Unorthodox Friend of God: An Interview with Pastor Chris Brown
Joining me this week is my buddy, Chris Brown. Chris is one of the Senior Pastors at North Coast Church in Vista, CA. He’s a gifted story teller and Bible Teacher, as well as a sought-after conference and chapel speaker. His humor and motivational style have helped North Coast Church grow, not only larger, but also younger during the last 13-plus years.
But, his path to Jesus and into ministry hasn’t been a smooth one…
- Raised in a Texas Christian home that was more than conservative
- Chris’ Parents were from broken pasts and found the most conservative religion they could find
- Chris always knew God… but thought God hated him
- His pastor at his old stuffy church got caught in an affair
- Chris realized this whole “Christian thing” was a sham – even the guy up front was fake
- How do you respond to parents who force you into religion?
- Mom & Dad were amazing, lots of love & respect for them but they wanted us to do religion so that the kids would be good people.
- Learned to separate mom & dad from the religion
- Moved out at 18 and moved to Iowa, then to Chicago just being a bum.
- His older brother invited him out to California
- Chris got into grading & paving and made great money… lived “the California dream”.
- Brother called him out and told him “You are not doing good”
- Chris’ brother knew that Chris was broken & lonely and hated being alone because he hated who he was.
- His brother told him “God loves you… but God also really, REALLY likes you!”
- This hit Chris hard. For the first time Chris believed God likes him.
- Chris started to listen to God, but still hated the church because “church is full of hypocrites”
- A youth pastor then spoke into his life and saw potential in him
- Chris starts helping with the high school ministry and found he liked helping with students.
- …But he still hated church
- Then one day, Chris is offered the dream job at his current company AND a summer position at the church – but there was no way he was going to work at church.
- That night, at a bible study, the speakers’ message hit Chris hard and he knew it’s time to work at church.
- Chris drove straight to the youth pastor and agreed to take the church position.
- Enrolled at Azusa Pacific University and started his passion for studying & teaching the Word.
- He was then offered a part time youth position at Pomona First Baptist Church
- Chris fumbled through his first years of youth ministry, not knowing what he was doing… but God blesses his ministry.
- Azusa Pacific University offered Chris the Campus Pastor position – he instantly turned it down. He turned it down six times until God speaks.
- After three years, he moved to North Coast Church in San Diego County
- Looking back, you seem to say “No” and yet God says, “Yes”
- How does Chris hear God speak?
- Favorite Bible Story – The Four Gospels
- But Chris loves the day after Palm Sunday – Jesus walks into town simply to let others know he was there.
- Jesus was not the “wussy Jesus” that Chris was taught about as a child
This is just part of Chris’ story. As he puts it, “God likes you and wants to use you and give you purpose!” But, coming to the point where you let Him mold you and use you for His purpose… well, that’s up to you!