By Mark Ellis
As a believer still young in his faith, God showed him that his passion for music was an obstacle to spiritual growth. After he sold his guitar and parted with many of his albums, God honored his sacrifice in a surprising way.
“Before I came to Christ, I was heavily involved with music – it was an obsession for me,” says Brad Coleman, the new pastor of worship and arts at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Although raised in a stable, Midwestern home where he attended church on Sundays, a personal relationship with God was lacking through his high school years. “Church had little to do with the way I lived or the core of who I was,” he notes. Coleman was never outwardly a rebel, but fell into hedonistic pursuits with friends. “I partied but I didn’t go crazy,” he says.
When he left for college, he decided to leave some of the revelry behind. “I had an awareness the party scene was stupid, but I fell right back into it. I had nothing that would give me the backbone to say ‘I’m not going to do that.’”
At Miami University of Ohio, Coleman came face-to-face with two art students, Chuck and Rich Bostwick, who left an indelible mark. “This was the first time I closely observed two people who had a dynamic, growing relationship with Christ,” Coleman recalls. “Their lives were absolutely informed by their relationship with God.”