|Jeff Brawner — Senior Pastor|
Tell us a little about your family and ministry background...
Jewel and I were married in 1980. Our son Jordan was born in 1984 and Jackie, our daughter, was born in 1988. My parents still live in Flint, Michigan where I was born and grew up. I also have a sister and her husband who live in Michigan. Jewel has a brother and a sister who live in Springfield, Missouri and a sister who lives in Salem, Oregon. So our extended family is pretty spread out. Our church family has always been just that to us ... a family.
What do like most about being a pastor at Bonita Valley?
The people. The church isn't a campus or buildings ... it's people. I love to see people connect with God and then with God's purpose for their life, it doesn't get much better than that. Seeing God at work in people's lives energizes me. My favorite services are our water baptismal services where people share their faith stories. Hearing what God has done and is doing in their life is what makes ministry worth it all.
Other than the Bible, what are your favorite books or authors?
That's a tough one. It depends on what week it is. Years ago I committed myself to reading at least one book a week, many weeks I read several books, so choosing a few favorites out of them isn't easy. I love Max Lucado books because he's such a great story teller. I enjoy John Ortberg books because he's such a relevant communicator. Mark Buchanan is at the top of my list because I connect with pastor/authors who write out of their experiences with real people, they're so much more than theorists. Ken Blanchard books challenge me to grow as a leader. Robert Fulghum books make me smile, laugh, and think. I'm also an avid reader of spiritual leaders from previous generations like G.C. Morgan, F.B. Meyers, Oswald Chambers, Thomas Watson, Allan Redpath. If I had to name a few specifically my favorites would probably be -- Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Chambers; The Making of A Man of God by Alan Redpath; Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro; and Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. Like I said ... this is a tough question and I'm sure I gave you more answer than you wanted.
What is your favorite movie?
Another tough one. I really don't go to that many movies. My favorite ones aren't that new -- To Kill A Mockingbird; I enjoy the Lord of the Rings movies, each one lasted 3 days but they were worth sitting through. I also like funny movies ... stupid ones I won't name ... comedies are an escape for me, I get enough real life in my real life.
What music do you enjoy most?
Contemporary Christian music, jazz, and country ... Jewel (my wife) doesn't understand what I like about country music ... that's easy, it's the lyrics. Country songs have some of the most creative titles and funny lyrics of any genre of music. Here are two of my favorites -- "His teeth was stained, but his heart was pure"; "How can I miss you if you won't go away?"
What do you enjoy doing most on your day off?
I enjoy playing golf when I'm playing okay, otherwise, it feels like work, frustrating work. Some days I go for a run or workout, I usually try to do something physical. Mondays are "eat out night" at our house, I enjoy having dinner with my wife and usually Jordan and Jackie. Monday nights I also catch the latest episode of "Top Gear" a BBC car show. I'm sure some may expect me to be watching some Christian TV program ... sorry ... cars rule on Monday nights!