Meet the NotN Crew: Jerad Clark

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I was born on October 30, 1993 in Traverse city, Michigan. I was born into a full Christian home with two loving parents and three crazy siblings. My parents– John and Michelle– have been married for a little over twenty-five years last March. My father is the senior pastor of Westside Community Church and my mother works as one of the receptionist at Westside. I have an older brother Andrew, a younger sister Abby who is also attending GBC this year, and I also have a little brother named Jon-Michael. We all grew up in Traverse city.

Growing up I spent most days of the week at church. Between actual church services on Sundays, small groups Monday through Tuesday, and youth group on Wednesday nights, I basically grew up in that building. I grew up in a very competitive family, so naturally I enjoy playing sports. I like Soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, and hockey. I really like movies, hanging out, and meeting new people. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to work in a church. It wasn’t ’till sophomore year of high school that I found out that I wanted to work in ministry and be a pastor of any kind. I have a passion for helping people of any age. Soon after this realization, a big problem arose. I always thought that my salvation came through my dad and my older brother, Andrew. Reason being is that they were the biggest Christian figures in my life and everybody loved them. So I strived to be like them in every way. I never really took ownership of my faith. That was the real issue.

I was trying to take ownership of their faith instead of my own.

Junior year of high school I still was denying my ownership of my own faith but that was about to change. That spring I went on a retreat for my youth group and, wouldn’t you know, the retreat’s theme was the owning your faith with the gospel. The Lord sent his only son to die for me because he loved me so much. So that weekend I took ownership and found myself in the Lord.

Once you take hold of your faith you truly take hold the love of the father.

Taking ownership in my faith really pushed me to be myself and find the path that the Lord wants me to follow. When I was trying to be Andrew and my dad I found that I didn’t have a lot of friends and I was often upset. I really struggle with anger issues and was mad all the time. By taking ownership of my faith, the Lord moved in me and changed me. If I hadn’t taken ownership of my faith I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Through God’s grace and love, I am free. I actually spent this last year serving as the assistant Junior High youth pastor at my home church. It was a crazy experience to say the least. It definitely was a lot of fun. Through this experience I realized that I need to finish my education.

I cannot wait to serve the lord on a daily basis as my actual job. My dream is to one start my own church or to join a church and run their youth ministry. I also can’t wait to be married and start a family. I pray for my wife, whoever she may be, on a daily basis. I am very blessed to have the life that I do and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next.

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