Growing up in a Christian home, my parents were keen on making sure that they brought their children up in the way of the Lord. We were at church for Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Sunday School, VBS, Cadets, Youth groups, etc. They prioritized the things that would promote my walk with the Lord and despite years of going through motions, I am so thankful for their lead. It was my dad's lead in 1999 to take his boys to Promise Keepers at the Silver Dome in Detroit Michigan. I was in Junior High and was scared because I never liked large events where I could get lost in the crowd. It was at that Promise Keepers event that I didn't hear the gospel for the first time, but I can say that it was the first time that I believed in my heart fully that Jesus died on the cross for me. It was different, it was my own, it was real. It was also the same experience where I saw drums in the context of worship music for the first time, which would set my heart on passion to pursue worship music. I knew from that moment that I wanted to devote my music to the Lord, but had no idea that He had a greater vision in mind which would lead me to vocational ministry.
There are two stories for this. My first experience with Harvest is at Harvest in Niles, IL. Rewind to the reason why I was in IL to begin with. Going through high school, I was growing both in stature and in my music experience. I was playing and serving most weekend's at my home church on the drums, and was starting to have to consider what I was going to do with the rest of my life. As most 12th graders, my aspirations were first to be successful in whatever I did, but knowing the reality of the music industry and how hard it is to "make it," I threw that dream to the side and decided to follow in my Family's footsteps and pursue medicine, specifically dentistry. In pursuing a pre-med degree at Calvin College, I was having my faith stretched, and growing more and more in knowledge but also in my music, having more opportunities to play drums in different churches as well as lead with piano and singing on campus. 2 years into my pre-med degree my world was turned upside-down when I had a conversation with David and Kristen Wisen (yes, even before we ever had dreams of planting a church together) about why I'm doing what I'm doing. It eventually came down to a heart that was pursuing money more than it was pursuing God's glory with my gifting. I had to make this decision on my own, but that conversation, helped me see my idol. It's not a sin for people to pursue medicine, but for me it was totally about the money, and God laid on my heart the conviction of pursuing money that I had to deal with that same night. I decided that night to drop everything and turn around completely and pursue a biblical studies degree at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago. The first week after moving to Chicago I was connected with the MacDonald brothers (Luke & Landon) who quickly connected into the ministries of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. Going through schooling and getting hired in the worship ministry at HBC first at the Niles campus and then Crystal Lake campus. Because of Moody and Harvest I met my wife Carolyn who was pursuing a degree in Music and also connected on staff at HBC Elgin. We both aspired to do music ministry together the rest of our lives. It was in 2009 when David Wisen called me with the prospective opportunity to plant Harvest in my home town of Spring Lake. I couldn't turn it down to come home and bring something I loved so dearly to my neck of the woods in West Michigan. So in June of 2010 my wife and I moved from Elgin to Spring Lake to be part of the core-team and plant HBCSL in November of 2010.
As the worship pastor, I oversee anything that happens on the weekend services from the music to the production and the overall experience. From the creative side of things, with a creative team, I develop the elements going into services that bring our hearts from horizontal to vertical each and every weekend. It's my goal to cultivate a worship culture here at this church that is Biblical, Vertical, Expressive, and high impact, that leaves the congregant impressed and in awe of an Amazing God, An Amazing Savior and not an amazing band.
It is an honor and a privilege every weekend to lead our people in worship, lifting high the name of Jesus Christ, and doing our best to do what he calls us to in John 4:24 to worship him in spirit and in truth. The gospel is the greatest news we have and because of what He's done for us in taking our place on the cross, our worship of him should increase every day for that reason.
June 2010 as a founding pastor.
WMC class of 2004; Calvin College (04-06) Biology/Chemistry; Moody Bible Institute (07-09) B.A. Biblical Studies; Resurgence Training Center (2010-11) Masters of Missional Leadership.
Great Harvest Bread Company; Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference; Harvest Bible Chapel - Music Director for Niles and Crystal Lake Campuses.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Carolyn. The fact that we get to do ministry together gives me so much joy. I definitely married up, and as the music director and worship ministry administrator, she keeps me on task and organized. The Lord blessed me beyond measure with her.
Annandale (4); Evelyn (2);
I enjoy all things outdoors. I like to hunt, shoot, and make things. I love to gourmet cook, and have a special gift in fried chicken. I ride my bike everywhere in the summers, and enjoy lifting weights and getting healthy.