Tell us about your family. I was born the 2nd child of a God-fearing New Jersey mother and God-fearing Marine father. The four of us lived in Southern California for many years. We spent many weekends camping around California: Mammoth, Big Bear, Santa Barbara, the "desert", and more. I'm thankful that my dad allowed us to explore and take risks at a young age out in the wilderness (as long as my brother and I were back before dark), and that continued in other areas of life. Mom was always ready to explore: museums, national parks, downtowns, and the like. My brother Eric, 4 and a half years my elder, selflessly allow me to tag along with his "older cooler friends" and would give me the shirt off his back if I asked for it. I appreciate two things about my parents: their unconditional love, and their devotion to Jesus. There's not a thing I could do or say that would make them love me any less (believe me I've given them ample opportunity, like most kids have). What an example of God's love for us! I have many memories walking past my parents room seeing them reading their Bibles together, volunteering in church and the community, and praying together as a family. Their example of faith lived out and I am thankful.
What was your worst job ever? Data Entry. I'm an extravert. Try to imagine that one.
What is your favorite movie of all time? Forrest Gump.
Your best vacation ever was . . . Yosemite backpacking
What are your three favorite ways to spend your free time? Getting out on a trail in these here forests, playing outrageously loud electric guitar at home, or running.
Why are you doing this job? As a worship pastor, I am so thankful that God has placed in me a passion for music. Music for me, can often soften my heart and allow me to hear ideas that I wouldn't have heard on a heart level otherwise. We listen to all sorts of music that softens our heart. I think that is why worship of God in the form of music is so important. God has designed us to connect in part through rhythm and song. Psalm 98:4 says "make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth, break forth into joyous song and sing praises", and Paul encourages us as a church to "sing and make music from your heart to the Lord" (Eph 5:19b). Worship is important because with all of the musical influences that affect us, God would desire our hearts being softened by music while gazing at Him reveling in His glory. I am humbled that I can together with this church family, direct our worship towards the Lord and sing of His love and faithfulness.
As a youth pastor, I get the opportunity to draw on my past experiences volunteering with youth in a church setting and working professionally with youth. For me, Jr. High and High School were some of the most formative times as I was developing into a young man. The youth leaders and mentors from Grace Church of Glendora taught me the love of Jesus and showed me what it meant to serve others like He did. I have about 7 years experience volunteering as a youth leader, and 6 years experience working with at-risk youth in Placer county. With a psychology degree from William Jessup University in Rocklin, I believe God has set me on a path to mentor youth, be an example of Jesus, and teach our children at Compass that Jesus loves them and His ways are good.
The best thing about your job is . . . Working with a team of men and women who brilliantly love the Lord.
If you weren't doing this job and you could have any other job in the world what would it be? Fun outdoor gear tester. Although I lackthe skill and refinements to accurately test such gear, it would certainly be a fun job.