Isaac’s motivation and vision to become a commissioned pastor:
I see a culture that is lost without Christ. More than that, I see a church that is confused, disoriented, and ill-equipped to handle the onslaught of lies and distortions the culture is heaving at them. The sheep need protecting. They need equipping. They need encouragement. And they need a vision for the future.
More than that, I recognize that being a pastor is a diverse calling with many challenges. As such, I recognize I am more and more driven to see a lasting impact of the gospel of Jesus Christ in all areas of life. I don’t view Sunday Mornings as “the Church”, but rather a special gathering for the church. I want to equip “the Church” to go out and make disciples of all nations.
I was born into a Christian home and for as long as I can remember, have experienced the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit on my life. Although I do not remember, my mom tells me that at five years old I asked her to pray with me that Jesus would “come into my heart”.
My father and mother are both believers and have had significant impacts on my life. My mom was very engaged in forming my worldview even from a young age, discussing issues of sexual purity and encouraging me to stand up for Biblical truth in school, even when it was uncomfortable.
My father, although very busy with work, was always a strong presence in my life. He led our family in prayer before meals as well as every morning before we left for school. Aside from that, however, his biggest impact on me was in his humility. I don’t remember a lot of the advice he gave me as a child, but I remember several times seeing the genuine humility and love of Christ in him when he would apologize to me for overreacting or getting upset. More than anything he said, I saw in him somebody who was able to acknowledge his sin because he knew he had been forgiven by His Father.
I also have two older brothers who were both big influences on my life. When I was in sixth grade, I remember seeing my older brother Gabe reading his Bible in the morning before heading off to school. Like every little brother, I wanted to be like him. So I began to do the same. That pattern of daily reading scripture instilled within me a strong desire to grow and develop in my understanding of scripture. My oldest brother, Nathan, was in many respects like a second dad to me. He looked out for me and helped take care of me. When he was in his early 20’s and I was a young teenager, our father lost his job and was without steady income for a little over a year. During that time, my brothers really looked out for me and even went in together to get me some nice Christmas gifts because my parents couldn’t afford it – even though they didn’t have a lot of money themselves. Suffice it to say, I have been blessed with several godly examples in whose footsteps I wish to follow.
Lastly, I do not remember a time in my life when the Holy Spirit was not constantly convicting me of sin. I remember lying to my teacher in the fifth grade about something totally irrelevant. And although my teacher didn’t care, I couldn’t take the burden of guilt and ended up telling her later. Likewise, as I grew into High School I continued to have a strong conviction of my guilt and sin. From moments of lust and coveting and jealousy to moments of discouragement and frustration or anger, I continue to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Today, with a wife and three children, I am more than ever aware of my deep need for a Savior.
At the same time, however, I also have always had a strong reassurance of God’s love and forgiveness towards me. No matter what I did, I never felt like I wasn’t accepted. In fact, I have always been convinced of the opposite: namely, there is nothing that can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
It has only been in the last 10 years or so, however, that the reforming of my mind has begun to catch up to the Holy Spirit’s work in my heart. In college, I began reading C.S. Lewis in order to better defend my faith in philosophy class. In seminary, I continued studying and even today I continue to read voraciously. Perhaps my favorite thing to do now is to read and think about, as well as commune with, Jesus Christ.