My faith was always central to me. I grew up in a small Dutch town in Iowa and attended a Dutch Reformed church in the RCA denomination. I was baptized there, raised on a steady diet of Heidelberg and Veggietales, and came to know Christ as my personal savior while sitting in those worn out pews. In was in this church setting where the words of the catechism came alive to me: I knew firsthand the greatness of my sin and misery, but also knew of an even greater God who paid my ransom on the cross. At age 12 I professed my faith before my parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, and the many other godly men and women who had invested in me from my birth. For all its warts and wrinkles, this was Jesus’ church.
Shortly thereafter, my family moved south to Missouri where I would finish highschool and also receive my bachelor of arts at a small private Christian university. My faith was still central to me throughout this transition, but I had lost some of my love for the local church along the way. I attended a variety of churches from several different denominations and backgrounds, but none of them ever quite felt like home.
Then I moved to the Boston area in 2014 to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. I initially wanted to do academic work in Old Testament and the Hebrew language, but those plans quickly changed. God worked on my heart in several ways during this formative time, not least of which was reigniting my love for the local church. While in seminary, I served and interned at a church plant north of Boston. While the comfy padded seats were an upgrade from the hardwood pews of my childhood, the same gospel was preached there every Sunday. I saw firsthand what a missional, local church could be, and fell in love with the idea of church planting in New England. I also realized, perhaps for the first time, just how rare and precious my childhood church experience was. I became committed to seeing more churches planted that could provide the same opportunities God blessed me with as a child.
After serving at that same church for nearly four years, with the help and counsel of my pastors and elders, I came to the difficult decision that it was time to move on. It became clear to me over the course of several months that I needed to consider moving into a Presbyterian church context. Then, this past summer, I connected with Omar Ortiz and Sean Sawyers and we walked through what it would look like to join the PCA and serve at the Boston North church. In addition to being a good fit in regards to theology, church government, and practice, I admired Christ the King’s commitment to church planting in and around Boston. I am excited to accept this position as a new church planting apprentice and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Boston North church plant.