Almost ten years ago, I graduated from Talbot School of Theology with my M.Div, thereby embarking on my “second” career, a career of ministry. I had been pursuing a career in the record industry some years earlier, when I began leading a discipleship group in the college ministry at Lake Avenue Church, and was drawn into worship leading there for the first time. I eventually left my production position at Virgin Records to go to seminary full-time.
As sweeping as that change was, however, a greater change had been happening in my heart. The Spirit of God took the heart of a self-focused musician, and changed it into the heart of a pastor. By degrees, I began to care more deeply for the people that I was shepherding in the music ministry than the notes that we were playing. I began to be excited to see people experience spiritual change on a deep level, and found that this same passion applied regardless of whether I was playing a guitar, or preaching from a pulpit.
While in seminary, I found myself leading worship at a church plant called Christchurch Pasadena, as I wrote my book on worship. As interested as I was in worship, I became equally interested in spiritual formation, and how the character of Christ becomes imprinted upon our hearts and lives. Through the mentorship of my friend and pastor Mark Kuiper, I came to understand that there is nothing more foundational in our spiritual walk than understanding and applying the truth of the gospel in our daily lives. You might ask, “What does he mean by the gospel?” By the gospel, I mean the truth that Christ paid the price for our sins on the cross, and in return, gave us His perfect life; that we are saved by grace through faith in Him alone, and that when God looks at us in any given moment, He doesn’t recognize our own efforts to deserve His favor, but sees instead the righteousness of Christ.
The time has come for me to step into the role of lead pastor, and I believe that I am being called to plant Resonate Grace Church in the Pasadena area. Some have asked, “Why do we need another church in this area?” I might ask in return, “Why do we need more committed disciples of Christ? The answer is that we want to see lives changed by the gospel, and our world changed as a result of those lives which have been radically transformed. We don’t need fewer churches, we actually need more! Indeed, we need more churches that are gospel-driven and grace-centered, because the gospel of grace is the greatest resource that we have to see the Holy Spirit change people’s hearts. It is the power of God for salvation.
Resonate Grace Church exists to see lives changed by the gospel of grace, through deep, connected worship and vital community, and in service to our neighborhood and world. If you want to find out more about us and join us on this journey, visit our website at www.resonategrace.org. You might just find your life being changed in the process.