I’m also a pastor and a speaker.
My life is all about relationships. I am blessed to have an amazing family and amazing friends. When I was 18 years old, someone handed me a copy of Dale Carnigie’s timeless book…“How to win friends and influence people” and it erupted my desire to connect with people. Carnigie’s book is just a mere backdrop to the way that Jesus’ words have radically changed my life and my life goal is to love God and to love others. That’s it, pretty simple.
Along the way though, I fell in love with the local church and telling people about Jesus.
How it started.
When I was 10 years old, my neighborhood friends and I set up a stage in my parent’s basement and I practiced giving talks to them about Jesus and I have loved speaking ever since.
In high school I was on the chapel committee and found myself in front of our student body a lot. I loved it.
Anytime there was a speech to be given in school, I knew I was going to get an A. That wasn’t the case with any other class…well, except for band! It was the only time that other students actually wanted to be my partner! I loved it.
How it grew.
Then my life changed. In 1995, a church in Redford, MI hired me to be their youth pastor. I was only twenty years old! To this day, I still don’t know what they were thinking hiring a twenty year old! But they did and I found myself speaking to students three times a week and…you guessed it…I loved it.
Two years later the phone rang with an unexpected ask. I was asked for the first time to be a guest speaker at a camp. I was floored. I was nervous. I was incredibly excited. I arrived at camp and quickly found out that every student at the camp were court appointed juvenile delinquents! What a great first audience! Well, it turned out fantastic and I’ve been speaking at camps, retreats and conferences ever since.
What’s the rest of the story?
Since 1995, I have worked for local churches in the Detroit area, in Chicago and most recently in Central, MI. I have worked for small churches and large churches; including two of largest churches in the US…NorthRidge Church and Willow Creek Church.
For a solid year I wrestled with God about planting a church. Then my wife sat me down and said that she knew God was calling us to plant a church. After that, we went for it. I was introduced to an organization called Stadia. They help people like me plant churches. Stadia sent us to the Church Planters Assessment Center and we were recommended to plant a church.
Thrive Church exists to help people find and follow Jesus. We’re a church for people who don’t like church.
My greatest love?…My family.
I’ve been married to Tracie since 1995 and we have 5 kids. Bekah, Bobby, Zach, Madie and Kai. My family is the best part of my life
and we have a lot of fun. We tell a lot of stories and we play a lot. Yes, it’s a lot of fun!
I’m also the world’s biggest Hootie & the Blowfish fan.
And, I believe that Ted Williams was the greatest hitter to ever live!