Select Page

CAREY GREEN || SENIOR PASTOR CANDIDATE

Carey(at)CareyGreen.com

A webpage like this is tough to compile. As a church search team, you need to accurately know who I am and what God has done in my life over the years. At the same time, I need to humbly but confidently represent His work in a way that gives glory to Him. By the grace of God I’ll give it a shot.

I echo the words of the Apostle Paul…

…by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10

God has done greater things in and through me than I even knew to imagine – and as is only right, HE deserves all the credit for it!

Carey and Mindi Green (headshot)

SUMMARY INFORMATION

  • 25+ yrs experience teaching the Bible expositionally
  • My theology is Reformed-leaning
  • I believe leadership happens through collaboration & relationship
  • I hold to complementarian views of male/female roles in the home and church
  • I endeavor to be a team-builder and people-encourager

  • I love to (and need to) partner with others who are gifted differently than me
  • I am zealous to see the church BE the church, as Jesus envisions it
  • I’m a creative, goal-oriented organizer
  • I’ve been joyfully married since 1989
  • I’m blessed with 5 adult children who all walk with Jesus

THE BIBLICAL HEARTBEAT BEHIND MY CALL TO MINISTRY

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.

Colossians 1:28-29

Open this toggle to read why this passage is so meaningful to me

First of all, I LOVE the Apostle Paul. His zeal and commitment to Jesus motivate and inspire me like almost nobody else. I can’t wait to meet him once I reach eternity.

In modern terms, the two-sentence statement found in Colossians 1:28-29 is what I consider to be his “Apostolic Mission and Strategy Statement.” It resonates with me powerfully in light of how the LORD has gifted and called me.

Here’s how I have come to appreciate it…

Him we proclaim…

Jesus is the message.

His essence, His being, His heavenly purpose and earthly accomplishment of it… and much more are the very heart of EVERYTHING any of us Christians have to say. There are lots of “good” things we could champion, but none of them is as gloriously true and majestic and powerful as Jesus.

Earlier in the letter, Paul explains why this matters so much. Jesus is…

“the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.”Colossians 1:15-20

Notice the many times Jesus is referred to in those sentences (He, Him, His, etc.), and notice WHAT is being said about Him.

Jesus is everything important, everything we ever need and the only one worthy to be proclaimed.

…warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom…

The responsibility to teach and warn was part of Paul’s responsibility as an Apostle, and part of mine as one gifted as a teacher within the body of Jesus. Paul’s example pushes me… I can’t shy away from teaching and warning others… and don’t want to. What Jesus has to say to all of us is what is best for all of us. I want to be faithful to speak His message with His heart of love and boldness.

I’m also struck by Paul’s “large view” of things. He wants to warn and teach EVERYONE. Of course, He could have meant “everyone I get to speak to,” but even then, it’s a huge goal. He saw it as his responsibility to make sure those he came into contact with got a dose of Jesus somewhere in the interaction. I love that. It’s how I want to be as a minister of Jesus.

And the WAY IN WHICH Paul desired to do this was by the wisdom of God. He seems to have taken the truth seriously that if we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us (James 1:5). So he stepped out in faith, believing that AS he taught and warned people, God would give him the wisdom to do it rightly, in ways fitting to the particular circumstances, and with the insight and knowledge only God could provide.

…that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Again, I love Paul’s audacity. He wants EVERYONE to come to maturity. That’s God-sized thinking, rooted in faith about what God alone can do through the teaching of His word. Paul is not limiting God, expecting small things, or settling for less. He’s driving toward the ultimate goal for which God has called him, the maturity of believers in Christ.

I want to have this kind of massive, God’s-power-saturated faith, too.

For this I toil…

Of course, Paul didn’t have sticky notes on his dashboard or alarms on his phone to help him remember why he was doing all the work he was doing. But he kept this mission front and center anyway (somehow).

When the circumstances he faced were hard, he remembered this mission. When things got dicey or dangerous, he remembered this mission. It was his calling. It kept him on track. It seems to have lit him up with holy fire that could not be quenched.

…struggling with all His energy…

Even though he was well-educated and a pretty smart guy, Paul knew that his best, human efforts couldn’t accomplish anything eternal.

So, he didn’t give it his best, he gave it Jesus’ best.

All that teaching Jesus did about believers needing to “abide” in Him (John 15) got into Paul’s soul and as a result, he accepted it and lived it. Jesus was his life and did the work of ministry through him (Galatians 2:20).

I’ve been in ministry (and life) long enough to know that it IS a struggle to keep Jesus on the throne and myself off of it. Paul’s realism here helps me. I’m in good company as I strive to be yielded to the life and power of Jesus in me, and like Paul, I have come to see that it’s true… Jesus really does live through us when we submit ourselves to His leadership and power, in obedience and faith.

…that He powerfully works within me.

Superheroes have nothing on Christians.

We have Jesus living in us, through the presence and power of His Spirit. We can, by faith, tap into His life within us to accomplish the works that He wants us to do, which are often way bigger than any human being can accomplish. Just look at the scope of what Paul accomplished for an example of what can happen when Jesus is the one in charge, the one providing the power, and doing the work.

I’ve experienced the reality of Jesus living in and through me just enough to know that I want it to be my daily reality more and more.

I want Him to be exalted in and through me.

I want Him to be seen in me.

I want every effort I make to be fueled and sustained by His strength, every person I love and minister to, to be helped because Jesus is helping them through me.

By faith I step into those situations knowing that Jesus will be faithful to do what needs to be done.

THIS is why I love these two sentences so much. God has used them to guide the purpose and manner of my ministry through the years. It’s even stronger today than it was when I first started learning these truths years ago.

 

GOD’S WORK IN MY LIFE AND MY CALL TO MINISTRY

One of the things we see over and over in scripture is God’s decision to use individuals who nobody else would have chosen, in order to accomplish His mighty plans. From Moses, to David, to Mary and Joseph, to the Apostle Paul, it’s an obvious theme in the redemptive story. I love that the LORD graciously includes the weak and unassuming people of the world to make His name great — for the benefit of the nations and His eternal glory — because I’ve always felt like one of those weak people. This reality has filled my life with hope ever since the day I came to faith in Jesus.

