Who I Am

PC250052aI’m a flawed human being trying his best to grow a little more Christlike every day, and to do the things God has created me to do for his kingdom. Fortunately, I don’t have to do it alone! God has blessed with me with an incredible family. Tiffani and I have been married 40 years! Yes, I know we don’t look old enough for that to be true. (And, to be fair, it’s not the most recent picture.) Well, at least she doesn’t. And God has blessed us even further with a son, Eric, who is a business leader and worship pastor.

I’m a pastor. (No, that’s not the title of my current full-time employment, but that’s who I am.) My spiritual gifts are teaching, wisdom, and knowledge. I’m someone who enjoys and excels at studying and learning for its own sake, but I get even more out of sharing the insights I’ve gained with others—in both written and spoken form.

For those who care about such things, my Myers-Briggs type is either ENTJ or INTJ. (I’ve taken it twice and gotten different results—probably because I can be very outgoing when I’m with people, but then need alone time to recharge), and I could be classified as a task/unstructured sort of person. I love people and enjoy being around them, but I also love my wife and am well aware that the Bible says that a man who cannot manage his household should not be in leadership of the church.

In other words, I think the Bible commands church leaders to spend time with their family rather than letting them got lost in the shuffle as the church takes all their time. I’m also well aware that no single person can always be where everyone wants him to be.

All of that is part of why I’m a strong believer in ministry teams. I don’t believe anyone—certainly not me!—can handle all the roles in some of the classic definitions of pastor. I believe each individual, and the body as a whole, are all served best by being in positions where they can focus on their strengths, and have teammates with complementary gifts for the areas in which they’re weak. Besides, Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us that it is not the job of the church staff to do the ministry. It’s their job to equip the people of the church to do the ministry.

mag1small
You can get another glimpse into who I am by clicking on this image to read the article in the Fall 1998 issue of Bethel Seminary’s Heart & Mind magazine.

I’m a forward-thinking person, far more interested in where we’re going than where we’ve been. I’m a recovering Pharisee, and I’m doing everything in my power never to fall into the addictive trap of legalism again. I believe that if “we tried that and it didn’t work” it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try again. It means we should learn from what didn’t work so we can make changes to our strategy before trying again. I have great respect for the past, and the people who laid the foundations upon which we build, but I don’t care if “we’ve always done it this way”—unless you can show me you’re still beating your laundry against the rocks by the river like we’ve always done it.

I like hugs. A lot.

I love laughter. I’m a golfer. Well, looking at my score card I guess that’s a bit of a stretch. My favorite form of quiet time with God is snowshoeing or hiking. Though I love studying and learning, I’m not a classic “left brain” person because I also enjoy being creative.

According to my wife, I’m a work in progress. I think God agrees with her.