Pastor Zach shares his story of faith and how theCross has played an important role. Please share your story by clicking the link here and scrolling to the bottom. We are using these stories for our Plant and Build Initiative that we have launched. Without further ado, here’s Pastor Zach’s story:
I thought I had a normal life and a normal story. It wasn’t until I got to theCross that I realized that me and my story are abnormal. I actually have had a very fortunate life. I’ve known Jesus my entire life. When I tried to wander early on He brought me back. My parents have never divorced and I’ve gone through no major catastrophes. There are no major addiction issues in the family. I went to college right after high school and never changed my major and was both graduated and married at the age of 21. The woman I married was a beautiful, out-of-my-league, God-fearing woman. We moved to Seminary and owned our first house at the age of 22. I received my Masters of Divinity at 26 and was planting and pastoring a church a month later. We bought our second house and in the midst of those years had two healthy boys. And I now sit at the helm of what we believe is the fastest growing church in our entire denomination.
Many would say that’s how life is supposed to go. That’s what the “normal” life should look like. It wasn’t until I came to theCross that I realized my “normal” life was anything but.
What I realize at theCross is that my story is actually unique. The “normal” story at theCross includes some combination of words like divorce, separation, cancer, drugs, alcohol, addiction, death, financial loss, cheating, affair, rock-bottom, broke, and I often wonder why God would allow a preppy golfer guy like me to oversee a group of people like that. I guess my heart goes out to those who haven’t had my life.
I’m grateful to the ones who’ve gone before me. I’m grateful that over 100 years ago my great-grandfather decided to give his life over to following Jesus and serving the church. His example and model inspired my grandpa to do the same who inspired my dad to do the same who inspired me today to try to model and instill that in my children and church. What I want to do is give people hope and encouragement that the decisions they make today in following after God can change not only this generation, but the generations that follow after them. No matter where we are in this life, we can impact the others around us now but also those that come after us.
That’s why I believe God has me at theCross: to help inspire and motivate others to lead the life God has for them. But something else has happened along the way. As much as I’m teaching and leading, I’m being taught and I’m being inspired like never before by this group of people with the abnormal stories.
From this unique, diverse group of people and stories, what I’m finding is the most genuine, friendly, welcoming, loving, and grace-filled church family that I’ve ever experienced. Not only that, but one of the things I love the most about this church is we like to have fun together. I love that we can reclaim that in Christ it’s okay to have fun. At theCross God has given me confidence that I’ve never had before. My faith has increased and I believe God has put in this position at such a time as this so that we can and we will win this city for Jesus Christ.
I think what we have going for us is that because there has been so much tragedy, obstacles, and problems collectively in this church, is that people in this church are ready like never before to finally and truly submit to Christ because they’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked. And only Jesus can work and will work. Jesus is simply better and He’s the only way.
There are times when I feel out of place, times when I feel like I’m in over my head, and times when I simply don’t know what to do. That’s probably why we ended up with 21 people getting tattooed with our church logo. But in just a few years, look around. People’s lives are changing and there is no cause greater in the world than living for Jesus and trying to change a city.
Through it all, I can honestly say I’ve never felt the love of God like I have in this place. Thank you for accepting an abnormal guy like me like you have into your midst.
I’m excited to be your pastor. I can’t imagine being the pastor of any other place. I love you. And I want to be a part of winning this city for Jesus with you. We can do this.