I’m am surely not on par with the biblical figures I’ve mentioned, but I do believe that I have the same heart they had, one of humble reliance on the LORD, of supreme confidence in His ability to use me. My flesh and failings, as real as they are to me and others, are no obstacle for Him. He’s proven Himself faithful to use me as His instrument over and over in my ministry experience and I’m expecting more of the same during this next season of my ministry career. His ability to do His work in and through me is what I’m counting on. E.M. Bounds (one of my most recent “favorite authors”) describes this reality in these thrilling words…

“It is not great talents or great learning nor great preachers that God needs, but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fidelity, great for God — men always preaching by holy sermons in the pulpit, by holy lives out of it. These can mold a generation for God.”

I sense the LORD’s call to Pastoral Ministry in stronger ways than I’ve ever known. I’m certain He’s calling me into this role and that in it, He’s going to produce fruit like I’ve never experienced before. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I do know that He is capable of much more than I can ask, think, or even imagine (Ephesians 4:20). I’m encouraged and confident as I move forward, trusting that He has already appointed me to serve in a Senior Pastor role alongside a body of believers who are eager to see Him do a work among them that only He can do.

Looking back, I believe that all of the ministry experience He’s given me so far is a gracious gift, both in what I’ve been allowed to do for the sake of His Kingdom and through the smaller contexts in which that ministry has happened. What I mean is this: the LORD was extremely kind to place my family into smaller churches, so that my wife and I could have the time and energy to focus on building a God-fearing and faithful family, the foundation upon which the integrity of any Pastor’s ministry rests (1 Timothy 3:4-5). By His grace, all five of our children are adults now, living daily in relationship with the LORD and pursuing His purpose for their lives. Those who have children of their own are faithfully teaching them the ways of the LORD. We are humbled and grateful for what God has done and for how He’s done it, and can’t imagine how it could have come about had I been in more demanding or high profile roles. To me, the blessing of establishing a legacy of faith that can last for generations (Psalm 78:5-9) was worth every difficulty or limitation He asked me to endure.

Another retrospective observation the LORD has revealed to me is that my 8 years out of the Pastoral role has been a time when He has been encouraging and equipping me for His purposes ahead. He’s restored my zeal for Pastoral ministry and for His church. He’s grown me in humility and deep reliance on Him. Through the process of building a business He’s taught me how to build and support a healthy team of people, nurture a healthy team culture, and connect with the real-life needs of people outside the church (my clients and my team). But greater than all this, the most joyful and needed thing He’s done is to draw me into the discipline of prayer like never before. Where before, prayer was a hit-and-miss desire at best, now it is a joyful, daily, relational aspect of my connection with the Father. He’s shown me, in unambiguous terms, that prayer is the heartbeat of everything to come, because alongside my study of the Word, it’s the basis for my intimacy with Him. Again, E.M. bounds expresses the deepest beliefs of my heart regarding prayer…

“The man — God’s man — is made in the closet. His life and his profoundest convictions are born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages are got when alone with God. Prayer makes the man; prayer makes the preacher, prayer makes the pastor.”

I believe that the church family where the LORD is placing me will resonate with the work the LORD has been doing in my life over the past 25+ years and will see it as His particular way of preparing me to lead their church family to accomplish His amazing work in their midst. Together, we will advance His Kingdom work in our community and across the world.

PREACHING SAMPLES

These sermons were delivered over the last two years (2022-2023). I was graciously invited to be a temporary part of the teaching team at the church where our oldest son and his family are involved. The final one, “The Only Kind of Faith that Matters,” was preached a few years back at a church we were attending at the time.

MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY

I was born in a small town of Pampa, Texas, July 4th, 1967 into a “partly” Christian home. By that I mean that my mother was a Christian while my dad was not. My mother took my older brother and me to church from the beginning of our lives. When I was 5 years old I received Jesus as my Savior. I remember it, though hazily.  It was a Sunday evening service and the Pastor had preached a typical gospel sermon.  That night, at the urging of the Holy Spirit I responded to the message – realizing my need for Jesus to forgive me and take me to heaven when I died.  My mother led me to faith in Christ that night.

It wasn’t until High School that my faith really began to take shape and produce evidence of growth.  It was during these days that I began to pick up on the inconsistencies and problems in my home church.  I realized that the Pastor had a very clear zeal for the Lord and seeing people come to salvation.  Yet his leadership style was dictatorial and his manner with people often very abrasive and insensitive.  His own adult children lived lives of wanton disobedience to the Lord and had multiple divorces.  His own grandson, when he visited our church was one of the most spoiled and disrespectful kids I’d ever met.  I also began noticing that the “holiness” that was preached from the pulpit on Sundays was not being absorbed very well by the congregation, even the volunteer leadership.  I recall going to a friend’s home once, whose dad was on the Deacon board and realizing that they had a subscription to the Playboy channel as we flipped through the stations.  I was shocked, but at the same time very angry.  I didn’t understand how someone could be so glaringly hypocritical and seemingly think nothing of it.  Though I was still full of teenage immaturity myself I was beginning to realize that the lifestyle of a Christian was perhaps more important than their words.

Beginning my freshman year of high school, but not really taking root until my junior year, I was encouraged and led deeper in my faith by my high school band director.  He introduced me to Christian music and led me in Bible studies periodically.  We’d talk of the Lord often and discuss the doctrines of the New Testament.  He began an organization in our school based on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes model – calling it Fellowship of Christian Musicians.  I attended every week and enjoyed the fellowship and discussion of our faith.  I became more of a “true Christian” during this time – beginning to connect the dots between genuine faith and the lifestyle that must flow from it.

As I went to college (West Texas State University) the next fall I immediately found a campus based ministry to join up with – the Baptist Student Union.  It seemed natural to me to be a part of this group since I’d been at a Baptist church all my life.  This was different though.  I made some great strides in my faith as part of the BSU – and within months was asked to serve on the Student Advisory Committee.  

