I graduated from college with a degree in Experimental Psychology with aspirations to become a licensed Clinical Psychologist.
So I moved back home, took a grad school entrance exam and started volunteering at my church in a program which served drug- and alcohol-addicted youth and adults.
It was not your typical church-based ministry. Youth often came to the center, dragged through the front door by their parents. The yelling and swearing were clear indicators that they did not want to be there. Parents often said angry, hateful things in return. These were hurting families, dysfunctional families, families caught up in drugs and alcohol. Monday nights we held a meeting for teens only. Wednesday nights were for adults only. Individual and family counseling was provided throughout the week. Often and against their will, we had to place kids in a drug and alcohol treatment center. Sundays we met outside, on the back patio, for worship. It was there that I began to see God work. Lives were being changed. Sober teens were now openly thanking their parents for everything they had done for them. Parents reciprocated by praising their kids for their courage and hard work.
There was a new and miraculous love for one another. Sometimes it would take weeks and sometimes it would take months, but I witnessed one person after another being set free—free from alcohol, free from anger, free to love, free to worship God. The impact on me was life-changing. I told God that if this is what He was about then I would give my life to it. So I did. And here I am.
The road to here hasn’t always been clear. But two consistent themes have emerged in my life. First, I love to connect people to Jesus and the power which is found in following Him. Second, I love to help others find their place in God’s rescue mission and release them to do it. When I do these things then my heart soars and life feels full and significant and rich. The reverse is also true. I feel life drains right out of me when daily tasks, meetings and activities consistently have nothing to do with my two themes. I am very fortunate that I get to work in a job that allows me to connect and release people. But I would do these things even if I wasn’t a pastor. It is the specific calling God made me for.
We all have a calling. Every one of us. Wherever there is a calling there is a changed life. Jesus changes us and fills us with joy, purpose and adventure. Join Dr. Scott Dudley, Jesse Rice, Rev. Scott Mann, Ryan Beattie and me for a 4-week seminar on calling, October 7, 14, 21, and 28, at 7pm, entitled “Free to Be You”.