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Ask Pastor Bill

ASK PASTOR WHO?

Before launching this column, I want to spend a few weeks introducing myself and what I hope to accomplish. After all, why should you care what my view is on anything? The vast majority of you have never heard of Revolve Church (www.revolvechurchnj.com), and even less of you know me personally.

I am 35 years old and will be married for 12 years as of next month to Gina. We met while we were studying at the College of New Jersey, got engaged the summer before our Senior year, and were married in October 2004. I want to live a long and happy life with Gina. She is my best friend, my co-adventurer, my most trusted companion, and a joy to my heart.

Gina and I have two daughters, Emma and Eden. Emma turned four this past July and is convinced that she is a Disney princess. Eden is brand new at just about three months old. One of my greatest privileges in life is being a dad, and I absolutely love being a dad of two girls.

Gina and I have lived overseas as missionaries in Spain and we almost moved to Southeast Asia (more on this next week). In addition to my seminary degree, I am certified to drill shallow wells, building biosand filtration systems, and repair hand pumps in developing nations. Before planting a church, our intention was to live overseas using these skills to demonstrate and declare the love of Jesus Christ. In addition to that random assortment of skills, I picked up even weirder hobbies along the way, assuming that I would be living in the bush and not in North Cape May. For fun I enjoy working out, making knives, carving spoons, and playing bass.

I am a church planter and a pastor, but the truth is that I never wanted to be a pastor, never wanted to start a church, and never wanted to settle down in Cape May County. We had plans to live overseas, but God had something else in mind. As the church has grown from four people to around 200, I have realized how God has wired me for what we are doing. At this stage in our life, I cannot imagine doing something else.

With all of this said, it might surprise you to know that I was not raised a Christian. On the contrary, my family was uninterested in spiritual things. My parents grew up Roman Catholic, but wanted nothing to do with it as they entered into their 20’s and 30’s. We never attended church unless someone died. We didn’t go at Christmas. We didn’t go at Easter. We didn’t go at all.

As a teenager, I began to grow curious about spiritual things. Throughout highschool, I attended Bible studies, read books on Taoism, and had plenty of conversations about spiritual things with anyone who would talk to me. My freshmen year in college, however, something began to gnaw at my heart. I can’t say that it was me searching for anything. It was more like something was trying to get my attention. Then, one cold winter day in January 2001, after attending Central Baptist Church one morning, I sat on a bench in front of Green Hall at the College of New Jersey and became convinced that (1) I didn’t have a relationship with God, (2) God wanted a relationship with me, and (3) he had done all the work necessary on the cross to make that relationship through trusting in him a reality. It was that day that I became a follower of Christ. I say that I became a follower of Christ and not a Christian because Christian can be just a box we check on a census. Following Jesus is something different entirely.

At the end of the day, that is the identity that defines me the most. Before I am a pastor, I am a follower of Jesus. Before I am a dad, a husband, a son or anything else, I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus defines who I am.

So, who am I? I’m Bill. I’m a pastor, church planter, former missionary, husband, dad, Eminem look-a-like, and a follower of Jesus. This column is about me answering your questions from my worldview. The answers will be shaped by who I am and by what I believe.

Do you have questions about life, family, or faith? Then let’s talk! Email your questions to me personally with the subject ASK PASTOR BILL to revolvenj@gmail.com. I can’t wait to hear from you.

You can learn more about Revolve Church by visiting www.revolvechurchnj.com. Follow Pastor Bill on facebook at www.facebook.com/wjlaky.