It was during my second semester of college that I felt God called me to be in full time ministry.  I had always been impressed with the youth ministry that I saw at the camp I had attended so I assumed that I’d be a fit for that vein of ministry.  I made application to attend Colorado Christian University after visiting their campus and sitting in on their youth classes.  Colorado Christian University was a high point in my life for many reasons.  First, I felt that I was finally in my element, studying the scriptures and enjoying the fellowship with other Christians who were serious about the Lord.  I took to the Biblical studies courses with vigor and enjoyed digging deeper and writing papers on what I’d discovered.  I first discovered my passion for the scriptures at CCU.  Secondly, CCU was where I first met my wife-to-be, Mindi.  Our meeting and subsequent courtship is a story in itself, but suffice it to say that we dated for one year and married between my Junior and Senior years.  My last year of school she worked full time, I worked part time, and I graduated with honors and was chosen by the Biblical Studies Faculty as the Outstanding Student in the School of Biblical Studies for that year.  As you can imagine, I was very excited for what the future would hold.

Immediately upon graduating, I began searching for a youth ministry position.  Not being able to find any full-time positions, I took a part-time position as Director of Jr. High Ministries at Bear Creek Church in Lakewood, Colorado.  I served in this position for 3 ½ years, learning, growing, and enjoying the fulfillment that ministry to students and parents can bring.  But with the birth of our first child I found that I could not continue working the part-time ministry position and also meet the demands of a full-time job and a growing family.  It was one of the hardest decisions of my life to quit the youth position in order to work full time at my secular job.

As I worked I continued to look for a full time ministry position, which was an adventure in itself that is too lengthy to go into here.  Eventually Mindi and I began attending church at a new church in the city, one that had been planted by a fellow student at CCU.  It was a vibrant new church with around 400 people in attendance and was growing rapidly.  Their evangelistic effectiveness was amazing to me.  It was an exciting place to be.  Over time and much involvement on a volunteer basis, I was asked to apply for the position of Church Administrator there, which was eventually changed to Associate Director of Ministry.  I was hired and began my work in full time ministry.  My role was primarily administrative, overseeing staff, assimilation, and the details of the office.  But with such a quickly growing church my duties became more immersed in ministry coordination and discipleship.  I was put in charge of developing a small group program, and in less than a year we went from 4 small groups to 14.  My wife and I led a group ourselves and it grew in number to the point that we multiplied it into 3 separate groups.  I oversaw the fledgling single adult ministry, coordinated all assimilation programs, and began doing a small amount of counseling and discipleship.  As well, I took the first steps of establishing a Deacon board the serve alongside the Elders in ministry to the church family.

It was in this position I got my first taste of preaching and teaching – and found that I seemed to “come alive” inside when I was able to study, prepare, and communicate God’s word to people with a passion.  Over time, I would teach and preach on average of 2 to 3 times a year, each time growing the desire within me to be able to consistently do so.  By this time, our church had grown to over 1200 in regular attendance.  I thank the Lord for the powerful lessons I learned there…lessons about the power of the simple gospel message, the importance of personal connection in the lives of people, and the ways in which the Lord had gifted me in teaching, leadership, and administration.

Following my desire to preach and teach more often I began submitting resumes to churches in need of a teaching pastor.  I soon began a dialogue with the elders at Pacific Islands Bible Church in Mililani, Hawaii.  Within a very short time Mindi and I flew to Hawaii to candidate and were hired to pastor there alongside a co-Pastor, Mark Turansky, whose Dad had founded the church 20 years prior.  I was to teach, oversee the adult curriculum and Sunday School, and do a small bit of discipleship and counseling, as well as serve on the elder board.  Our four years there were very important in my life.  I had the amazing luxury of concentrating on teaching almost exclusively, and during that time also developed a personal spiritual growth notebook for use in one on one discipleship settings, which they still use at that church today.  You can see it on their website (www.pibcohana.org) under the PIBC Interactive heading.  During this time I grew in my teaching skills as well as in personal and marriage counseling skills alongside my wife.  Our time there was very rich and full of great memories and good friends.

We left Hawaii to move back to Colorado, following a belief that God wanted us to return to the mainland and begin a new church in the area of Castle Rock, Colorado.  As I look back I’m amazed at the faith He provided us during that time.  We were leaving a very secure income and a position that we loved to walk into the unknown.  We arrived in Colorado with no job, no home, and only the beginnings of a plan for how we were going to proceed in beginning and establishing a church.  I soon got a full time job and found that the responsibility of beginning a new church, working full time, and being a husband and father for a family of 7, by this time, were outside my abilities.  Our efforts at planting the church seemed to be continually frustrated.  We made good connections with neighbors, even leading one to Christ in our family room.  But our home Bible study was not growing and I had no time to dedicate to further strategy or outreach efforts.  I believe that God used this period in our lives to teach us greater faith.  Month after month we were forced to trust Him for things as basic as food and rent money, and He always provided – either through my job or through generous but unexpected gifts from friends we had made over the years.  It was an amazing time.  I can also see now that He was revealing more to me about my specific shape for ministry. 

In discouragement I began looking for a full time ministry position.  I was put in contact with some officials in the local district of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  They loved the idea of planting a church in the area where we were, but had no funds with which to do so.  Through the course of my interaction with them, they made me aware of a situation in Reno, NV where a new church had lost its pastor and was in need of a replacement.  To make a long story short, we joined the C&MA and took over the pastorate of LifeWay Church Community in Reno where we’ve been serving for the past 2 ½ years.  The situation we stepped into was a difficult one, and we knew that at the time.  The Pastor who started the church a few years earlier had resigned suddenly due to marital problems.  We stepped into leadership there 5 months later.  Our time here has been very fruitful in some ways and very difficult in others.  Over our time here, as we’ve worked to overcome the damage of the past our numbers have steadily declined from over 100 to less than 50.  The church was much more damaged and unstable than anyone in the loop realized.

