I grew up in a culturally Christian environment. I attended church weekly with my family and received an education at a private Christian school. Growing up, I viewed Christianity as a series of rules and regulations that I needed to participate in for right standing before God. I did not understand it at the time, but my young life was defined by my search for an identity. I desired approval from God, approval from family and friends, and freedom to live in the way that I desired to live.
The sin in my heart began to manifest itself in my actions beginning as a junior high student. However, my actions were not so blatant that I could not hide them from my parents and teachers. I began to seek pleasure and fulfillment in pornography and alcohol. My fruitless search for an identity continued throughout high school and into college. Mistakenly, I believed that I could balance the rules of Christianity on one side of my life to placate God while simultaneously finding fulfillment and satisfaction for my soul from other things.
At age nineteen, I joined a fire service fraternity of all things. A member of the fraternity engaged with me and told me about a man who discipled him. In my head I thought, “I’ve tried everything else in Christianity without success, so I might as well give it a shot.” I begrudgingly sat down for coffee with a young man named Adam O’Donnell. He shared the Gospel with me in a clear and concise way. I responded almost belligerently,
“Yes, I know, I have heard that a million times and I believe it.” He then asked me an extremely piercing question. He said, “Ok, so why are you so miserable?” For the first time in my life, I did not have an answer.
He sent me home to read the book of Ephesians and we planned to meet later that week. I went back to my dorm and began reading Ephesians. God entered into my brokenness and revealed to my heart that I was a sinner. He showed me that playing the religious scales would not placate him. I had chosen to worship and serve myself my entire life, and consequently, I was helplessly broken. I realized that there was nothing that I could do to earn God’s approval but that the opportunity was available solely because of Christ’s work on the cross. He showed me that Jesus came and lived the perfect life that I never could. Jesus took the death in my heart and the death I deserved, and he bore the weight of my sin on the cross. As a result, I could have Jesus’s perfection before God.
So I cried out and God saved me. He bought me back from my slavery to sin and he gave me a new identity as his child. I am not perfect and the Christian life is not easy. I still sin and I am still a sinner, but I am upheld moment by moment in a state of grace by God who works in me and through me to will and to work for His good pleasure.
I didn’t know it at the time, but part of his good pleasure for my life would be raising me up to proclaim the good news of salvation found only in Jesus. After I began following Jesus, I read the book of Acts and saw how God kept calling believers to “rise and go”. I began to feel God calling me to rise and go share the gospel (somewhere else in the world). During the summer of 2015, I travelled with a team to Dakar, Senegal for six weeks to engage in discipleship and evangelism at L’Universitie Cheik Ante Diop. It was during those weeks that God confirmed in my heart his call to take his gospel to the nations. After I returned, I got involved in Cru on campus and served leading a team that focused on sharing the gospel with international students. After much prayer and deliberation, my fiancée Caroline and I felt that God was calling us to serve alongside the Field Church. We couldn’t be more excited to give ourselves away to help the people of the Field joyfully make Jesus Christ their greatest treasure.
My Desire & Prayer for The Field Church
My prayer for the Field Church is that God would carve out a people here in Mandeville, LA that are actively taking steps of growth in treasuring Jesus for our good and for his glory.
My desire is to see flourishing biblical discipleship (2 Timothy 2:1-‐10) overflow in zeal for reaching every tribe, tongue, and nation on earth with the message, “Jesus Christ is the treasure worth losing everything for”.