Perhaps you have wondered, “What kind of people pack up all their stuff, leave their family and friends, and move to a new city to start a church?” Or maybe you just want to know a little more about the lead pastors of Sun City Church. We want to give you a behind the scenes look at who they are so we sat down and asked them a few questions.

Let’s start with Danny.

photo-4Why did you decide to become a pastor and more specifically, a church planter?

I truly feel that I’m following the call of God on my life.  It’s been a journey discovering what he’s wanted me to do but He’s been with me and favoring me every step of the way.  This may sound super-spiritual, but it’s true. We are starting Sun City Church based on the direction of the Lord. He’s the one who told us to do it and so we are.  That being said, it has been a dream that’s been in our hearts for over 10 years now and it’s so exciting to get to live it out!

So what do you like to do in your free time? Or is it all work and no play?

All work and no play leads to burned out pastors who aren’t any fun to be around.  Boo.  I love sports – watching them and playing them.  Guess it taps into that deeply competitive part of me.  I’ve got into fantasy sports (football, basketball, baseball) over the last couple years and enjoy playing in leagues with friends.  I’m a music lover and run my Spotify subscription all day as I’m working.  I like to read on my kindle.  And I love hanging out with my wife and kids and finding really fun ways to make memories.

photo-7Tell us about how being a dad has changed your life.

So much!!  I knew I was selfish before kids…but I never understood just quite how selfish.  I’m married to the most amazing lady ever and she puts me to shame with how she tirelessly serves our kids.  I’m inspired by her to serve them better.  And I really do think that I’m getting better at it over the years.  It’s crazy to see how much influence you have over your kids.  It’s a great responsibility but a great joy at the same time.

You and Jamie just celebrated 11 years of marriage. Tell us, what do you think the key to a good marriage is?

The key to a good marriage is destroying your own selfishness.  If you can actually love and serve your spouses needs and wants above your own like Jesus did for the church, than you’re on the road to a great marriage.  But I’m always learning how deeply selfish I am and how much farther I have to go in really loving Jamie instead of just loving myself.

Who are some of the biggest influences of your life? Why?

Hmmm… The obvious answer is Christ.  He’s completely changed me in every way.  Hopefully he holds the most influence in my life.  My wife, my kids and my parents have been really big influences on me personally.  As far as leadership influences – I’m a big reader and bigger podcaster. I really enjoy listening to leaders like Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick, Frank Damazio, Robert Morris, Chris Hodges and Perry Noble.

Preaching

You spent the past 8 years as a youth, worship and intern pastor. Tell us how that experience influenced you.

Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago what the best thing I have done in planting Sun City Church.  I told him that it was serving 8 years in another man’s field.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity that we had to serve at Family Life Church over the last season.  I learned so much about leadership and ministry.  I think God used that season to soften me too.  We came into ministry a lot more dogmatic and maybe a bit harsh.  I’d like to believe that I’ve been tempered some and hopefully have grown up a ton.

Is there anything that has been surprising so far in starting Sun City Church?

Yeah – so far I’m surprised by people a lot.  I’m surprised (in a good way) by who ended up joining us in the exciting adventure to start a church.  I’ve been really surprised by who’s supported us financially.  I’ve been surprised by how natural it feels living and connecting with people in Spokane.  It’s like we are built for this city.  It seems like I’m always going home to Jamie and saying “Babe, it’s working!”

What are you most excited about for the future of Sun City Church?

I’m most excited about seeing people’s lives transformed by the gospel.  Marriages restored, families strengthened, prodigals returning home.  I’m excited to see drug addicts set free, to see the poor reached with the message of hope, to see young leaders arise and find their place in the house of God.  Ultimately, I can’t wait to watch God do what He does if we’ll simply work with Him in His great cause.  It’s the best!!