As it stands now, the elders and I are prayerfully considering a course of action for the future.  It’s most likely that we will either disband the church or merge with another local church in the area.  Either alternative will put our family in the place of discovering our next ministry assignment and making some kind of move.

I am perfectly willing to discuss any of these events or situations with you as you see fit and I welcome the opportunity.

PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY

The church’s calling is to make mature disciples, people who trust in Jesus as Savior and go on to grow in relationship with Him for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. 

It’s my aim to love, teach, equip, and demonstrate for my church family what it looks like to humbly walk in devoted fellowship with Jesus, day by day, for a lifetime. This is the privilege and joy of all Christians, to joyfully live under the reign of King Jesus. Led and taught properly, the church grows and builds itself up in love and unity, wisdom, and the use of spiritual gifts to build up the body. When this happens, the church becomes a compassionate witness and demonstration of the gospel, winning the lost and advancing the Kingdom.

Biblical areas of emphasis the Lord has impressed upon me:

[1] Wholehearted love of God (Trinity)

[2] Biblical plurality of leadership (Elders)

[3] Pastor as the spiritual leader among equals 

[4] Leadership integrity through holy living

[5] The practice and power of effective prayer

[6] Clearly teaching all of scripture for all of life

[7] Biblical community and accountability

[8] Relational discipleship and ministry

[9] Spiritually healthy homes and families

[10] Biblical discipleship and equipping of men

[11] Biblical discipleship and equipping of women

[12] Family-supportive biblical education for youth

[13] Family-supportive biblical education for children

[14] Compassionate engagement with the culture

Open this toggle to learn about my views on these subjects ➨

[1] Wholehearted love of God

The primary command of Jesus is that His disciples love God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). This emphasis makes God the central focus of all of life, for us as individuals and as the church family as a whole. When we lose sight of this, other things, good and bad, take the primary place as the object of our affections. We are created to be worshipers, it’s just a matter of who or what we will worship. The triune God is the only one worthy of our worship.

Church leaders are responsible to hold this glorious objective before the church family at all times, both in the way that they live and in what they teach and emphasize within the church. The church family will follow what the leadership does, not necessarily what they teach.

Out of love, we obey what Jesus taught us, to work as workers in His field to further the work of His Kingdom. That is our primary mission: the expansion and furtherance of His Kingdom work on planet earth. This happens through making disciples (evangelism AND discipleship), first in our own homes, then within our church family and among those we live with in the world.

[2] Biblical plurality of Elders

I’ve written an entire training workbook on this topic, so for the sake of brevity I’ll summarize in the following way:

The Bible clearly designates the role of Elder to be filled by men (not women) of Christian Character. This is expressed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. It’s also clear in scripture that the ideal situation employs a group of qualified men serving in this role together.

The role of the elder is four-fold: Example — Overseer — Doctrinal guardian — Shepherd. Theirs is not primarily an administrative role, though it may at times require attention to administrative tasks, it is primarily a shepherding or pastoral role. They are responsible to oversee the spiritual health and progress of those under their care.

The church family should select these biblically qualified men from among their number and after a time of assessment, the decision should be made as to which men should serve as Elder and which should not. I believe the entire church family should participate in this decision. It is a sometimes a tedious process, but one that is vital and must be carried out with much prayer and great care.

[3] Leadership integrity through holy living

As a church leader (Pastor/Elder) it’s my deepest desire to love, teach, equip, and demonstrate for my church family what it looks like to humbly walk in devoted fellowship with Jesus, day by day, for a lifetime.

This principle is clearly taught by Jesus (Matthew 10:25) and expressed in more detail by the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1). It is also the obvious implication of the character qualifications for Elders expressed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. The men who lead the church are to be examples of mature Christian living.

I am by no means complete in my Christian journey and will remain in growth-mode for the rest of my life, but I take seriously the scriptural injunction that as a church leader, I am striving, in the power and with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to be a humble and admirable example of a true disciple of Jesus, one who lives a life worthy of the Lord and His glorious gospel. (Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, Philippians 1:27).

I also expect that those serving with me in leadership will take on the same attitude of diligence in the example they set. Our examples matter. A good example can cause many to be built up in their faith. A bad example can cause many to stumble and fall. For the glory of our God and the sake of His name, we must walk in the Spirit and be accountable to others (each other) who are on that same path.

[4] The Pastor as spiritual leader among equals

I believe it is the Pastor’s role to set not only the primary example of authentic, Spirit-empowered Christian living, but also to serve as a mentor and encouragement to his fellow Elders in their efforts to live according to Jesus’ teaching. The church will never rise above the maturity level of its leadership and the Pastor is responsible to keep a finger on the pulse of the spiritual health of the leaders through biblical, authentic, loving relationship and accountability.

There is no airtight biblical reference that establishes a Pastor as the spiritual leader among the plurality of leadership the bible describes, but there is a broad pattern that we can observe in how the early church functioned. It appears that Peter and James rose to places of influential leadership, even among the Apostles. As well, the Apostle Paul seems to have appointed Timothy, Titus, and others to places of leadership among the Elders of local churches.

Practically, the Pastor should operate under the loving and biblical accountability of the Elder team, but also on their behalf as the “point man” for the church family to follow. He must lead the group in shepherding the people of the church and he must guide them in making biblical decisions for the good of the church family that advance the Kingdom of God.

Being an Elder appointed to serve “full time” on the church’s behalf, he will naturally be more mindful of and informed about the practical aspects of implementation, communication, and working relationships within the organization. But even then, his actions and decisions should be made within the authority granted by the Elder team.

The Elders as a group must apply the humility of Jesus (Philippians 2:5–11) by submitting themselves to the Pastor as their appointed leader while this same self-crucifying attitude enables the pastor to be as one among them who serves (Matthew 20:26–27). 

[5] The practice and power of effective prayer

The church, though an organization on some levels, is unlike any organization in the world. Its heartbeat is spiritual, its source of power is divine, its assets are heavenly.

