I’m currently attending Antioch Bible College at Rancho Community. This is my second year and I’m currently going thru the “Habits of the Heart” course. In our cohort we’re spending a lot of time discussing things like, how we study, what we read, how we spend our time, which spiritual disciplines do we participate in, why, and how?
Tonight we continued a discussion from last week which touched on the idea of putting together a personal “time-line” to kind of map what God has done in our lives, how we were shaped, and how we are growing. I always like to see what I’m talking about, graphics help me understand and explain, so here’s my time-line in a graphic.
And here’s a little more detail in written form:
In what is labeled, “Sovereign Foundations”:
- I was introduced to church through my parents at a very young age. I still remember attending “First Presbyterian Church of Milpitas“. I’m pretty sure I went to preschool there, attended VBS in the summers, and moved into “Milpitas Christian School” through 5th or 6th Grade.
- I was introduced to Christ in a more mature way through the ministry of “Big Valley Grace Church” in Modesto, California. Rick Countryman was my youth pastor and through his ministry and a trip to Hume Lake Christian Camp, I made what I believe was my personal profession of faith. I also began personally studying the Bible and serving at church during this time.
- Our family made a move to Southern California when I was in high school. During the following years I was not connected to a healthy church ministry and was not excited about growing spiritually. I call this my “walking away” period. I won’t bore anyone with details.
- After a few years of not much direction, I spent a summer in ministry back at Big Valley Grace as a worship leader for their youth group. Then I came back to Southern California and began volunteering a Sunrise Christian Fellowship, a small church plant that my parents were attending in Murreita. Through serving for a couple years, I began to feel the call to further invest in ministry. I attended Calvary Chapel Bible College and became the youth pastor for Sunrise.
- Marriage brought me into the next phase of my life. I began to learn how marriage and ministry work together and continued working a full time job and volunteer at Sunrise. It was in conversations with my wife that I first began to consider full-time ministry.
- After a lot of prayer, advice, meeting, and talking, my wife and I decided to make a move into full-time ministry at a new church plant in Temecula called Life Church. This was an exciting time in our lives – we were a young family with one child and tons of time and energy to give to the ministry. we experienced a couple years of rapid growth and exciting ministry, had our second child, and made deep connections with people in our church.
- About three years into our time at Life Church, we began to experience some of the growing pains that come with a fast-growing church plant. I became the executive pastor, overseeing our staff. I learned a ton, quickly. While I enjoyed a great deal of success,watching families come be introduced to Christ and the church, I also experienced great deal of frustration & burn-out. After about another year-and-a-half of conversations, prayer, and mentor’s advice, we made the heart-breaking decision to end our time there.
- It was a week after I resigned that I got a call from Rancho Community Church. A long story short – we came to Rancho. My position was a little vague, but it had something to do with Communications, helping with parent communications at their Christian School (which I had experience in attending..), and helping with the “look & feel” of the church.
- Since coming to Rancho, we’ve had our third child, helped rebrand the school and church, joined the executive team, and launched a brand new venue campus in Murrieta.
So, that’s my journey so far, laid out on this time-line. There’s three more categories that I haven’t reached yet. I’ll share those and some goals/ideas in Part 2.
This has been really helpful for me to see how God, from the very beginning has been preparing me for where I am at today. How he has given me opportunities to learn and grow – to have life-altering experiences on the way. For giving me a trusting and supportive wife, a beautiful family, and a place now to continue to grow, to learn, and to launch into the the next phase of my life.