When I look back on my life, one thing is obvious to me: I’ve lived a blessed life. I grew up in Detroit with two godly parents who loved my brothers and me. My parents pastored a church that I loved being a part of and still have some of my fondest memories there.
From my earliest memories, I can remember knowing that God was real and that I loved Him and He loved me. I literally can’t remember a time when this wasn’t true. God has always been real to me but that doesn’t mean I always understood His love for me. Though God placed a calling on my life early on, it was my own guilt of sin that kept me from fully pursuing Him. The thought that continually went through my mind was that I loved God so much I didn’t want to shame His name by being an imperfect Christian. For years I tried to serve God, but when I failed, I pulled back. I just didn’t understand His grace.
When I was in high school, there were two things that summarized who I was: I played sports and I dated Mary Bulat. I loved both sports and Mary, and I dedicated my life to them. Though I loved God, I didn’t serve Him with my life. Though I never did the “big” sins of sex, drugs and alcohol, my sins were just as destructive and addicting. I was arrogant, selfish and rebellious.
The turning point for me was after high school. Mary broke up with me because of some poor decisions I made. I was devastated. Then one day my mom came into my room with a box of trophies and medals and asked me what I wanted her to do with them. I told her to set them on the ground and when she left, I felt God say to me as I stared at the box, “Was it worth it? Where are the crowds now?” I didn’t feel like God was condemning me at all. I felt like He was kindly pointing out the error of my path of life. In that one moment, everything changed. I said to God, “If you will use me, I will dedicate my life to you.” I sat on the ground between my dresser and wall and just cried. I didn’t feel worthy, but I knew I couldn’t escape the call of God on my life.
From that point on, God led me down a path I would never expect. Mary graciously took me back about six months later (the longest six months of my life!). I went to Bible college and then took a position at my dad’s church. I was youth pastor there for five years and then God called me to Lancaster Community Church to start their youth ministry. That position developed into Executive Pastor and then I eventually became the Lead Pastor on March 6, 2011.
Over the years there has been many ups and downs but I unquestionably know that I am blessed. My wife is my best friend and the person I want to be around the most. I wish she could just hang out in my office as I work. We have four beautiful children who make me laugh non-stop. Our church is the most loving, sincere and dedicated group of Jesus followers. Like I said, I am blessed.
My Hope For Lancaster Community Church
My prayer for LCC is that the hunger for God that motivates us all will grow stronger every year. I know that hunger is one that God will always honor. It is that hunger that will transform every heart, every relationship, every family and our church. I can’t wait to see what God does in our future.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” -Matthew 5:6