Church leaders must model and teach biblically saturated prayer as the means of engaging in fellowship with God and receiving His guidance and power for life and action. I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit anoints plans, but rather men and women of prayer. If the church is to advance the Kingdom of God in our day, it will be done through humble dependence on the Lord, on our knees first.

I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way, and honestly, more so in the later half of my adult life. I feel that I am finally beginning to know and see the effectiveness of my own prayers in both my leadership and my intercession for others. I hope to lead a church family in what I’ve been learning; to depend on the Father through prayer, then to obey Him as we join Him in what He is doing.

[6] Clearly teaching all of scripture for all of life

As one with a spiritual gift of teaching, I can easily fall into believing that teaching is more important than it is. I’ve had to learn that Spirit-led balance is necessary. It’s possible to biblically educate people through doctrinally sound teaching without building souls capable of applying what has been taught. For those who teach, it’s vital that instruction not only be made from the head, but from the heart, as it is guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit through prayer.

Having said that, the entire Bible (Old and New Testaments) is our source of guidance for all areas of doctrine and life. It’s vital that those in God’s family learn it thoroughly and understand how to apply its truth to life. For this reason, careful attention must be paid to scriptural fidelity in doctrine and application.

Those within the church family must also be taught to understand and apply scripture for themselves and how to develop personal disciplines of reading, study, and prayer in their private lives. Coupling this with the practice of prayer and the proper use of spiritual gifts, the body will grow and build itself up in love.

The truth of the gospel, contained in the scriptures is also the power of God for the salvation of everyone who will believe (Romans 1:16). I do my utmost to include a call to repentance and faith in a contextually and culturally relevant way, into every sermon I preach. The reason I do this is because though church gatherings are primarily for the edification and equipping of believers, we never know who might be among us who does not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord. I want to take every opportunity to invite others into the family of God.

[7] Biblical community and accountability

The New Testament is replete with “one another” instructions, admonitions that insist that believers in Christ put their love for God into action through love for each other. This community (like any true fellowship) is hard to build, but so necessary for the body of Christ to be all God intends for it to be. Non-believers are supposed to be able to recognize that we are disciples of Jesus because of our love for one another (John 13:35) — which means our communal example is to be winsome, something they long to partake in.

Practically, this sort of relational closeness typically only happens in smaller settings or individual relationships. I believe that growth happens best in the presence of other committed Christians in small groups, Bible studies, prayer groups, accountability relationships, mentoring partnerships, ministry teams, and more. The face to face element of Christian community is an essential for health and growth.

One of the most difficult parts of this necessity is the application of loving accountability related to sinful behavior. Naturally, the deeper and more genuine our relationships with each other are, the more easily we can address sin issues that might arise.

As our brother, the Apostle John explains in his first epistle, the calling to “walk in the light” is a non-negotiable for disciples of Jesus and as a group, we are responsible for each other in this regard (1 John 1:5-2:11). Sin happens, and is easily dealt with through repentance and the forgiveness provided by God’s grace, through Jesus. But when repentance is not forthcoming, the church family, out of love, must take additional steps to restore the one caught/trapped in the sinful behavior.

Jesus outlined the “steps” to take in such an instance in Matthew 18:15-20. Rather than walking through that progression here, I’ll say that I believe this process must be followed in the church in a faithful manner. I believe that much of the church’s ineffectiveness in modern times can be directly traced to the fear modern believers have regarding such confrontations and the resulting neglect of them. For the sake of our brothers and sisters, and for the sake of our King, we cannot be negligent in these matters.

Having said that, let me say this: I am not one to “go on a hunt for sinners in need of a confrontation.” I don’t make this a major topic of conversation or teaching except where it is directly addressed in the text or applicable to a situation or need. 

In addition, I don’t believe it’s wise to apply the pattern of Matthew 18 across the board for every type or instance of sin that is observed. When Christian community is healthy and strong as it should be, the later steps of the Matthew 18 pattern are a last resort that is seldom needed.

Finally, I should be clear that the goal of any “church discipline” situation such as this is restoration of the sinning brother or sister.

[8] Relational discipleship and ministry

Building on the biblical teaching regarding how Christians are to love one another, build each other up in the Lord, and be a part of the preservation of one another’s faith (Hebrews 3:13), I believe that every discipleship relationship and every larger ministry endeavor should be arranged and organized with the nurturing of relationships as a high priority.

This begins with the way the Pastor and Elders relate to each other and do their work of shepherding, to the way they care for the members of the church family, to the approaches applied to leadership, activities, studies, organization, etc. Every ministry endeavor within the church should major on building solid, Christ-honoring relationships between believers as they seek to live out the instructions of Jesus.

[9] Spiritually healthy homes and families

Just as the human body can only be as healthy as the individual cells within it, the health of the local church will generally follow the level of health being experienced in the families within the church. For this reason, the church should major in equipping husbands and wives to build Christ-honoring marriages, according to biblical explanations of proper roles within their marriage. The husband is the head of the wife and leader of the family, the wife is the helper God has assigned to him to provide wisdom and strengths that he does not have to the work they are to accomplish together, in their home.

From this place of spiritual unity and commitment the two of them are to dedicate themselves to raising God-fearing children, based on the clear teaching of scripture. After their own personal relationship with the Lord, this is to be their first priority; more than career(s), more than hobbies or interests, or creative endeavors, more than self-fulfillment or success. We as parents are responsible to raise disciples, not just good children. A legacy of faith that lasts generations is our goal and one of God’s intended ways for the Kingdom of heaven to flourish and multiply on the earth.

[10] Biblical discipleship and equipping of men

From a biblical perspective, healthy families begin with godly, healthy men who are appointed by God as the spiritual head of the home. For this reason, it’s vital for every church body to place considerable emphasis and effort on the salvation, discipleship, and ongoing commitment of the men within their sphere of influence. I truly believe that as the men go, so goes the family, and as the family goes, so goes the church. 

