Those who have spent time getting to know me probably recognize I am not a religious person despite my Baptist upbringing. Surely my maternal grandmother would have expected me to be actively involved in a Christian church throughout my life if the numerous childhood Sundays I had to accompany her to seemingly all-day services at Freewill Primitive Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio are any indication. Alas, as soon as my mom gave me a choice, I decided to forsake religious affiliation while doing my best to maintain my belief in humanity. I do not pass judgment or cast barbs at others for their religious beliefs. I am just doing what works and feels right to me using the freewill and freedom of thought every human is endowed whether one subscribes to creation, evolution or something in-between. Everyday I endeavor to live a life that would make my grandmother and other caring, wise and giving people of principle like her proud.
TB comes from a religious family. Her maternal grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins across multiple generations on both sides of her family have been pastors and founders of their own ministries. Thankfully, they have not openly condemned me to an eternity in Hades and they respect my choice even while patiently encouraging me to revisit the path my grandmother led me toward during my youth. I love my spiritual in-laws for that encouragement and understanding and count the wisdom their faith allows them to impart on me as a real blessing.
Pastor Nolan W. McCants (blog) of Harvest Church Plainfield is the nearest person-of-the-cloth in the family tree and my marriage. He is TB’s uncle (mom’s sister’s husband) and forever linked to TB and I as the man who united us in marriage. In addition to founding and running a successful ministry, Pastor McCants is the author of a couple books in an on-going series covering the mobilization of and leadership within the church. His latest book, Leadership Essentials, is described as “the ideal book for those who are already leading a vibrant ministry or looking to build one from the ground up.” Having read the ~110 page book from cover-to-cover I first want to point out Leadership Essentials contains invaluable advice and gems of wisdom for any leader or aspiring leader, not just those interested in ministry.