CO-PASTOR / CO-FOUNDER
HAPPILY TRANSPLANTED NORTHERNER / BIG-PICTURE WRANGLER / APPLE APOSTLE /
SELF-PROCLAIMED WORD-OF-THE-MONTH USER (AND RECOVERING SARCASM ADDICT)
WHAT DOES A CO-PASTOR DO AT WATERSHED?
I do half of the teaching on any given weekend and oversee the big-picture vision and strategy for Watershed. I also work with some insanely creative individuals who help make our Sunday Gathings a reality.
My wife Taryn and I have two boys. Colsen is one of the most loving and caring little boys I know and Keane is a wild man with a laugh that’s ridiculously contagious. I love the evenings we get to be home and share a meal, wrestle, read, and sit back and talk. I don’t know of anything better than a glass of wine and good conversation with my wife.
POINT OF ORIGIN:
I was born in Buffalo, NY (anti-freeze runs through my veins) and moved a few times over the years to end up putting my roots in Charlotte.
HOW I COLLIDED WITH WATERSHED:
Matt O'Neil (co-pastor) forced Taryn and me to do this. But seriously, we deeply believed that God wanted us to be do something with our lives that was bigger than ourselves. Planting Watershed has far exceeded our expectations.
I LOVE CHARLOTTE BECAUSE:
Charlotte seems to be this melting pot and I feel deeply at home here. Being from New York, I’m amazed by all the fellow Buffalonians I meet here! The people are warm but not too imposing and are willing to open up their homes and lives to us. Also, I love BBQ.
BEVERAGES OF CHOICE:
Black coffee, Diet Lemonade from Chick-fil-A, a nice Merlot, and Maker's Mark (not all in one meal, but all in one day is fine). Also, I've just started getting into hot tea.
I have always wanted to live in a UPS truck (imagine it remodeled to look like the inside of an old Airstream!) and I was fired from Burger King when I was 16. Also, if this church gig doesn’t work out, I would love a career at the Apple Store.
Currently I can’t get enough of Mates of State. It may be cliché, but I can’t help but love Coldplay. I’m probably more of an 80’s music junkie than anything else. My love for Night Ranger is a point of contention in my marriage. While I do enjoy music, I must admit that I have more podcasts on my phone/ipod than anything else right now (that’s the nerdy talk-radio-NPR-lovin side of me).
Reading, downloading apps onto my Mac and iPhone, great coffee, wrestling with my boys, hanging out with my family on the world’s most comfortable sectional, and conversations over a cup of anything with close friends.
Curtains, PC's, and paper (I'm trying to go completely paperless). If God were to eliminate turnips and cats, that would be fine by me.
When I was 12 years old I had thoughts of being a body-builder...I was only 120 pounds then and not much bigger today. Okay, maybe give or take a few pounds, but I’m convinced it’s only weight that stands between me and the realization of my childhood dream. Also I once hit a parked car while on my bike.
MY FAVORITE FACET OF WATERSHED:
FREEDOM & COMMUNITY
It's freeing! For the first time in my life, I have been given a place to not only help grow others but also grow myself. I don't feel as though I have this group of people telling me "what" and "how" I need to believe. I'm freed to learn and discover who God and the Church might really be. I'm given the platform to share my learnings while offered tons of grace to backtrack on some of my earlier assumptions. And I love the people. We have so many new friends and life-long friends who moved to Charlotte to help us start Watershed.
AUTHORS OF CHOICE:
I love anything by Richard Rohr...He seems to give some serious answers to the many difficult questions we all have to live with. I'm a hug Rob Bell fan...Rob has this uncanny ability to help you better understand what really matters and how to relate it directly to my identity with Jesus and The Scriptures. Marcus Borg knows how to gently put aside 2000 years of church tradition to help us ask the deeper questions we should be considering. Walter Wink understands how to write to some of the questions we frankly won't even ask in the church. He has been one of the most refreshing reads I have had in the past 10 years. Other thinkers and writers I have learned so much from: Alexander Shaia, David Benner, Cynthia Bourgeault, Ilia Delio, Anthony De Mello and Paul Smith.
FAVORITE MAGS & BLOGS:
Magazines like Wired and Fast Company feed the culture piece for me. They help me see how the world really operates (even if it's deeply broken). I enjoy following blogs by Mashable, Seth Godin, and 37Signals.
CURRENT LIFE LEARNING:
Control (or the lack thereof). I find the more I try and manage what God seems to be doing, the more things don't work as well. There's this very fine line of pushing our vision and making sure it does not get in the way of God's ideals.
WHAT MAKES MY HEART BEAT FASTER:
Helping people grow: not just in their spiritual lives, but in all areas of life. When I can see one of our people improving in their marriage, better managing finances, developing deep relationships, finding careers that are fulfilling...(you get the idea), it moves me! If I know anything these days, it's that transformation is all-emcompassing...either Jesus changes all of us or maybe we have some hard questions to ask. The name of our church was birthed out of this passion for transformation.
I ASPIRE TO:
One of my major goals is to ALWAYS be growing as a parent and husband. I want to be better at understanding my family. I want them to always feel and understand that they are my main priority. I desire to wear my heart on my sleeve and learn from them as I hope they can learn from me.
I want my life to mean something…to do my best to love each day with the hope that I will sit back one day grateful for a maximized life. I want to love my life with the kind of efficiency that allows me to work and play very hard. I want to be able to go very hard while learning how to stop well.
And if that’s not enough, I also desire to see Watershed move in the lives of our people and city in an epidemic fashion with the kind of vengeance that brings deep change for all of us.