I grew up in Pella, Iowa, home of the Dutch Reformed Church. Raised in this traditional Christian environment, my heart longed for something deeper. When I turned 18 I realized I knew the churchy answers about Jesus, but didn’t have a personal relationship with him—so I went looking for one. This led me to examine numerous doctrines and denominations, but left me puzzled for who Jesus was to me.
In a long process of recruitment for playing football in college, I felt God calling me to stay in Pella and attend Central College because “there was more work to be done in this city.” So I stayed, played football, majored in English and Secondary Education, worked with Campus Ministries, and wrestled with my faith, identity, and purpose.
I messed up a lot. I found myself battling perfection and pride, giving in to college temptations, even rejecting my faith for a time. God called me out and I ended up dropping out of college my Junior year to work with YWAM in Australia for a semester. This revolutionized my life and launched me into my passions for writing, speaking, and helping others grow deeper into Jesus.
Since 2012, I have brought my energetic passion for going deeper to stages from Dutch Reformed churches to Millennial conferences and to college campuses like Dordt (IA), Spring Arbor (MI), Southwest Baptist (MO) and more. Alongside this passion, I have worked as a high school English teacher and coach, Bible and Science middle school teacher, worked with Vital Men’s Ministry, and started a non-profit organization called HeartStir Ministries whose goal is to place Millennials into mission all over the world while awakening their identity, passion, and purpose.
In my down time I enjoy creating whimsical moments with my fiancé Courtney, traveling (19 countries and 6 continents so far), being athletically competitive (I’m washed up), pulling pranks on friends and coworkers (The Office inspired me), and Jesus chats over steaming coffee (white chocolate mocha actually).