I come from a family history of dysfunction. My younger years were filled with fear, confusion, and loneliness. My mission in life has been to become self-sufficient by creating my own life according to my idealistic visions.
I tried to achieve my mission by building high walls, separating me from any meaningful relational connection to family members or friends. I ended relationships so that I could avoid pain. For example, I remember distinctly in my middle school years, vowing to discontinue any meaningful relationship with my earthly father. Instead, I began building my identity and self-worth upon the approval of others outside of my family. I worked hard to win the approval of coaches and teachers in high school and college, and employers earlier in my career. I found ways to serve someone else’s purpose and to be perceived as valuable. This became a rhythm for me and as a result I lived a period of my life filled with deep depression, anger, and unmet expectations.
But Jesus pursued me according to his terms, not mine. I’ve always had an intuitive sense that God existed. I grew up Catholic and knew about the Bible but never understood it, until I submitted to Jesus. Jesus pursued me through the kindness and grace of other people. He broke down all the walls and provided healing, hope and a new mission. I was confronted by Jesus’s mercy and realized I worked hard to justify myself. In the parable told by Jesus from Luke 18:9-14, I saw how I was living like a pharisee to justify my existence. In my late 20s, I began to see that living as a surrendered, accepted, sinner loved by God, was what life was really about.
I want to help people see how Jesus pursues them out of his love for them, so that they choose not to live in isolation. Because of this, I have a passion to see counseling restored to the local church.
Where is someone pressured by the trials and suffering of life to go for compassionate care and wisdom? According to 1 Peter 4:7-11, the answer is the local church. Members of the local church should have the opportunity to both receive care when they need it and to live out the fruit of that care by loving and giving care to one another (1 Corinthians 12). Now that I have recently crossed over into my 50s, I want to invest the rest of my years developing a culture of care at Faith Community Church based on the truth that the Bible is sufficient for everyday life issues. Biblical Counseling is a means to liberate people, so they know the love of God and live it out by loving others.
A church with a flourishing culture of care will care for the surrounding community. Biblical counseling is an expression of the Great Commission, to keep counseling and evangelism separate is unbiblical. I see a church-based counseling center that serves the community. If Faith Community is doing biblical counseling well, word will get out and open opportunities for creative ministry. My personal mission as a Pastor of Biblical Counseling is to equip us to live out Matthew 5:16:“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” People of the St. Croix Valley will give praise to God because of the positive contributions by Faith Community Church’s counseling ministries.
Pat and his wife, Carla, have been married 25 years. They have four children, Josh (22), Sarah (19), Nathan (15) and Tim (13). You can read more of their story in Faith Stories.
For the past 27 years, Pat has held professional positions in Sales, Account Management and Customer Success in small entrepreneurial companies. During 13 of those years, Pat has been employed with Procentive, (a locally owned Electronic Healthcare company) and its two related companies BillCare and Tevera. He’s been in the role of Director of Customer Success for the past four years, until now making this transition to a Pastor.