This coming June 25th, I will have been married 39 years to my beautiful best friend, Valerie. We have four wonderful children: Deborah (35), who lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Wells, and their little boy, Ever Bless; Sean (31), newly married this past January to Erika and living in L.A.; Ashley (22) who’s in her last year at Biola, majoring in graphic design; and our youngest, Nathan (18 in July), who just graduated from high school. He was accepted at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but is deferring for a year and presently attending the CC School of Worship.
I was born again on December 31, 1973 (almost 42 years ago).
Years in Ministry:
I’ve been in fulltime ministry since early 1982 (33 years).
After our first year of marriage I left teaching and coaching at the high school level to pursue a life as a pastor and Bible teacher. My first steps into ministry were in the area of music. Music, as a guitar player and songwriter, has been an integral part of my pastoral and missional life. At the musician’s fellowship at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa I met Pastor Malcolm Wild, who had recently moved to California from England. We became friends and Malcolm and his wife, Carol, played a tremendous part in shaping Valerie’s and my life in Christ. By 1980 I was in a band with Malcolm and we began to do evangelism in England. Malcolm also gave me opportunities to teach Bible studies at the musician’s fellowship. In 1982 Pastor Chuck Smith asked me to come on staff as the CCCM high school pastor. Over the next eight years I learned invaluable (and sometimes crushing) lessons as a husband, dad and pastor. By the grace of God I have had the privilege of seeing God raise up and equip a large number of men to become lead pastors with fruitful lives and churches.
After nearly eight years as the high school pastor, the Lord directed my family and me to pastor a Calvary Chapel fellowship in Grass Valley, California. After thirteen years as lead and teaching pastor of Calvary Chapel Grass Valley (recently renamed Crossroads Community Church) my wife and I sensed a tremendous burden to start a Bible study in the city of Roseville, California, as an outreach of CC Grass Valley. Calling the Monday night Bible study Metro Calvary Outreach, it grew within a year to over seventy people. Because of the overcrowding in our home, the City of Roseville said that the study would have to stop or move into a public meeting place. Within a week the Lord opened the door at the Rocklin Sunset Center and God continued to add to the Monday night study. On January 4, 2004 Metro Calvary Outreach held its first Sunday service at the Rocklin High School.
Going on 33 years in pastoral ministry I am more amazed and humbled by the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus than ever before, and more in love with my wife and children. Today I am more passionate about teaching the Bible, and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do next in and through Metro.
Current Ministry Role and Location of Local Church:
I am the lead pastor and teaching pastor of Metro Calvary in Roseville, California.
Church Website: metrocalvary.org
What is the greatest life lesson the Lord has taught you recently and what is the greatest ministry lesson the Lord has taught you recently?
In 30-plus years of ministry I’ve learned that our lives don’t just divide neatly into a box labeled “Life” and another box labeled “Ministry.” Life is ministry and ministry is life. A couple of years ago I met a guy who became very influential in my life. He told me that he was having a conversation with his brother who is a pastor. He asked his brother, “How’s church going?” His brother responded, “Good…but that will change!” That is life. That is church. I think that all of us desire to move toward “good” in our marriage, our families and friendships, and in the realm of pastoral ministry. The problem is that “good” is not a static point of destination. Life in Jesus is always good but it’s anything but static.
The same is true on the horizontal plane of life. Things can go from good to bad in a flash. This past year my wife’s health had gone from good to bad in a moment. And over the course of a few months she had four surgeries on her right eye. Each surgery was followed by twenty hours a day in a face down position for seven to eight days. After all of that she is still virtually blind in that eye.
As I watched the grace that she received from the Lord and the grace she demonstrated in all of that, I learned a big lesson that stands true in every aspect of life. The big question is not, “Why do we suffer?” The question is “How do we suffer?” Life changed for my wife because of her health, but through all of her suffering, Jesus never stopped being her hero.
What are you looking forward to most at the 2015 CC Worship Leaders Conference?
I’m looking forward to seeing the Holy Spirit inform, define and direct this generation of worshipers and worship leaders, deepening our sense of God’s infinite worth, so that He will have His rightful place in our lives as men and women, husbands and wives, dads and moms, and servants in the church. I’m also looking forward to seeing the Holy Spirit refine our understanding of what it means to lead the redeemed in the worship of their Redeemer. And of course, I look forward to spending time with people whose lives matter very much to me.
What topic are you teaching on at the conference?
Lord willing I’m going to teach on “Worship: The Ultimate Matter!” 2 Chronicles 28:22-29:36