Pastor Mick thornton’s bio

 


ABOUT ME





Who I Am

Strengthened by an incredible faith journey, God drives my calling to vocational ministry with saving grace, gospel passion, spiritual gifts, learning experiences and with lots of gratitude. Through prayer, God's Word, and the work of the Holy Spirit, I love to equip others who also reach people here and around the world. 



Family

My wife, G. Ellen graduated from Taylor University (Upland, IN) in Elementary Education, supports and actively participates in ministry—using her gifts in various ways. Both our daughters, and one son-in-law, follow Jesus and are active members in church ministry. Kara, graduated from Cornerstone University (special education). Kaela and Caleb Enderle, graduated from Cedarville University (nursing, and accounting), and adopted our first grandson, Silas Daniel, and our second grandson, Reuben Scott, was born in February :) :)




Interests

Racquetball, golf, ping-pong and croquet suffer from too little attention since college, and have been replaced by board and card games, walks in the park and not-often-enough trips to the gym. I most love to read, go on day-trips and dinners out with my wife, meet people, and grow in and share about how to meet and follow Jesus!


My Story





Testimony

I received Christ at an early age, encouraged in faith in a Christian home, and grew in my faith through ministry opportunities in high school, during college, in secular employment, seminary, and now in vocational ministry since 2002. As a child, I understood my need for forgiveness and grace; growing in grace, I've learned to rejoice in the truth that I need Jesus for everything else, too! "I am a deeply flawed man in need of grace every day," and I am grateful for the power of the gospel to forgive and continue to transform me to become more like Jesus!



Calling

I felt called to ministry as a high school student, and pursued this calling by developing my gifts as a volunteer at church and in other ministries. In addition to my undergraduate studies in history, I attended one semester of Moody Bible Institute’s “Advanced Studies Program.” I also took a class at Denver Seminary and continued reading on my own. 


At a crossroads in my career at age 40, I considered working on a graduate degree in medical administration. As we prayed, asked others to pray, and consulted family and friends, we decided God was leading me to go to seminary and pursue full time ministry. 


God continues to confirm this calling in my life, providing and encouraging--especially in difficult times. During this next season of ministry, I believe I am especially called to encourage and cultivate the ministry gifts of others. My prayer is that God would grant success in passing on the baton of leadership in the church to the next generations who will help more people meet and follow Jesus.


Having served as Senior Pastor for the past 15 years, I am now seeking God’s calling for a new ministry position. While prepared for a similar role as the primary leader or teaching pastor, I am also interested in a “second chair” role—willing to preach as much (or as little) as needed, while primarily using my gifts and experience to care for and equip the body by developing staff and volunteer leaders. Regardless of the role, my gifts and experience are well suited to mentor and lead the next generation of church leaders—encouraging and equipping others to reach the community and world with the gospel.




Philosophy 

Leadership - Since each person has a spiritual gift and the Holy Spirit places these in the church body as he sees fit, I assume that God will always provide for what he calls us to do. Often, people explore faith (beginning with commitment and continuing to grow) in the context of interaction and serving with other believers. Most unbelievers (and often believers) want to know about “how it works in a real-life example” as much or more than wanting to know why it’s true. I regularly create and build teams in ministry, preferring not to start any new ministry with one person before finding who else is gifted in ways that might build a “launch team.” I began at our present church with a Team Covenant for elders, and have come to understand much of our ministry success or failure to the willingness of each member to keep this covenant.  My expectation and experience is that teams are essential for effective, long-term ministry—helping people to meet and follow Jesus. My calling is to be faithful; only God changes hearts and gives results.


Preaching / Teaching - I believe that proper exposition and application will result in both a central message and outline that comes from the Bible—understood in its context.  Growing up in church, we asked “where stands it written;” and in seminary, I often heard “context is king” to stress the importance of context to properly teach and apply the Bible (also for evaluating curriculum). I want to know that the message is from God and not from sources outside with verses inserted after the message is formed. Good theological teaching requires understanding of how a text fits within the overarching message of the Bible (what God has said and done), but most often, a single text in its context can be effectively used to communicate God’s Word.

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