A Little About Myself
I was born in 1974 while my father was a student at Wheaton College Graduate School. Because of ear problems suffered by my brother and I brought on by the cold weather of Illinois, my parents decided to move back to California, where they both were from, rather than pursue the surgery which the doctors suggested would otherwise be necessary. So, although I was born in Illinois, my family history, and the greatest part of my upbringing makes me a true Californian. My participation in Christian worship activities began as soon as I entered this world, with my family being dedicated and active Christians as far back as can be traced. This tradition is not consistently of one denomination, however, for just as my forebears took the opportunity to seek out new geographic locations, so also they were willing to experiment with different expressions of the Christian faith. This was not simply because of desiring change for its own sake, but seems to reflect a transition which reflects the active movements of the day. This century found my family early on firmly entrenched as Fundamentalists, attending mainly Baptist churches. With this dedication came a strong call to Christian missions, with a large number of aunts and uncles involved in a variety of foreign and local missionary work. My grandfather, who was a farmer in what is now Baldwin Park, began to feel a passion towards sharing Christ with the workers in his fields, and teaching himself Spanish began a church dedicated towards these new immigrants. This calling blossomed into full time missions work, including the running of a Bible school for the training of new pastors.
As the religious climate in this century brought a transition from fundamentalism to evangelicalism, my family once again found itself changing with the time. Thus, the family I was born into is thoroughly Evangelical, with roots going very far back, and not seeming to be content in what could be called more “traditional” settings. My own parents, dissatisfied with many aspects of their own religious upbringing went through times of exploration, seeking after churches which seemed to best reflect Christ in all ways. This meant a childhood where denominational affiliation became somewhat meaningless, with time spent in Wesleyan, Baptist, Pentecostal, Brethren, and some other churches. Always, however, my parents were active in whatever church they attended, finding places of leadership, and I was always involved in whatever children’s and youth programs these churches offered.
When it came time to go to college, I decided to go to Wheaton College near Chicago. I planned throughout my four years there to continue on to law school. However, as a history major I was exposed to a class on early Church history, and exposed to Bible classes as part of the general education requirements. These classes ignited a passion for Biblical studies and Church history which led me to double major in History and Biblical/theological studies. When it came time to graduate, a few major financial crises struck me and my family which put off any thought of continued school for a while. At this time I found myself wondering if I would be content to spend my life as a lawyer, and if not, where did I see my passions leading me. This thinking created a change in my focus, which led me away choosing to attend law school and into attending Fuller Seminary.
Full time ministry has never been a goal of mine, and I am not sure whether or not this is where I am currently headed. My passion for church history still exists, and I could see myself continuing on for a PhD in this subject. However, I am finding an increasing passion towards discovering how the Holy Spirit is working in the life of the church in this day and age, and working within my local church setting to disciple those who are seeking Christ in every part of their life. Part of this new passion is working alongside the full-time worship leader at my church in developing a new Sunday evening service which reflects modern expressions of worship. This is not simply developing a “contemporary” service, but having reached the bounds of “contemporary” worship at my church, we find that there are deficiencies which need to be addressed, and that the modern church is in need of a style which is fresh, but incorporates what has been established before. This will, hopefully, result in a service with a variety of music and speaking styles with the goal to not simply be modern, but to truly worship God in our context with all of our heart, and mind, and soul.