Meet Pastor Dax
My name is Pastor Dax. I’m the new pastor at 104.9 the River. I’ll be sharing about what our lives look like when we follow God as the weeks continue, but I thought it would be helpful to let you know how I got here, in the hopes that you can both get to know me better and be encouraged by my journey.
My story has been an interesting one.
I grew up in a very religious church and home that taught me a lot about religion, rules, and laws. I pictured God as a dictator and was scared that if I did anything wrong, it wouldn’t be very favorable for me in the long run. I put a lot of stock in my parents instead of God. I thought they were two of the greatest people in the world, but then my perfect image was shattered. Because of some poor decision-making from multiple parties, my parents ended up divorcing.
My whole life went whirling in a chaotic tailspin.
Since my identity wasn’t rooted in God, I tried to fill the newfound void with everything the world said would make me happy. Time and time again I moved full speed ahead, 100 miles per hour in the wrong direction. And time and time again I ran into walls.
After relentlessly fighting with God, I got to a place in my life where I ended up with nothing. I ended up divorced. I ended up alone.
Until one day I got down on my knees and said:
If you’re the God I’ve been told you are… If you’re the God the Bible says you are… Then I’ve gotta have something change in my life. I need you to show up, because right now I don’t have anything to live for.
What happened after that is pretty indescribable.
My heart changed. I joined a wonderful, life-giving church in Jacksonville, Florida, and for the first time in my life discovered two things that changed my world:
I discovered how much God really loved me as a person. That Jesus personally went to the cross and died for me. Then I discovered God actually had a plan and a purpose for my life. Even to this day I laugh that God can take the worst of the worst, the people who make the most mistakes – like me – and use them.
I was called to plant a church, and that brought me back to where I grew up, in the state of Ohio. This huge life transition was the chapter of a new story – the story of me following Christ.
For 3 years and 8 months I did the best I could just by being obedient and preaching the gospel, and in 3 years and 8 months I was privileged to watch over 1600 people choose to follow Jesus. At the end of those 3 years and 8 months, God basically took the church we’d been a part of and placed it together with another life-giving church in central Ohio. The people in our church forged relationships with others and were able to grow even more.
My life then turned the page to another chapter in my story, and again I had to lean wholly on God. He was telling me to “go”, but this time, the “go” was a little different than it had been in the past. He wasn’t calling me to big action this time. He was calling me to small, faithful actions – to fellowship and time with Him as he continued to mold and work on my life. That “go” time ended up being 9 months of waiting in obedience.
I found myself in devotions with God, finishing my doctorate degree in ministry, and pouring into young men who wanted to grow in their walk with Christ.
I’m so thankful for that time of waiting, because God opened up a blessing for me and my family by giving me the opportunity to be the pastor at 104.9 the River.
My new job allows me to pour into the team at The River and into the lives of listeners, just like you.
Trust me when I say that’s the short version of how I ended up at The River. I had a deep life change when I discovered God’s love and purpose, and my relationship grew even stronger when I discovered three core themes that now guide a lot of my decisions and conversations. I hope they speak to you as much as they did to me:
- God desires MERCY over sacrifice.
- God desires LOVE above law.
- God desires RELATIONSHIP above religion.
When we have that kind of a filter as we’re living and growing in Christ, as we’re being spouses, leaders, parents, friends, co-workers…If we can keep that filter of what God loves and values, it will make change the way we live our days. Trust me.
– Pastor Dax
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