What is a Bible verse or passage that has impacted your life?
At the start of my ministry the book of Titus was influential in confirming my call and direction in ministry as a Christian Educator. Ten years ago Psalms 71:14-18 became the Bible passage that clarified the priority of the second half of my ministry. My favorite verse is…Romans 14:17-18. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. (NIV)
What is your favorite vacation spot?
My wife and I always enjoy a trip to the mountains in the fall. Seeing the fall foliage is a must every year.
What are your favorite hobbies or activities?
Daytripping is one of my favorite activities. Exploring new places and experiences within a day’s drive and sleeping in my own bed is great. I’m an avid LSU football fan. I also enjoy playing golf (poorly I might add)
Name an author/book you enjoy or has made an impact in your professional career?
The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee had a profound effect on my life as I grappled with my own understanding of my identity in Christ. More recently, Created to Learn by Rick Yount challenged me to explore the roots of educational principles and practices. Rick has become a mentor and friend.
In addition to the Bible, what is your favorite devotional reading?
Without a doubt, My Utmost for His Highest, the Holy Spirit speaks to me each time I read through it. Fred Buechner in Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith expresses some thoughtful perspectives.
What is the greatest concern and highest hope for the church today?
My greatest concern…. is that the church has become much more interested in preserving the institution of the church than pursuing the mission of the church.
My highest hope…is that when things appear dark and despair feels overwhelming, God always calls out a new people to fulfill his mission and reinvent the “church.” I am excited to see the next generation that God will call out and the great things they can do.
Briefly describe your conversion experience.
One Sunday evening in the church I attended, the Pastor posed a classic appeal at the invitation, “If you do not know if you would go to heaven when you die, raise your hand.” I was suddenly convicted about my sinful state and my eternal destiny so I raised my hand. I was only 9 years old at the time. My father observed my response during the invitation and when we got home he asked me about it. He then led me through the relevant Bible passages and explained how I might know Christ personally. I invited Christ into my life that night. Several years later when I was in high School I began to realize that salvation was not just about having Christ in my life but surrendering my life to Him. By the time I entered my second year of college Galatians 2:20 had real significance.
Tell us about your family.
Tara is my wife of 35 years. We were in the first grade together and graduated from High School together. She has been a private piano teacher for most of her adult life. We have been ministry partners and she has contributed to ministry in every church we’ve served and is an excellent organizer. The past 20 plus years Tara has loved leading the Women’s ministry in our congregations. We have one married daughter, Joni. She and her husband Ryan live in Fort Worth, TX. Joni is on staff at a congregation in that area and Ryan is a retail manager.