I’m an adopted son of God, husband of one, father of five, pastor, theologian, runner, writer, musician, and tech geek.
Here’s more of the story…
In brief, I grew up in a Christian home. My family was regularly in church, and I was privileged to hear the gospel many times in my childhood. At the age of 9, on a particular evening of church training, I knew that I personally needed a Savior. I went home that evening and told my parents of my need and they led me through a time of prayer. Soon thereafter I met with our pastor for a long season of discipleship and was baptized about a year later.
I followed Christ fairly faithfully during the youth years. At the age of 14, while on mission in London with our youth choir, I was burdened with a desire for revival for the baptist church in England, which led to a clear call to vocational ministry. The rest of my years as a youth were marked by growth, some doubts, and striving in the Christian walk.
I entered into college knowing I was called to ministry. I spent much time pursuing athletics only to find those efforts frustrated. I was driven more deeply into study, prayer, and ministry pursuits as a result. My love for the church escalated during this season.
It was not until I completed college and moved to Stuttgart, Germany to serve at a church that my doctrinal foundation began to be more distinctly formed. I began reading Francis Schaeffer, Jonathan Edwards, and primarily the Scriptures, to more deeply understand a consistent theological perspective. From that point on I began to more fully understand the gospel of God’s sovereign grace through Jesus Christ that runs throughout the Scriptures.
The last 30 years have been marked by marriage, children, joy, pain, successes, and failures. All the while, it is God’s glorious strength, and the faithfulness of His Spirit to remind me of the gospel of His Son, that has kept me tethered all these years.
Philosophy of Ministry
My philosophy of Ministry is articulated by this passion statement: Glorifying God by treasuring Christ above all things and reaching others that they may find lasting joy in Him!
As the community of saints, I believe our distinct ambition is to bring glory to our God. In doing so, the Scriptures make plain that what glorifies God the most in the church is the treasuring of His Son, Jesus Christ. When we treasure Christ, our mind, heart, and lips will articulate our treasure by gospel-telling. However, mere evangelism is not the accomplishment of the Great Commission. We should not confuse evangelism with disciple-making. One is a part of the other. It should be our aim to develop disciples who find in Christ their greatest and most lasting joy. This is an ongoing, progressive work in the church.
Therefore, it should be the aim of the pastor to equip the saints for ministry so that the body of Christ grows in gospel maturity, toward increased affection for Christ and mutually His bride, the church. This distinct love for Christ and the church, by the church, is a powerful witness to the community and will be enhanced by the salt and light of gospel speech by the church in the community and in homes. Essentially, there is no divide between pastoral care for the body and evangelistic fervor in the community; they work together to make the gospel more clearly visible.
It is actually very simple…I believe that the pastor should lead the church to be biblically healthy and healthy churches will bear fruit. We should be careful to give God praise and thanks for whatever fruit He grants, but the church should relentlessly pursue health regardless.
It is this aim for church health locally that drives my passion to help develop and train other pastors and care for their churches as they grow. As well, where there is an absence of a vibrant gospel witness, we should seek to plant such churches. I desire the local church to be an exemplary biblical church that can be emulated anywhere in the world because its structure is so biblically rooted that only the context need be changed.
4 thoughts on “About”
God has a plan, however mysterious it may appear sometimes. My heart was broken yesterday when notification was sent out about our vote at ISBC. God has allowed me to be around for 70 years, and almost 42 of those have been in this church. Never have I witnessed anything like what we have seen over the past few weeks at our church, and I can only attribute it to the one who gains when the church suffers. Thus, if Satan is this involved in attacking you and ISBC, God must have big plans for both. I pray that you and your beautiful family are safe and secure, and have had safe travel home. Also, I pray God’s provision for you and that his plan for you will be made known soon. FYI, I found your sermon from Psalms 24 to be extremely informative and challenging. I, for one, am disappointed that I will not be sitting under your teaching in coming years, but alas, God has other plans.
God Bless you and your family, Paul (and Linda) Patterson
Hi Mike, we are trying to reconnect with you. We were at UBC with you during 2009. Please shoot us an email when you get a chance. Thanks!
Hi, guys! Can you reply with a good email so I can reach out? I will not let it be publicly posted. Thx!