[11] Biblical discipleship and equipping of women

Women, married or single, are equal in value and worth with men, and those who have placed their faith in Jesus are co-heirs with Jesus alongside every redeemed man (1 Peter 3:7). For this reason, women play a vital role in the life and health of the church family, serving in Kingdom-advancing roles in both the church and in the home.

[12] Family-supportive biblical education for youth

I’ve seen a tremendous amount of spiritual fruit produced through the youth ministries of churches. The ones that have been most effective in aiding teens in developing a spiritual walk with Christ that extends into their college years and beyond, are those that come alongside parents to help and equip them, supporting their discipleship efforts in the home. There always will be and always should be students in the youth group who are from non-Christian homes, which makes this type of focus difficult in such cases, but the approach I’ve described is what I believe to be the best approach overall.

[13] Family-supportive biblical education for children

Children’s ministry is a powerful and needed area of ministry for every church, but again, care must be taken to orient the children’s ministry in such a way that it augments and supports the discipleship efforts underway in the homes of the children in their care. Parents should feel that the children’s ministry is an ally, equipping them in a variety of ways to raise God-fearing children who will one day place their faith in Christ and become members of the family of God who live for Kingdom purposes from their childhood forward.

[14] Compassionate engagement with the culture

A church that isolates itself from the culture is not doing its job as stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19). A church that fears the culture is out of touch with the divine authority that belongs to its King, Jesus (Matthew 28:18). A church that accommodates the culture has lost its flavor and has failed to be the light it is called to be in this dark world (Matthew 5:13-15). But the church that engages the culture from a place of compassion, holding out the gospel as God’s open invitation to all who will believe, while maintaining its grasp on biblical truth is a church that is poised to make a difference in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

STATEMENT OF FAITH

GOD

I believe in one God, who exists eternally in three co-equal Persons: the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit.

THE BIBLE

I believe the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are divinely inspired, without error, and are the Christian’s primary source of authority for faith and living. The Bible is God’s holy and truthful word, expressed through human authors.

HUMANITY

I believe that people are born sinful both in identity and action and are therefore separated from God. Though we still bear the image of God from the moment of creation, sin has corrupted us, making no one acceptable before God.

JESUS CHRIST

I believe that because of His love for people, God implemented a way to overcome our sinful condition by sending His divine, eternal, and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die as a propitiation for our sins. Jesus’ historical, sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead provide the only avenue through which restoration with God the Father is possible. He not only makes it possible for our sin to be forgiven and relationship with God possible, He also fits us for service in the Kingdom of God.

FAITH

I believe that through the simple, personal act of depending on Jesus’ death as the full payment for sin, each individual is restored to a right and intimate relationship with God forever (becomes a Christian).

THE HOLY SPIRIT

I believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who both calls people into the family of God and regenerates their sinful hearts through faith.

Through the Holy Spirit’s regenerating power the identity of repentant people is changed from sinner to saint, from darkness to light. We become new creations in Jesus. This new identity is the basis from which character is transformed and God’s work in human beings is displayed.

The Holy Spirit serves the believer as their Helper, Teacher, and Guide in all areas of life and spiritual knowledge. He produces fruit in the lives of believers in the form of character, integrity, righteous behavior, and godly perspectives about life, the world, and other people.

The Spirit provides supernatural gifts to each Christian, as He desires, for the benefit and health of the church and in some cases, as a witness to those outside the church. No one gift or combination of gifts is an all-in-one evidence of being a Christian. The Spirit assigns and distributes His gifts as He pleases.

HEALING

I believe that provision is made in the work of Jesus Christ for the healing of mankind in body, mind, spirit, emotions, etc. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil are taught in the Scriptures and are to be practiced today. However, Jesus’ provision for healing does not guarantee that healing will occur in every case. All healing, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual occurs only as God, in His sovereignty determines it should.

THE CHURCH

I believe that all people who place their faith in Jesus Christ are united together into one family, one “body,” called the church. With Jesus Himself as its leader, the church is to gather together for prayer, teaching, community, and worship. We do this to come to know God intimately, to equip each member, to help others in the church, and to spread the message of salvation and spiritual growth through Jesus to those around us. The hallmark of a vibrant, healthy church is love and unity among its members.

THE FUTURE

I believe that Christ is bodily returning to the earth and at that time will judge the living and the dead. Until His return, believers are to live lives that bring glory to God through Jesus Christ and advance His Kingdom on earth. The Church is to be busy doing the work of evangelism and discipleship, proclaiming the pure, uncompromised gospel of Christ, and living according to the instructions found in the word of God.

CURRENT ISSUES

God determines and establishes a person’s sexual identity at conception, either male or female. It is to each person’s benefit and great joy to embrace their sexual identity and seek God’s purpose for them within that identity.

Marriage is a covenant between a man, woman, and God that is established by God Himself. It was created by God and exclusively engaged in by one man and one woman.

Sexuality and sexual relations are gifts from God to be practiced and enjoyed only within the context of a marriage relationship. Any sexual activity or sexual relations outside the marriage relationship are sinful.

The Bible never teaches that those who are Christians are guaranteed health, prosperity, or happiness. There is no biblical teaching that promises such things for those who have enough or the right kind of faith, either. The Christian life is one that expresses the nature and heart of its King, Jesus, that of joyful and loving self-sacrifice for the sake of others, to the glory of God.

The Bible is very clear that human life begins at the moment of conception and is sacred to God, the Creator. For this reason I believe that the act of abortion is a grievous sin in every instance. In this same vein, the aged and infirm are also valuable to God and must be to us, His people. The elderly must be honored and cared for, not discarded or disregarded. 

MINISTRY AND CAREER HISTORY

My experience and time in ministry has paralleled my spiritual growth. Though gifted by the Holy Spirit in various ways, I started out like we all do, young and inexperienced. But I have always sought to humble myself before the Lord and trust Him to lift me up in due time (1 Peter 5:5-6).

