“ If I can bring the tangible touch of Jesus Christ to people at the time and place they need it, that’s a blessing. It is energizing.”
Sometime in 2006, Tim Revis (LCU ’15, BA in Christian Ministry) found himself walking through the doors of First Christian Church (FCC) in Decatur, Illinois. He and his wife felt a connection immediately and returned the next Sunday. The strong connection was reaffirmed and Tim experienced a spiritual reawakening. This was just the first step in the path that God had set before Tim. This path would lead to and through Lincoln Christian University, out of the international computer software industry and into full-time vocational ministry.
“In 2010, I decided I wanted more education, so I looked at Phoenix University and the like,” says Tim. “But, a persistent voice in my head said, ‘No. Bible college.’” After wrestling with the voice for more than six months, he followed that voice in his head and, in obedience, trusted that God would eventually reveal His purpose.
Tim enrolled in Lincoln Christian University’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Christian Ministry adult degree program, which at that time offered 6-week classes. Students enrolled in one class at a time and attended school almost year around.
“If it hadn’t been set up like it was, I probably couldn’t have done it,” Tim acknowledges. For three and a half years, Tim worked full-time in the computer software industry while also going to school and volunteering at church. “It didn’t feel like the grueling schedule it must have been,” he adds.
“I went from being the subject matter expert to being the person in the room who knew the least,” says Tim. “But, I didn’t let it be a stumbling block, because that would be a pride issue.” At First Christian, Tim got involved playing guitar during worship and in a small group, soon becoming his group’s leader and eventually being asked to oversee all the small groups.
What was originally an informal method of self-organizing groups was organized and relaunched into a formal small group ministry. It became obvious to Tim that he was preparing to become a small group pastor somewhere.
Then, in the fall of 2014, God started moving again. His church created a new Discipleship Pastor position, followed by the departure of the Pastoral Care Pastor whom Tim had been shadowing for two years. Two months before Tim would complete his degree at LCU, he applied for both ministry positions at his church. Though he felt more qualified for the Discipleship pastor position, God had other plans and called an outsider with experience in church growth to fill that slot. Senior Pastor Wayne Kent broke the bad news along with the good news that they felt he was the best candidate to fill the Pastoral Care ministry position. Tim met two qualifications that none of the other candidates could — the Pastor needed to fit into the FCC culture and needed to love the congregation. Tim already did both. Tim was offered the job in February 2015 and immediately gave his notice to the international software company where he had spent the last 20 years as the North American Systems Engineering Manager. For 30 years, Tim let his career, money, and the desire to provide for his family take first place in his life. It was time to be faithful and strong in the Lord.
“I know it was the right decision for three reasons: I have no regrets, everything worked perfectly from the beginning in this job, and others have affirmed that I am serving in the right place,” Tim reports. “I love being part of a large team at a large church.“
You can see Tim’s joy when he talks about his work: daily visits to the hospital, monthly visits to shut ins and those living in nursing homes, weddings, funerals, and a new “handyman’s” ministry that provides assistance to the elderly and single moms. I believe that pastoral care is one of the most important ministries we can do.”
In addition to preparing Tim for a new career, LCU instilled in him a desire to continue learning. The change has been a financial adjustment, but he’s put his trust in God and “so far, so good.”