used to describe the hand, but rather a more specific word which can be translated “palm.” It is most often used to describe the priests turning their hands upward and outward in a prayer or in a blessing.

In these two words alone we see a beautiful picture of the leadership we are all called to live—to wisely guide and care for those around us in a spirit of dependence upon God and as an act of worship to Him. As an example, I often see this wonderfully lived out by mothers and fathers with young children who lead and guide their families with faith, wisdom, and love. They inspire me to become a better leader!

May God stir your hearts as you seek to influence those around you for Him, just as we in Cadence strive to accomplish this in military communities around the world. Thank you for your partnership with us in this endeavor and for your leadership in your families and communities.

David Schroeder

40 Years of Student Ministry

40 Years of Student Ministry

Cadence Student Ministries is celebrating 40 years of ministry to the military!

In the summer of 1981, four students from Multnomah School of the Bible (now Multnomah University) formed a quartet called Malachi Singers. This group was the result of two Cadence Kids, Joyce and Dave Patty, dreaming and praying about summer military ministry while in college and their dad, Dick Patty, who was the Europe Field Leader at that time, believing in this vision. He told them, “If you put the group together, I’ll put together your first summer itinerary.”

Having lived in Germany for a year with their parents, Joyce and Dave experienced first-hand the incredible opportunities and needs of military students whose parents were stationed in Europe. At that time, Cadence (then OCSC) primarily ministered to military people through hospitality houses and servicemen’s centers, but there was little focus on their teenage dependents.

As a 19-year-old Freshman at Multnomah that year, I had no idea how trying out for this singing/drama team would change my life. Forty years ago this summer, I joined Joyce, Dave, and Marla and boarded my very first airplane (pictured above) and flew to Germany to minister to military students and soldiers through concerts, retreats, and small group discipleship. Dick and Margaret generously lent us a vehicle and their house was our home base.

We saw 63 students and soldiers come to Christ that summer. The next summer of 1982 that number almost doubled as 110 souls came to Jesus! Because of this response, we formed two singing teams in 1983 and began inviting our youth ministry friends to consider moving to Germany to partner with chaplains and become full-time youth workers on a military installation. And so, in 1984, Malachi Ministries “officially” became the youth ministry branch of OCSC.

Since then, Malachi, now Cadence Student Ministry and Cadence Children’s Ministry, has impacted thousands of military students for Jesus at military installations across Europe, Asia, and in the United States.

I didn’t grow up in a military family or community, so when I landed in Germany that first summer I met my very first military person at our first concert. Now all these years later, I continue to love military people and their families with all my heart. In fact, this is the essence of Cadence. It’s who we are and what we do: we love military people and their families.

The recent challenging and tragic events in Afghanistan have reminded us of the potential peril and sacrifice our military people and their families live with in service to their country.

In all our ministries at Cadence, we are dedicated to honoring this service, loving our military well, and faithfully bringing the hope of the gospel to this community—67 years now for the mission and 40 years for Cadence Student and Children’s ministries . . . and counting.

David Schroeder

The Gardener’s Legacy

The Gardener’s Legacy

The Gardener has gone to Heaven.

Joyce’s Dad, Dick Patty, went Home to Glory at 95 years of age on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The family penned these words on a sign and placed it by the little red vegetable wagon on the sidewalk by Dick and Margaret’s home, along with invitations to his memorial service.

Dick sold his amazing garden produce from this wagon to neighbors and friends for many years. He was well-known and loved not only in their neighborhood, but by so many across the U.S. and around the world.

Dick and Margaret are one of four founding couples of OCSC/Cadence International. They began and built one of OCSC’s first Servicemen’s Centers in Subic Bay, Philippines. Dick also led the mission for eleven years as its second General Director.

He then served as the Europe Field Director for 13 years, expanding the footprint of OCSC there from four ministries to over thirty. This included the establishing of Malachi Ministries, now Cadence Student Ministries, founded by two of his adult children, Joyce and Dave Patty.

Dick was a pioneer and started many new ministries, conferences, retreats, and other events and resources for the military. He and Margaret excelled in hospitality, eternally impacting many hundreds of people a few at a time in the warmth and love of their home.

Approximately 350 people came from across the U.S. and around the world to attend his memorial service here in Colorado. Hundreds more watched via livestream online. You can watch this celebration of Dick’s life as a Founder, Missionary, and Patriarch by going to Cadence.org/DickPattyMemorial.

