I was born in Wyoming and lived there most of my early life – but I’m not much of a cowboy. I’ve lived in Nebraska since 1994 (with the exception of a brief stint in Colorado) – but I don’t really like corn. I enjoyed a year in Colorado – but there’s a high cost to staying in the belly of a whale when God directs you somewhere else (even when you’re surrounded by those awesome mountains). I currently live in beautiful Oakland, Oregon where I serve as the lead pastor of the Oakland Church of Christ. I’ve often felt a little homeless, or at least nomadic!
I once came home from a week at church camp to find my family had moved without me. They only moved two houses away, so I found them soon enough. Eventually, after a few additional moves, I let them get away for good and stole a cute girl from a house across town. We moved about 500 miles away and went to college together. After college, she followed me to Colorado, too. I was cool with that because I liked her. A lot! Plus we’d been married for 4 years by then so it would’ve been kind of awkward to go without her.
After 20+ years of youth ministry and having 4 kids together, I still like her. A lot! We’ve been married for 27 years now, so I’m pretty sure we’re going to make it. Actually, I was sure we’d make it when she learned to drive a manual transmission (because that was the only car we had)… I’m pretty skeptical about a lot of things, and I doubt myself more than anybody I know, but I have no equivocation about my wife. She’s just awesome. Her offspring are pretty incredible as well (though I admit my bias).
After 20 years as a youth minister, I recognize that I don’t always see things the way normal people do, but I love spending time with adolescents. I love the church and young people and developing them to lead the church. I love seeing them come face to face with God and discover who they really are – who He’s created them to be. I love it when they realize they don’t have to settle for normal and that things don’t have to stay the way they are. And I love it when they finally realize that they’re nomads, too… made for another kingdom… made for a crash.
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Here are a few messages I’ve preached that seem to contain some of the more recurring themes in my life.
Believe a Better Story: (Audio)
The Church Unleashed:
A Couple Clips from the Imminent Crash Spring Thing Youth Event: