NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
David Whiting: Making Footprints
Originally from Des Moines, IA, David Whiting came to BBC&S to follow in the footsteps of his brother. He left with more than just a family tradition.
David is one of six BBC&S grads on the pastoral staff at Northridge Church in Rochester, NY, where he currently serves as lead pastor. The dynamic church has grown by almost 1,000 people in the past ten years.
Before moving to Rochester in 2001, David served as a youth pastor at Bible Baptist Church in Shiremanstown, PA for more than eight years.
David holds degrees from both BBC (1991) and Baptist Bible Seminary (2001) and considers his BBC&S education to be the most influential aspect of his ministry. He and his wife, Susan, also a BBC alumnus, have three daughters: Ali (16), Morgan (14), and Emily (12).
Read more In the Spotlights here.
What led you to BBC&S?
I followed my brother Greg to BBC. He was two years older than me and I admired him and wanted to be like him. So I don't think BBC was a hard choice for me.
What program were you in and why? I was a pastoral major. I knew I wanted to be in ministry, but I wasn't sure which direction I was headed. So, once again, I followed my brother's lead and entered the same program he did.
Who or what was the most influential in your time at BBC&S?
Undoubtedly, the most influential people were my professors. I felt like I was learning from God's all-star lineup: Dr. Carter, Dr. Lytle, Dr. Zebulske, Dr. Hauck, and others. I wanted to love the Bible like they did. I wanted to teach the Bible like they did. I wanted to impact others in the same way they were impacting me.
What is your current leadership role like?
Pastoring Northridge Church is an amazing honor and privilege. I am pastoring a church I would want to attend, if I weren't the pastor. I love these people, I love the leadership, I love the other pastors, and I love what God is doing here.
We've grown a lot in ten years - from about 275 to over 1,100. We finished a new building last year, moving toward three services, and considering a satellite campus. Our staff is primarily made up of BBC&S grads - every pastor is a grad and our intern is a grad. We are seeing people come to Christ, getting baptized, and growing on a regular basis.
How has BBC&S helped you meet your goals?
BBC&S has given me my biblical and theological foundation. Our church is contemporary in style but conservative in theology. Our statement of faith and practice is the same as BBC&S. The Bible is our authority and provides the guardrails for our ministry. I was taught to think biblically and evaluate theologically.
What is your favorite thing about your role?
I love seeing people come to Christ and grow in Him. Our mission around here is "more and better disciples." Watching that happen on a weekly basis never gets old. I want to do this for the rest of my life.
What is the most challenging aspect of your ministry?
Creating more and better disciples is a huge challenge. It is easy to do one to the neglect of the other. Churches have been doing that for centuries. We believe we must and can do both, but it is a huge challenge. We are reaching people with some really messed up pasts. Working through those pasts with them is very challenging. It was easier when we were simply reaching children who grew up in Christian homes or transplants from other churches.
I was just spending some time this week with a couple baptized last year and now serving as assistant leaders of a small group. They couldn't tell you any of the Minor Prophets or defend a theological viewpoint with assuredness. So that can be a challenge. But they have so many unbelieving friends they have brought to church and have influenced. I went to their house a couple months ago to help them share the Gospel with a dying friend. They are one of the most influential families in our community. I will take that challenge over the challenge of having people who know a lot about the Bible but have not seen someone come to Christ in years. That's a bigger challenge to me.
How did your education prepare you for your life and leadership role?
It has given me a confidence in God's Word and an ability to teach it to others. It has given me a theological framework that undergirds our leadership and decisions. It has been the most influential aspect of my pastoring.
What do you see God doing at Northridge Church?
Probably the three biggest things God is doing have to do with the following: Our growth, the changed lives, and heading toward becoming a multi-site church.
The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit www.bbc.edu/yourstory.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 4/18/2011 12:43:23 PM
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