When I wanted to join the worship band, I was told (gently) that I needed to spend more time developing my skill. In response, I spent hours each day spending “time in the woodshed”, as my friend likes to put it.
My purpose is to know Jesus better, and to help others grow closer to him.
As a pastor, my mission is to have a life worth imitating and a faith worth considering - to live and lead a lifestyle of worship. To be a life-long learner and continue to bring effective methods into the arena of discipleship and training. To be relevant to those I teach by speaking their language while conveying Biblical truth, and to equip believers to do the work of ministry they are each created to do.
My long-term goal is to continue to raise up and train ministry leaders, equipping them with the proper tools to be effective communicators of the gospel and facilitators of worship through the arts, and continually lead experiential God glorifying worship and community outreach for His name.
The Apostle Paul once described himself as trying to be all things to all people so they could relate to what he was saying, and that’s what I've made an intentional effort to model in my life. Whether good or bad, I do embrace the wide range of experiences that have served to form my character development.
In no particular order, I am a shepherd pastor, teacher, musician, chef, navy brat, father, husband, Star Wars fan, Browncoat, Trekkie, recovering Catholic, adopted San Diegan, Coronado Islander, motorsport enthusiast, gamer, marksman, collector of oddities, and appreciator of the finer things in life, like not driving off cliffs (anymore).
I'm working on finishing the the Master of Divinity program and working on the Master of Educational Technology degree as well at Azusa Pacific University. My wife is annoyed with the phrase “it's my final year”, as I’ve been saying that for a few years now. But really, I only have a few assignments left to complete and Lord willing, I'll graduate soon.
I’ve been actively involved in ministry leadership for over 20 years as a pastor, ministry leader, worship pastor & leader, outreach pastor, worship musician, small group pastor, and minister to college-age, high school, and jr. high school groups.
In December 2014 my wife Susie and I celebrated 15 years of married life together, and we are thrilled to have a brilliant autistic son, and a very busy and equally brilliant daughter. The kids are otherwise known as Hobbit #1 and Hobbit #2.
We currently live in Mira Mesa and fellowship at Community Bible Church where I served as Pastor of Worship and Outreach, also giving oversight for Hospitality (Ushers & Greeters), Media, Social Media, Evangelism and Community Involvement. I routinely perform counseling, and help newlyweds navigate the waters of married life in one of our Small Groups. I also have the privilege of being a regularly contributing writer with Worship Leader Magazine, and helping coordinate the San Diego Worship Leaders Network, where I assist other worship leaders in developing their music ministries.
My main passion, anointing and calling in ministry is for worship that is experiential and life transforming, the spiritual care and mentoring of young adults (college, post college, and young marrieds), and servant evangelism with a focus towards long-term community impact.
Susie and I believe that as a husband and wife we are both called to serve in ministry, and we have had the wonderful experience of serving together in several ministries through our years together. Susie and I started and led a Young Married ministry that has continued to grow and develop beyond our five years of involvement. We also worked together for several years in community outreach, in our church’s servant evangelism kindness outreach ministry, which I later came to co-lead as assistant pastor.
My wife has her Master’s degree in Special Education and taught kindergarten/first grade bilingual students with mild to moderate disabilities in the inner city, until our kids entered the picture. She was a stay at home mommy for 11 years, but as our kids have reached school age, she's been finding opportunities to serve in ministry and return to the education field. She enjoys scrap booking, antiques, reading, Trading Spaces, and is a closet Trekkie, Browncoat, & Tolkien fan. She was born in Costa Rica, grew up in San Diego, and is fluent in Spanish – and is teaching our children to speak Spanish. Susie helped lead the Mothers of Pre-Schoolers ministry at our church for several years, and has been a core member of our current Moms On A Mission group.
Music is a huge part of my life, and I spend a great deal of time listening and performing. I strive to always be developing my worship leading abilities and musical skills, and I add new songs to my repertoire constantly. I’m proficient on many different instruments, including electric and acoustic six string guitars, twelve string acoustic, five string bass, keyboard, violin, viola, drums, and vocals. I’d love to learn the electric cello, banjo, and taiko drums, having been inspired by Bear McCreary, Paul Cartright, Tina Guo, and the members of the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra. Currently I'm working on the traditional Irish Penny Whistle.
