I am not originally from the Northeastern United States. I am a midwesterner... specifically a BUCKEYE from Ohio. My love for all things college football and Ohio State is often a source of ridicule throughout the church, but "home" for me has really been redefined over the last 3 years because of what God has been up to. I am passionately in love with the Schoharie Valley area of the world and am incredibly thankful that God directed my path here in June of 2005.
I grew up in church, but I didn't grow up loving church. Church for me was a formality... a routine... but I didn't see how going to church really made a difference in most people's lives that I knew. I didn't see much of a difference in the lives of church-goers that I knew compared with others who didn't go to church. About all I noticed was that people who didn't go to church got to sleep in on Sundays. That sounded like a pretty good deal to me! They both had the same problems from the best I could tell. Divorce, money, job issues, broken relationships, kids without a mom or a dad, not enough time in the day, arguments, depression, debt... the list goes on and on.
But then I got to junior high and I remember the first time I went to the Sunday night youth group at my best friend's church. The best way to describe it is that IT CHANGED MY LIFE! I saw jr. high and high school students who were serious about their faith, who actually believed that Jesus was alive and that His presence in their life changed things. And as I began to watch people I began to see something different from what I had thought I knew about God, faith, and church. Jesus does change things!
I learned there that the difference I noticed that is present in all churches is that some people go to church, and then there are other people that follow Jesus, and just because you go to church doesn't mean you are following Jesus.
From there I committed to Jesus that I wanted to follow Him. I admitted to God that what I now saw, in others, was that He made a life changing difference in their:
- relationships, because they were actually APPLYING His principles in the Bible to those relationships
- finances, because they were actually PUTTING INTO PRACTICE what He says to do in the Bible with finances
- work life, because they were TREATING others the way Jesus treated people
- worldview, because they saw their PURPOSE in creation and were pursuing what God DESIGNED them for
- families, because they were IMPLEMENTING tough disciplines to keep their family focused, healthy, and together
- church, they ACTUALLY WANTED TO BE IN CHURCH BECAUSE IT WAS FUN!
After high school I thought I would spend the rest of my life working in my hometown, not unlike my father, maybe as a truck driver or construction worker or whatever... but God had different plans for me. I found myself sensing that He was calling me to pastoral ministry and I resisted for 3 years.
Finally, I stopped running and I decided to yield to Him because I was trying to stear my life and I wasn't satisfied with the direction... so why not try God's plan. What's the worst that could happen? I discovered that it was far greater than I ever imagined my life could be!
Over the last 12 years I went to college for youth ministry, was a youth pastor, young adult pastor, worship pastor, involved with a new church plant, and then relocated to upstate New York, where I had never been before... where I met my beautiful wife Kat who I am crazy about. We bought a home and started a family.
Now I get to be a part of a group of people called Fusion Community Church who believe God for GREAT things...
a group of people who have faith that God is not done with us...
a group of people who are crazy enough to think that the best is yet to come...
that God wants to expand our impact for His glory all over this corner of the world...
and for some even crazier reason, God has chosen me to be the leader for this season of the journey!
I feel incredibly blessed to be experiencing what God has done in my life so far because of Jesus Christ, and I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the more and better life He promises just gets more and better as we continue to trust in Him!
So, if you are meeting me for the first time here, I INVITE YOU to come and check us out... come join us for this leg of the journey... and lets see what God does with us, for us, and throughout Schoharie county and beyond... I LOVE MY CHURCH!
I feel incredibly blessed to be experiencing what God has done in my life so far because of Jesus Christ...and I invite you to come check us out!