In 2010, without the counsel of sound elders, I left the church that I was attending to begin a church of my own. At the time, I felt that God was placing this desire in my heart to put into effect immediately. Without hesitation, I saved up what money that I could and renovated a room in my home that I would use to hold the services. I called it Transformation Church. Our mission was to “Live|Christ.” Theologically speaking, it wasn’t exactly a bad principle. Growing in the likeness of Jesus is very much a major part of the Christian life. At the point that I birthed this ministry, however, I did not have a firm grasp on what it meant to grow in that likeness. I was a 23 year old kid masquerading around like a mature Christian (1Timothy & Titus map out eldership & I did not fit the mold whatsoever).
We began holding services on a Thursday night in the Summer of 2012. I would brew coffee and deliver a message to a handful of faithful members. I was beyond excited. In my mind, I was on my way to becoming a Christian celebrity like Andy Stanley and Mark Driscoll. I was confident that what I had was something that needed to be heard by everyone. We built a website, made podcasts and streamed our gatherings to expand our potential. Little did I know at the time, I was terribly wrong about what the Church was supposed to look like and be. Oftentimes, my human ego made its way into my sermons. I got cocky but saw myself as humble. I hurt lots of feelings. My lack of wisdom created unnecessary division in Christ’s body. It is very likely that there are people out there today who have a very skewed and warped perception of Jesus as a result of things that I said or the way that I lived. I was not an elder. Many decisions that I made and habits that I developed in my life away from leading a growing church were nothing short of evil. At the time, I was dating a woman who I thought that I would one day marry. I failed to guard her heart and broke it. By God’s grace, I met the love of my life through this experience, but even she was negatively affected. God has done a great work in restoring me so that I can be the husband that she needs for me to be. He has since mended the wounds that I selfishly caused. I am forever grateful for that.
As we continued having services, we became the church for people who hated church. At this point, I hated church. I was filled with great angst towards it. I wrongly reprimanded our people week after week based solely on what I felt, not what God actually wanted to say. No matter what corrective measures I took, Transformation Church was a sinking ship. I eventually let it fully submerge without telling anyone. We dismantled and I have not seen many of our members since. I owe you all a great apology. I took on a role that I was not ready for. I did not care after you as well as you deserve(d). I also said some very hateful things in my lack of maturity that I regret. You know who you are.
I went through a lot to get to the point where I could say these things to you. I am still pained by my doings… the hurt I caused… the division… the tainting. The Lord knew me even in all of that. He has done a redemptive work in me. I am married to one wife. She and I are growing together in a local church. As the Holy Spirit leads me, I am growing in the knowledge and likeness of Christ daily. I still bump my head, but I have been grounded in ways that I could never imagine. I hope that I can one day have your forgiveness. I understand if you are unable to right now. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you. I miss you. I love you. Every. Last. Person.