Growing up at Grace

Growing up at Grace

Posted on August 23, 2016

Leading up to Grace Church's 25th Anniversary, we are counting down the days by posting 25 blog posts in 25 days by 25 authors (well, 24. Dave wrote twice). The post below is one of these posts.

BY BARRY RODRIGUEZ, ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF YOUNG ADULTS MINISTRIES

“What’s it like being Dave Rod’s son?”
 
I get that question a lot. Because our church is pretty big, people assume our senior pastor must be either unassailably holy, secretly crazy, or some other combination of weird attributes. So of course I like making stuff up when I answer.
 
“Oh, it’s pretty intense. Growing up we were never allowed to listen to the radio, we had to maintain complete silence during a full moon, and we had to pray for two hours before breakfast every morning.”
 
The wide eyes I receive in response always make me laugh. I tell them I’m joking and say, “No. Things were actually pretty normal in our home growing up!”
 
It’s true. My childhood at Grace was not as crazy as you might expect. In fact, thanks to how down-to-earth my parents were, I never even had a wild, rebellious streak. Instead, I found myself diving in to the ministries and activities of our church in just about every way you can imagine.
 
Over the years I’ve volunteered in Grace Kids, Fuse, and Merge. I’ve played bass in the worship band, acted in the drama team and Les Mis, and led short-term trips. I’ve done two summer internships, a year-long internship, and an international internship with our partner church, Nairobi Chapel.
 
I’ve served on the weekend design team, volunteered in the Care Center, been a part of the preaching team, and led a Grace partner ministry. I was even in the children’s puppet ministry back when it was called “Convicted Kids” (I can’t for the life of me figure out why we got rid of that name).
 
You could say I’ve been somewhat involved at Grace. smiley
 
My big takeaway from so many years serving and being served by Grace is that our church truly is open to the Spirit’s leading. We have always kept our hearts open and our palms up. That posture of surrender has influenced me deeply, and I can honestly say I would not be the man I am today if I hadn’t been surrounded by such faithful kingdom servants.
 
My parents are no exception. They have modeled for me what it means to follow Christ in so many profound ways. They let me ask tough questions and come to my own conclusions about faith. Their non-stop generosity laid the groundwork for how I view my money today. And their willingness to let me jump from one interest to another gave me the chance to discover my gifts and passions naturally.
 
So. What’s it really like being Dave Rod’s son? Honestly, it’s been pretty awesome! I’ve had a front row seat to Grace’s development from the “warehouse days” to today. I’ve seen our congregation come alive, tackling issues of injustice and pain with great passion. I’ve been swept up into fresh movements of prayer and worship. I’ve had my own journey with Christ fueled and engaged.
 
And now that I am being considered as the potential successor to my father, my love for Grace Church is growing in new ways. I look at God’s passion for healing our broken world, the phenomenal capacity of our people, and the fervor of our young adults and students, and I can’t help but get excited.
 
I don’t know exactly what the future of Grace Church will look like, but I am confident we’ll continue to walk forward in surrender and be used by God to do amazing things for his kingdom!



Comments

Very cool look into your family.

Posted by Martha Yoder on August 23, 2016 @ 7:03 pm