On a personal note, Dick was my beloved father-in-law. I experienced his love, wisdom, leadership, courage, and faith first-hand. He taught me much about life and leadership.

I also learned gardening from Dick. He taught me the importance of the soil, and he was proud of the dark, vibrant, and nutrient-rich topsoil he had cultivated over many years. I’ll always remember the picture of Dick behind his rototiller turning the soil, preparing it for the seeds to be planted.

This is how Dick lived his life as well, carefully preparing the soil of people’s hearts for the seeds of wisdom and the gospel planted in love, often over a long period of time. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

The Gardener has gone to Heaven, yes, but the work and ministry Dick began must be carried on by each of us in our families, neighborhoods, places of work, military communities, and around the world. This is how we honor the legacy of such a man as Dick Patty.

David Schroeder

The Glory of God

The Glory of God

As I have begun to remove my mask in many public places here in Colorado, I’ve thought a lot about 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

In contrast to Moses who wore a veil to cover the fading glory of God from the disbelieving Israelites, we now “with unveiled faces all reflect” or as the ESV puts it, “behold the glory of the Lord.”

This means that there is nothing separating us from God’s glory, no barriers between us and others. There is freedom, openness, ever-increasing glory, transformation, and the work of the Spirit. It’s such a beautiful and powerful picture of our lives in Christ, our ministry of glory sharing, and our pilgrimage of transformation into the likeness of God.

We can live unmasked, unveiled, unencumbered, uninhibited, and yes, unhindered!


In an organization whose mission is to “share the gospel and our lives,” which normally excels in hospitality, and whose DNA requires walking closely with people in the military, this past year has definitely been a struggle and a challenge.

Yet . . . masks, social distancing, quarantines, room and building capacity limits, and lockdowns could not stop the glory of God from shining brightly. Nothing can veil the beauty and wonder of Jesus!

This confidence can take each of us deeper in the journey of unveiled hearts, openness to the Spirit of God, and vulnerability with our stories.

Thank you for your vital part in this unveiled sharing of the gospel with the military community!

David Schroeder



“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16 NIV

The Apostle Paul knew well that the Gospel of God would not move forward without a team of people all pulling the same direction for the cause of Christ.

I experienced this truth in a number of ways on a recent trip to visit our staff in Washington and California.

  • The military community of Bremerton, Washington has long been on the heart of Cadence leadership to restart a hospitality house ministry. Cadence missionaries, Greg and Heidi Carlson now live there and are raising support toward opening this new work by fall. They recently hosted a wonderful gathering of pastors, supporters, military Vets, and a chaplain. (Greg and Heidi are still raising their financial support so they can officially open this new ministry. If you would like to be a part of their support team, go to Cadence.org/Carlson for more information.)
  • It was a joy to experience this amazing group of people—all sharing a heart to reach and disciple Navy, Marine, and Army personnel at Naval Base Kitsap—Partnership!
  • What a privilege to visit with the Command Chaplain of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (a floating city of up to 5,000 sailors). He spoke of the incredible challenges he and his other chaplains faced on their extended 10-month deployment while underway. Crew members had no face-to-face contact with the outside world due to the pandemic, and the chaplains met with and counseled sailors for up to 10–12 hours a day. What a powerful ministry!
  • I then traveled to Lakewood, Washington to visit with our Cadence team who minister to the military at JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord). We met with another chaplain there who is on assignment from the Army Chief of Chaplains to forge partnerships between parachurch ministries and the chaplaincy—Teamwork!
  • Finally, my wife, Joyce, joined me in San Diego, California for the fulfillment of a God-sized dream to open a hospitality house ministry in the largest U.S. military community in the world with over 100,000 active-duty military personnel.
  • Cadence staff, Ed and Joy Bissonnette, have worked toward this vision for the past two years. What a blessing to experience the Grand Opening of this new ministry celebrating with 80 military people, dependents, local pastors, and residents of Coronado—Community!
  • Thank you to those of you who have prayed for this moment and others who have given financially to help fund this effort. God has miraculously provided a large and beautiful home just four doors down from the main gate of Naval Air Station, North Island Coronado.

Friends, these three ministries, and many more around the world, to our military people and their families would not happen without your faithful investment in Cadence.

Having just recently met some of the precious military people who are being impacted for Christ through these ministries, I just want to say again from the bottom of heart—thank you for your partnership in the advancement of the gospel!

David Schroeder