Every move I’ve made, I’ve made in faith, believing that He was guiding me and to the best of my ability, serving with all my heart wherever He has placed me. No doubt, I’ve made mistakes or have at times misunderstood His leading, but I can humbly and gratefully say that my King has been faithful. I give Him praise for everything He’s done in and through me over the past 25-ish years.

The following chronology is in reverse order.

Online Bible Teacher, MorningMindsetMedia.com January 2018 to the present

I’ve not been in an official pastoral ministry role since 2015, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been inactive for the Kingdom. It was only a few years after leaving pastoral ministry that I sensed the Lord leading me to do something with the teaching gifts He’s provided to me. I began “The Morning Mindset” podcast on January 1, 2018 and it quickly grew to over  5,000 downloads per episode within the first 24 hours. That number ballooned over the years and today, the podcast is heard over 54,000 times per day.

Through this experience I have learned a great deal about how media can be leveraged to advance the Kingdom of God and would love to combine what I’ve learned with those in my next church family who have similar interests.

I expect to be able to continue publishing the Morning Mindset on my own time, no matter the Pastoral role I am entrusted with next.

Through the Morning Mindset’s success my wife and I have also begun publishing a Christian Marriage podcast and a Christian Parenting podcast (see the “Unique Experience” section).

Founder and CEO, PodcastFastTrack.com — October 2015 to present

When I sensed from the Lord that the calling for local church Pastoral ministry was waning, I transitioned away from my Pastoral position in coordination with the church’s elders and I stepped out in faith to find a job outside the church.

When it became evident that I wouldn’t be able to find adequate employment in my local community, I took the step to begin my own company, which grew almost immediately.

Podcast Fast Track is a full-service podcast audio and writing production business. I lead a fully remote team of 11 people and have been blessed by God with the ability to build a great morale and team spirit in spite of the distance between us. We serve over 40 clients per month faithfully, which has allowed me to provide for my family and many others through the work the company does. My team-building and organizational skills have grown tremendously through this season and I am eager to put the things I’ve learned to use in a local church once again.

I’ve also had the opportunity to have meaningful spiritual conversations with many clients and would-be clients over the years. 

Once I discover the ministry position the Lord has in mind for me, the plan is to transition my role as CEO of the company to my oldest son, who works with me in the company, taking a more passive advisory role for myself at that time.

Lead Pastor, Community Church of Leadville (EFCA) — Leadville, CO — 7/1/2007 to 2/31/2015

I stepped into this role on the heels of the church undergoing many disappointing and damaging Pastoral situations over the past 8 to 10 years of its history. My wife and I were able to lead the existing church family (then around 40 families) through a season of repentance, healing, and restoration while establishing a firm footing for the path forward based on the clear teaching of the Word of God.

In our time there we saw many people come to faith in Jesus and the church’s worship attendance grew to 130 people in our time there.

When I arrived at the church there was only one remaining Elder and I identified, equipped, and trained 4 other men to come aboard the Elder team in time. This is the season during which I developed my “Elder Training Handbook” (see my book section below).

Lead Pastor, LifeWay Church Community (C&MA) — Reno, Nevada — 5/1/2004 to 12/31/2006

I took up leadership of this 3 year old church in the Northwest region of Reno after the founding Pastor’s marriage fell apart. It was my hope to bring stability and encouragment to a very tenuous situation.

After arriving and serving faithfully for about a year, it became evident that the emotional and relational damage experienced by the church family was deeper than any of us knew. Though we worked together to bring healing about, the damage proved too great and I made the decision to encourage attenders (very few at that point) to join other fellowships around the city.

Church Planter, Living Faith Church — Castle Rock, Colorado — 1/1/2002 to 4/1/2004

Sensing the Lord’s direction to plant a church, my wife and I moved to Castle Rock, Colorado with the belief that since it was the County Seat in the fastest growing county in Colorado at the time, it was a good place to begin a new church. We began with no support and I worked full time while hosting Bible studies for neighbors and others in our home. We had a small group of around 15 people meeting weekly by the end of our time there and were privileged to lead three of our neighbors to faith in Christ.

In the end, the demands of full time work and church planting, combined with the needs of my growing family (our 5th child was born during this time) proved too much and we sought out help from denominations in the area. This is where I came into contact with the local Christian and Missionary Alliance District Superintendent, who asked if I’d consider stepping in to lead the work in Reno.

Teaching Pastor, Pacific Island Bible Church (Non-denominational) — Mililani, Hawaii (pibcohana.org) — 11/1/1998 to 12/1/2002

I was called to serve as Co-Pastor at PIBC, focusing on teaching and curriculum development. I followed the founding Pastor and the church was very much a family to me and my growing family. I preached weekly approximately 40 Sundays per year, developed small groups and Sunday school programs, and participated as an Elder in making decisions and leading the church body. This is where my teaching gift was refined and grown like no other season in my ministry career.

I left PIBC in 2002 after believing that the Lord was calling me to Castle Rock, Colorado to plant a church.

Associate Director of Ministry, Grace Church (Non-denominational) — Arvada, Colorado (grace-alone.org) — 5/1995 to 10/1998

The role at Grace Church was my first full-time, adult ministry role. I was fresh out of Bible College and eager to get to work for the Kingdom. When I joined Grace Church the Sunday attendance was around 300 people. I was tasked with organizing the office and systems upon which the church would run, create and run a membership track, establish a small group program and equip leaders to form and grow groups, and to oversee various other ministries, such as the singles ministry.

When I began at Grace Church there were three existing small groups, which I was able to increase to eighteen. By the time I left Grace Church, Sunday attendance was just over 1300. Naturally, this was a team effort but I saw the Lord us my organizational, leadership, and teaching skills to advance the work we were doing together.

Somewhere around June of 1997 I got my first opportunity to preach, and as I tell my wife, that’s the day something in me came alive for the first time. I loved preaching God’s word and felt that He wanted me to do so on a more regular basis. There was not much opportunity for me to preach at Grace Church, being one of several on staff, so I began a search to find a church family where my teaching gifts could be better used.

