As we complete our journey through “The Story” this month, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you, briefly, the story of how God led me into the ministry.
I was born in Indianapolis in 1981 and raised in the western suburb of Plainfield, Indiana. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a Christian home with parents who loved the Lord. I was baptized into Christ at the age of nine.
As I approached junior high, my parents decided to transfer our membership from the Baptist church we attended to Hazelwood Christian Church in Clayton, Indiana. We’ve never been big on the idea of
“church-hopping”, but in this one case it was a good move. I had struggled in my relationships with other kids at our previous church simply because we weren’t in the same school system . . . I was an outsider. Moving to a church with friends from the school I attended, as well as members of our family, helped me have greater motivation to want church as a part of my life. At Hazelwood Christian Church, other students my age reached out to me, loved me, and included me. The result was a kid who couldn’t get enough of being at church.
In our high school youth group, God drew out my leadership characteristics. I was asked to preach for youth Sunday. I loved hosting youth group parties at our house. Would you believe that I even tried to organize a small group Bible study among some of my other friends? (I know, that’s such a stretch for
some of you to believe!) I didn’t recognize it then, but God was using these experiences to shape me for service in His kingdom. It all culminated one day in my youth minister pulling me aside and saying, “You have the heart of a minister.”
There would be a few other refining experiences yet to come, including a year at Purdue University, before I would fully settle on my calling. But it was these preparatory experiences from my youth that would serve as guideposts ultimately leading me to where I am today.