By: Rick Carder
This week’s Pastor of the Week goes to Rev. Brad Wright, lead pastor at Lafontaine Christian Church since 2013. Possessing the gift of Preaching and Teaching, Pastor Brad serves as an example of humility and practical ministry. During lunch, Pastor Brad shared that his Call to ministry was one that included challenge to allow God to use him although “I am not extraordinary,” he shared.
Not growing up in church makes Wright’s Call to ministry very insightful. He can relate to those that don’t show up to church. His love for people is remarkable. He talked with a dozen people as we shared lunch. He gave high-fives to several elementary kids and shared encouraging words with many others. It is obvious that his ministry is very effective. Serving a congregation of just about 350 people and leading his staff of 3-4 people, it is also clear that his ministry is that of God’s love demonstrated to people. “I like people,” he said. “I’m just a knucklehead that God uses,” he added. Not self-deprecation, but rather humility was what I observed. He is confident in his Calling, but he seems to understand how to relate to people every day. “God uses even me to make a difference,” he shared.
Although he did not grow up in church, he shared that he attended church as a teenager primarily because it was an opportunity to see the girl he was dating. Now married to that same lady, their ministry is community based. Missy, his wife, serves as a Probation Officer for Wabash County. They both shared in ministry prior to his current church with Whites Residential Services nearby that provides home-based, foster care, adoption, and residential care for young people. “We both attended Bible College in Florida,” he said. It was through that experience that he received his Calling to ministry, and they eventually married.
I asked Pastor Brad about what Bible verse he would consider his life verse. He shared that I Corinthians 15:54 & 55 meant the most to him along with Jeremiah 29:11. These verses remind him that God is a good God. “I am reminded of the wonderful work God has done in my life,” he shared. He told me that there are hard times in ministry but he encourages his staff and reminds himself that “we need to focus on the positive work God is doing,” he shared.
We talked a great deal about understanding the local church culture and community as well as understanding the mission of the church. “We just can’t take every good idea and apply it to the church’s mission,” he said. He expressed thanksgiving as he referred to his congregation. His focus is intentional as he considers the mission of the church. From the church website their mission expression is, “A group of imperfect people trying to walk with a perfect God and help other imperfect people do the same.”
From his website:
Before coming to LCC as the Senior Minister our family spent the last 20 years in some form of Youth Ministry from Children’s to Campus Ministry mostly in the State of Indiana. My wife Missy and I have two beautiful daughters, Tyler and Jaycie, plus one annoying dog!
This month is typically a time when many churches celebrate their pastor through Pastor Appreciation Month. We celebrate the ministry of the local church and most notably, pastors. This week we recognize Pastor Brad Wright and invite you to also congratulate him and the ministry he leads.
Pastor Brad is an IWU Alum, completing IWU’s online BS degree in Ministry in 2008.
Written by Rev. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni & Church Engagement at Indiana Wesleyan University.