Director of Jr. High Ministries, Bear Creek Evangelical Presbyterian Church — Lakewood, Colorado (https://www.bridgebc.org/)— 1989 to 1991 (part time)

I graduated from Colorado Christian University in 1990 with a degree in Youth Ministry. I’d already begun working at Bear Creek at that time and enjoyed ministering to the students and families of the church. Under the leadership of the Director of Student Ministries I cared for and equipped Jr. High students in areas of discipleship, leadership development, and evangelism. My time at Bear Creek was rich and I still have friendships with some of the people I met there.

EDUCATION / TRAINING / LICENSING

Master of Arts (with distinction), Trinity Theological Seminary — Pastoral Ministry — November 1997

Bachelor of Arts (Magna Cum Laude), Colorado Christian University — Youth/Biblical studies — May 1990. I was also awarded the “Outstanding Student in the School of Biblical Studies” by the faculty, for the 1990 school year.

Ordained Minister/Licensed Worker of the Christian & Missionary Alliance

Purpose Driven Church Seminar, Saddleback Community Church — May 1996

Institute for Biblical Community, Dr. Larry Crabb – March 1998

Ordained as a Minister of the Gospel, by the Pastors of Grace Church of Arvada, July of 1996

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS

Eight years ago I founded a podcast production agency, which I still run today. This experience has given me an appreciation for the powerful tool media can be for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. I am eager to lead my local church in using media of all types to spread the gospel message and lovingly care for and disciple even more people.

As an example, on January 1, 2018, I launched a daily devotional podcast that God has greatly used and blessed: The Morning Mindset Christian Daily Devotional. Among the top 1% of podcasts worldwide, the show averages 12,000 listeners per episode within the first 30 days. Based on this success, my wife Mindi and I founded a non-profit enabling believers in need to receive help from other believers.

Another example: Mindi and I co-host two podcasts, covering the subjects of Christian Marriage and Christian Parenting. This bi-weekly podcast averages over 1000 listeners per episode within the first 30 days. By listening to a handful of these episodes you’ll get to know us and how our faith works out in our daily lives. You can see everything we’re doing with media at https://MorningMindsetMedia.com.

Click any of the images below to listen to the podcasts in a new tab as you continue to browse this page.
(You’ll get a much better feel for who we are if you do)

MY APPROACH TO STAFF AND ELDER RELATIONSHIPS

Positions of spiritual leadership or authority can be problematic in that they provide an environment in which the person in leadership can feel like they are walking personally close to the Lord by virtue of the ministry activities they are engaged in. Nobody would say it that way, but it often subtly happens all the same. For this reason it is vital that those in positions of authority within the church (Elders / Church staff) are intentional to develop open, honest, accountable relationships where the reality of their spiritual condition can be regularly encouraged, challenged, and spurred on.

But exhort/encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. ~ Hebrews 3:13

The danger of spiritual callousness is real and as the family of God we are to help each other remain soft, pliable, and humble before our Father, King, and Maker. I long to be part of a staff and/or Elder team where this kind of familial care is innate and active, where every member expresses loving concern for the others in the group through regular interactions that penetrate the outer layers of appearance and quick responses, to get to the heart.

My desire is to lead the way in these kinds of relationships within the church in pursuit of the unity Jesus describes in the prayer He prayed just before going to the cross…

The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me. ~ John 17:22-23 

There are many contexts where this type of connection can happen and it would be my goal to weave it into every one on one meeting, every group discussion, and every planning or organizational meeting with Church Staff and Elders.

I believe this happens best through the biblical admonition to love others as I desire to be loved, considering others as more important than myself as Jesus did. I’m obviously not perfect at this but have gained so much ground with the help of my wife, who seems to have been born relational and wise in such things beyond my comprehension.

BOOKS I’VE WRITTEN

  • The Elder Training Handbook (non-fiction – Identification, Assessment, Training, and Evaluation of prospective Elders)
  • The Marriage Improvement Project (non-fiction – Couple’s Devotional Study)
  • ReCharge: Devotional Bible Study Methods compilation (non-fiction)
  • Moving Toward God (non-fiction – 19-lesson discipleship curriculum for new believers)
  • Through Heaven’s Eyes (a drama script)
  • The Great Smizzmozzel Bash (children’s picture book)
  • The Dragon Slayer Chronicles (3 volume fiction series)
  • And a few more ideas are bouncing around in my head even now…
Church elder training - the Elder Training Handbook cover

INFLUENTIAL AUTHORS AND TEACHERS IN MY LIFE AND MINISTRY

  • Pastor John Piper
  • Oswald Chambers
  • Rev. Andrew Murray
  • Rev. George Müller
  • Dr. Bill Gillam
  • Pastor Jim Cymbal
  • Rev. E.M. Bounds
  • Dr. Gene Getz
  • Rev. Jonathan Edwards
  • Rev. John Owen

PERSONAL AND “NICE TO KNOW” INFORMATION

  • Born in July of 1967
  • Born again in 1972
  • Married since May of 1989
  • Wife: Mindi.
  • Mindi was born again in 1972 also 
  • Five children (all faithful Christian adults): Aaron, Melinda, Madeline, Caleb, Faith
  • 5 grandboys (as of August 2023)
  • I have two visible tattoos (Some prefer to know this sooner rather than later. I’m happy to share the stories).
  • Interests – Family, friends, reading & study, music (listening and performing), hospitality in our home, outdoor activities, writing.

Those tattoos I mentioned…

REFERENCES

More available upon request

Ian and Beth Wienholt
Friends of 25+ years, former small group members.

Contact info available upon request.

 

Dillon and Christina Cowing
Recent disciples of ours. I had the honor of marrying them.

Contact info available upon request.

 

Eric and Sherri Johnston
Friends of 15+ years. Former members at a church I pastored.

Contact info available upon request.

 

Trevor and Natalie Muzzy
Recent disciples/friends of ours.

Contact info available upon request.

 

Don and Tricia Nelson
Friends of 25+ years.

Contact info available upon request.

 

Andrew Gearhart
Campus Pastor at the church we currently attend.

Contact info available upon request.