As a young boy, I remember being quickly disenchanted with the routines, the rules, and the expectations of religion. I remember my parents regularly coming to my room early on Sunday mornings and announcing that it was time to get ready for church. I remember feelings of dread and boredom as I pretended to sleep, hoping they would leave me alone and go without me. While my friends were busy memorizing bible verses, earning badges for their retellings of bible stories and sharing knowledge about Christian morality, I was busy building the latest and greatest in the department of legos.
All the way into high school my interest in Christianity extended as far as its moral rules and obligations helped me to be a nice person and maintain the approval and recognition of my parents, teachers, and friends. Beyond that, God was a distant, indifferent being that I vaguely believed in but hardly knew anything about. But it all worked pretty well for me. I had good friendships, people liked me, and I had a girl who loved me. I had everything I could have wanted.
It wasn't until all that came crashing down around me that I began to take notice of my incompleteness - my need for something deeper that could never be found in the things I had been seeking.
After stumbling into deep community in college it didn't take long before I realized that the majority of people surrounding me were Christians. Jesus began to reveal Himself and His power to transform people and give them a sense of depth, purpose, and security that I hadn't seen anywhere else. Jesus revealed that He and the bible were relevant for my life and had something to say about where I found value.
I first attended Resonate in the October of my freshman year at the University of Idaho. In the sermon I heard that if I ever truly wanted to know God I would have to stop putting Him in a box and calling upon Him only when I needed Him; I would have to surrender completely and trust that He would be enough.
So, I began to pray. Each night I would pray to a God I hoped existed. I would pray that God would reveal Himself to me, that He would show me who He is. There was never a profound experience to follow - no loud voice, no bright lights, just a steady change of who I was. God was revealing His love and character by ridding me of the sin that separated me from Him. In early January, I responded to all God was doing in me by surrendering everything to Jesus. If He claimed to be the God who saves and transforms, and I had been transformed, then I wanted to know Him deeply. I asked Jesus to do whatever He wanted with my life.
Since then, Jesus has taken me on a crazy, surrender-everything, trust-completely kind of adventure toward church planting. Now, as a recent graduate of UI, I am helping to lead a church plant at UI along with my wife, Kellie. We're taking Resonate and the Gospel of Jesus on campus with the goal of reaching even more students with the hope and purpose that only Christ offers. We hope to be part of a team to plant more churches on more campuses in the Northwest.
If we haven't met, I would love to know you. Kellie and I enjoy being outdoors, watching movies and spending time talking with friends at our favorite local hangouts.
Contact Craig: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to support Craig's ministry.