I personally received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord on August 7, 1977. I was brought up in a family which rarely attended church or believed in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When I entered high school I can remember laughing at anyone who professed a belief in any God. During my sophomore year I decided to attend a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meeting at our school. The purpose behind my attending had nothing to do with any spiritual interest but the motivation was the hope of getting to know the senior basketball players who regularly attended the FCA meetings. I felt that if I developed a friendship with the older players it would help me reach my goal to be on the team and become the “big man on campus”. The following summer I attended an FCA national conference in Michigan. I thought I was attending a basketball camp and was shocked when I realized it was a “religious” conference. But at the conference, for the first time in my life, I was confronted with my own sinfulness and the person of Jesus Christ. I was amazed at what I learned about Jesus Christ and I commented that they needed to write a book about Him. They told me there was already a great book about Him-the Bible and I needed to read it. I went home from that conference and I spent a year studying the Bible to see if what they said was true about Jesus (Acts 17:11). After the year of searching, I attended another FCA conference and I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. When I received Christ, I knew that my relationship with God was restored. I was very bold in my proclamation of Christ and the Holy Spirit was working in my heart to serve God wholeheartedly (Joshua 14:8). The Lord led me to take several different leadership positions in my church and with the FCA groups I was involved in. While I was a student at Indiana University, God put a desire in my heart to serve Him full time in a pastoral ministry. Soon after, I felt God called me to full-time ministry for my life calling.
I have been blessed in my walk with Jesus Christ to have been discipled, mentored and encouraged to grow in my relationship with Christ, lead others to faith in Christ and to disciple them to do the same. The key question for each believer to ask themselves is not “Am I making disciples?” but “What kind of disciples am I making?” We reproduce who we are in Christ. Jesus said in Luke 6:40, “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” My strength as a pastor is the ability to model, equip and encourage others to “Delight in God and Declare the Gospel” and to multiply believers to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples…etc. I have been a pastor in the local church (Evangelical Free Church of America, Christian and Missionary Alliance and Christian Reformed Church) for over twenty five years. I am presently the pastor of Community Christian Reformed Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.