I grew up in a Navy family, so I basically lived everywhere; we moved 25 times in 21 years, but I consider San Diego to be my home. It should be known as well that I am the prince of Navy brats – my dad was a highly decorated two-star admiral & multiple war veteran, and I took great advantage of being his son to exercise my brat-ness on many military bases around the world. Unfortunately he was killed in the line of duty when his F-18 went down in May 1995, but he was an amazing role model and I miss him dearly. As a long-term survivor, I participate with the organization TAPS: Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (www.taps.org) as a Peer Mentor, chaplain, and group leader for young adult children of military service members who have died in the line of duty, and I proudly serve other Gold Star families.
I'm a car guy and I love spending time on cars – restoring them, modifying them, repairing them, racing them, driving them, and yes, even just looking at them. My garage is full of every random tool ever conceived of for auto maintenance, and some that were never meant to be used on a car. Sometimes I have to make my own tools to fix things that break on cars that are no longer supported by their manufacturers (for some reason I am drawn to “problem” cars, rare & hard to find parts for). I love being involved in the car scene, hanging out with different auto clubs and communities. I use that connection as an evangelistic opportunity to share the love of Jesus, with 1 Corinthians 10:31 as my inspiration: whatever I do, I do it for the glory of God.
As alluded to previously, I am also a huge sci-fi geek, and helped found the San Diego Star Wars Society, serving as its president for 4 years. Currently I serve as a volunteer with Comic-Con International as a Committee member and senior staff member in the Programming Department. I'm also a founding member of Geeks4Christ and enjoy collaboration with Geeky Guys for God, and the Christian Comics Arts Society. I enjoy most cheesy sci-fi and fantasy (Firefly, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, the Matrix, etc). I do have fun playing Halo 4 & Forza Motorsports with my friends when I get the chance (g60racer2 is my gamer tag), and I spend time keeping up with friends online through social networking, mostly Facebook and Twitter these days. I am also a proud child of the 80’s and love memorabilia and music from the best – check that – the most *radical*decade ever.
Somewhere in all this I’ve been involved in the film/TV/media industry. My geeky friends & family who work in this medium are probably somewhat to blame, but I’m drawn to the production aspects of film making such as costume & prop making, musical scoring, and special effects and cinematography. I’ve had the pleasure of appearing on screen on a couple of TV shows and movies as an actor, so as weird as it sounds, I’ve been a member of SAG and AFTRA and I have an IMDB page online. Recently I was in a Super Bowl commercial for the NFL. Just one of those weird eclectic experiences I've been blessed to have.
As far as employment goes… I've most often been what you could consider multi-vocational, and what those in ministry would call a tent maker. I’ve been the senior chef of a Greek restaurant; started working there in 1995 and was serving there once again until the end of 2010 – it’s been a true blessing to have a place that I can go back to when everything else falls through! I’ve also been a high school teacher (government, economics, guitar, English, religious studies, Spanish) musician, and pastor (as mentioned earlier). I was laid off from teaching at the end of school year 2008, substituted for a year until budget cuts killed that as well, and though it had been a couple of years since I was a vocationally salaried pastor, I had the opportunity to serve sacrificially at our current church for a couple years as a volunteer before joining the staff at CBC. God is amazing and has faithfully taken care of our needs in such a wide variety of means, we've had to write it down - the math just doesn't add up, but God's provision does! From September 2010 until January 2015, I was blessed to be on staff at San Diego Community Bible Church.
In the midst of all of this, I’m an avid writer, with articles regularly published by Worship Leader Magazine and several books in process; I haven’t quite taken to the submission stage yet, but I’ve been researching the process through several published friends of mine, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll jump into the book publishing fray at some point rather than keep this stuff all to myself. (Thanks to my friend Margaret Feinberg for the inspiration and encouragement!!!)
Anywho. That’s not exactly brief, but it’s more or less an overview of this particularly geeky pastor whose post you’re reading. If it strikes your fancy, please shoot me an email, message me on Facebook, text me, tweet me, or you could get all crazy and call me on the phone. But really, who still does that now? ;)
Thanks Robin! Glad to hear you find it widely applicable!!
Solid insight, Graham! Thanks for adding that!