I grew up in the Midwest (South Bend, Indiana), so by default I am a Notre Dame fan; in fact, as a teen, I worked several part time jobs on campus. I was a typical latchkey kid who was into skateboards and bikes, and I learned really quickly how to be street-smart in an urban environment.
After high school, I went to a small Bible school in Iowa, where I learned to study the Bible for myself and how to teach it in a way that makes it relevant to others. During my summers off from college, I served in Northern Michigan at a youth camp, where I started learning in greater detail about leadership, management and the healing power of relationships.
Right after college, I moved east to Maryland and took a position as a pastor and high school social studies teacher. I loved it! I didn’t make much money, but I wouldn’t trade that time of my life for anything. I made lifelong friends, impacted students that I still connect with today and lived in a beautiful part of the country, just a few miles from the Appalachian Trail. While in Maryland, I did a lot of hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. After four years in Maryland, my wife Jen and I moved back to the midwest to be closer to our families. A church in Traverse City was looking for a pastor and we jumped at the opportunity. It was a good fit and we spent the next eighteen years at that church, where I developed my skills in counseling, group dynamics & processing and leading groups on 18 national and foreign mission trips.
Struggles? I have had my share. Growing up a latchkey kid put me behind the eight ball in my understanding of intimate relationships. I have had to learn through both trial and error and counseling how to connect in healthy ways to God and to others. It’s hard work but it is so worth it. Through some dark times in my life, I became a sexual addict (I will get more into this with my coaching clients), but God’s principles in the Bible are clear and can help anyone recover, just as I was able to.
As it relates to my training and experience, I have a minor in counseling and am certified by the American Association of Christian Counselors for treating sexual addictions. I continue my education each year with supplemental seminary courses and/or leadership intensives and meet regularly with a group of professionals who push me to be better every day.
In my free time, I try to be very selective by spending quality time with my family and getting onto the trails on my mountain bike. As a family, we like to go to any one of the countless Northern Michigan beaches in the summer, hike the beautiful backwoods trails or travel. My passion for mountain biking has evolved over the years, from me being a casual rider back in the 1990s to competing in endurance races and hosting a weekly men’s group ride. I’m gearing up to train for a 99-mile race in Minnesota in summer 2019.
What is a coach?
“While there are many definitions, it is essentially a person trained to help people improve their lives in specific ways. A coach knows how to help you improve your business, become a better leader, or meet personal goals. In its purest form, coaching is a means of receiving truth to help you grow wiser, or more skilled in living: “Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life (Proverbs 19:20).” Dr. John Townsend
Questions? Send me an email, I love to chat!