I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters! For against its will the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation, all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children.Romans 8:18-21 (TPT)
Suffering, struggles, trials, difficulties, hard times, persecution, stress, brokenness, futility, slavery, and pain. Regardless of what you call it, no one is exempt from it. Even privileged people who are born into a Christian home are born into a broken world, and they have to decide to be a disciple of Christ on their own.
I have faced my own set of suffering. Some of it was self-inflicted, and some of it was the result of living in a broken world. But as a follower of Jesus Christ, I have hope.
There is a divine mystery—a secret surprise that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded and manifested for every holy believer to experience. Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!Colossians 1:26-27 (TPT)
Called to Ministry
Every follower of Christ is called to ministry. The only appropriate response to His unconditional grace is a life devoted to Him. Even so, not all Christians are called to vocational ministry. It is a calling that is assigned by God. I began to recognize my call to ministry in middle school, and over the years, God has confirmed this calling through elders, pastors, and mentors. It is a calling that has looked different through various seasons of my life, but has always been the same at the core: Point people to Christ and equip them to do the same.
Mission Minded Shepherd Teacher
Since that first glimpse of my calling in middle school, there has always been a vein of missions in my assignment. I traveled on a number of mission trips through my high school career and saw incredible fruit from that ministry even though they were all short-term trips. My heart is burdened for those who do not know Jesus; the spiritually fatherless who are disconnected from His grace and glory. I genuinely care about people, and have specific desire to help the physically fatherless as well; orphans and foster children who are all but forgotten by the rest of society.
That passion for people is the shepherd side of me. I care about the whole person, from physical and emotional needs to their spiritual wellbeing. My family has opened our home to entire families to live with us when they were going through hard times. I’ve led teams to go beyond accomplishing tasks related to our mission and grow into spiritual leaders. There is an anointing on me to guide people towards realizing their potential in God’s Kingdom as they tap into the gifts that He has given them.
I am called to not only train up my own children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), but to also “nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry,” (Ephesians 4:12, TPT). This is my greatest passion, to equip followers of Christ for ministry. There are aspects of God’s ministry through me that are apostolic and prophetic, but I’ve found that I gravitate towards evangelism, pastoring, and teaching.
What I’m Doing Now
I am a pastor at a multi-site church in the Greater Pittsburgh region of Pennsylvania. My title is Assistant Campus Pastor at our second largest campus, but that probably doesn’t tell you much about what I actually do.
My primary role is overseeing the worship at our campus. I cultivate and develop volunteers to use their gifts to lead worship through music and technology during weekend worship at our campus. I’m also a worship leader alongside them and contribute to the shaping of worship services across all of our campuses. I truly believe that there is an enormous difference between leading people to sing songs and leading them in worship. I am passionate about leading people into the throne room of God and responding to His presence with true worship. The role of leading worship at a church is best filled by someone with a shepherd’s heart. My deepest hope in this ministry is to see that shepherd’s heart develop in all of my worship leaders.
Our multi-site model utilizes live teaching at all of our campuses. I share the preaching (teaching) load with our campus pastor, and generally speak 6-10 times per year. I’m also tapped to fill in at other campuses when the need arises. The messages here are centrally written, and then adapted for the context of each campus. One of the things that I wish I could do more in this area of ministry is write. I have the opportunity to write through my blog, and I’ve also written songs, but I’m only scratching the surface of my potential in this area of ministry right now.
Discipleship is key to the spiritual growth and equipping vision of our church. I am a part of a small group, but have also led groups. After handing the leadership of my past groups over to my apprentices, I stepped up into a coaching role. My primary responsibility in our discipleship process now is to coach a group of small group leaders and help people get connected to groups. I help the leaders train apprentices and multiply their groups so that even more people can be discipled.
Assistant Campus Pastor
Our overall vision is handed down from our lead pastor. I support the campus pastor and help him shape how the overall vision is applied to our campus. We’ve started to call ourselves the “pilot campus” because we tend to take risks and try new things to advance the vision of the church. The ideas that work are often scaled across the rest of the church. One of my favorite things is partnering with the campus pastor to develop the vision and goals for our campus. We may not always see eye-to-eye, but our hearts are usually on the same track forward.
Communications Designer and Tech Consultant
I have an extensive background ranging from things like graphic and web design to production technology integration. I’ve used my gifts to raise the level of excellence in our communications and use of technology in services. Sometimes this looks like fresh branding for ministries or graphic design. Other times it involves designing the technology buildout and leading the installation for a new campus or venue. I oversaw the move from outsourcing all of our print needs to setting up a printshop so that we have more flexibility with what we print. This move also cut the cost of printing so that more money could go towards other ministries.
Who I Want To Be
I hope that generations of people will be blessed and have an ever-growing relationship with God as a result of my leadership. To lead anyone, we must be going somewhere. The following is a list, in no particular order, of the attributes or qualities of the man I want to be.
- A man fully surrendered and devoted to God
- A committed husband who loves sacrificially
- A deeply caring father to my children
- A teacher of truth, love, and power to the church
- A lifelong learner
- An adoptive father to orphans
- A rescuer of slaves
- A leader of disciple makers
- A man overflowing with the fruit of The Spirit
- A man who rejoices always, prays continually, and is thankful in all circumstances