Klayton’s motivation, vision and call to become a commissioned pastor:
To be honest, I never really wanted to be a pastor. I saw the long hours and couldn’t figure out why some of the members of the church were always so angry at my family or about what was going on at church. I watched those men in my life serve unconditionally and live out their faith every day. Now that I am a little older I think I have a better handle on some of that.
I also had a speech impediment growing up and have always been shy of speaking in front of groups.
So to be here, working at a church, is still somewhat surprising to me, but my wife and I know without a shadow of a doubt we are where we are supposed to be.
I grew up in the church. I am the son, grandson, and nephew of a pastor. Our family adage is that “Our faith is caught, not taught”. But we were at church every Sunday and Wednesday. I grew up in the Reformed Church in Southern California and Pella, IA. I made my profession of faith when I was in middle school, and have all of my days been known as our family’s “joy boy”.
But there was something else that mattered to me, and for periods of my life it mattered the most. That thing was basketball. My Dad and my uncles all played Division III basketball, my older brother has had a very successful career, as did my younger brothers. My goal until I was 23 was to be better than my older brother. That was my ultimate goal, one which I focused all of my energies. Unfortunately, an injury derailed the start of what had the potential to be a successful professional career. I bumped knees with someone in a preseason workout and a hole slowly formed in my knee joint. By the end of the year my knee was buckling, I couldn’t bend it, and I had to have major surgery. I was never the same.
Through my inability to stay overseas and play post college, I was lucky enough to live with my older brother for a few years and help him grow his personal foundation. And through that work I met my wife Kelly, who is absolutely amazing. She pulls the best from me, challenges me, and loves me enough to move to a small town in Iowa to be a pastor’s wife. I would hurt my knee over and over again if it meant getting to do life with her.
This past January we had our first child, Khai. We had a long road to growing our family, enduring and working through two miscarriages. We learned to grieve together, and we learned how to pray for whatever good could come from such pain. I can honestly say going through that together grew us together, which was our prayer, knowing that it could have driven us apart. Khai is from Kairos, which was in a book of spirit blessings we received.. “God’s perfect timing”. Her middle name is Esa, “God is my salvation”.
Then about a year ago we were living in Atlanta, GA attending Passion City Church and we heard about a beta test of a new program they were rolling out, the “Passion City Global Institute”. It was going to be a way for their congregation and staff to get a seminary-like education through the church. The first course was the “Story of the Bible”. It was $1,800, which is a lot to us, but Kelly encouraged me to take it. I’m glad she did. It changed our trajectory as a family to where we are today, working for His Church. I always thought I wasn’t a great learner.. until I found something I liked learning about.
So I am excited about this opportunity to grow and learn together!