I serve as the Lead Pastor of Medford First Church of the Nazarene in Medford, Oregon (one of the top 25 unchurched communities in the United States with only 17% of people claiming to be Christian). Our goal is to create a church planting movement in the Northwest to reach one of the most under-churched areas of our country with the gospel.
Prior to moving to the northwest, I served as the founding and Lead Pastor of BridgeWay Community Church of the Nazarene, a church plant that exists to connect with people who have given up on the church and possibly even God. Since the launch of BridgeWay in 2005 it has grown from an initial gathering of 17 people to over 700 today, many who were not attending any church prior to coming to BridgeWay.
BridgeWay has planted 2 churches through it’s Church Planter Residency program, and has a vision to plant 20 more churches over the next 20 years.
I am passionate about connecting with people who have little or no church background, and helping them to connect with God. My first ministry roles were in the areas of youth ministry and evangelism within two different church plants in the Kansas City area.
I also work closely with prospective and current church planters. I serve as a coach with New Church Specialties, a church consulting and equipping organization; and assist in coaching church planters with The Church of the Nazarene in Oregon Pacific.
While I serve actively in full-time ministry, my career is not my greatest interest. That spot belongs to my family. I have been married to my amazing wife Steph Schaeffer for eighteen years. We have three daughters: Helena (20), Brenna (13), and Mia (11).
In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, hiking, writing, baseball, graphic design, playing guitar, and disc golf.