Student Vincent Alands searched for education that would not cause more debt or turn him away and found Christian Leaders Institute’s free online ministry and enrolled. Get a Free Ministry Education on Your Own Time like Vincent did! Here is his story…
Get a Free Ministry Education on Your Own Time – Vincent’s Story
I’m Vincent Mattice Aaland and I currently live in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to a faith-filled mother and an unbelieving father. Early life was filled with joy and happiness. My mother and father went their separate ways, leaving my mother to raise me alone. In her household I learned to question the world. Finding that bright spark within I felt a burning desire to find the true word. I have been searching for the past twenty-five years!
I hadn’t gone to many church services. Much to the dismay of most of my family, one of my uncles is very active in the ministry, my other uncle (my godfather) had spent most of my life trying to lead me to the light. I wasn’t willing to hear the power in the word. I rebelled. I disagreed. I was that person who poked holes in literal translations. Every time I turned a corner, however, God had a funny way of steering me back onto the right path.
Life had just turned for the best, I was attending Berklee College of Music in the guitar performance program when I met my wife. Her family was the “every Sunday” kind of family. Both parents grew up in strongly Christian families and thus followed family tradition with their children. It wasn’t until we moved in with her parents that I was brought before the word of God and I felt it transforming my life. I was still rebellious, don’t forget that. “The pastor had a nice thought there, but I feel God was really saying THIS there,” was a pretty common thought I had while sitting in church.
A couple years had passed and we decided to move back to Chicago for the birth of our son. Once again, her parents introduced us to their church; a new church! There was something special about this pastor. His messages sunk through my hard shell and began to spread. That pastor is now one of my best friends.
I see myself settling down with my family. Living a simple life as the Pastor of a medium sized church. Caring for the facilities, preaching, counseling, loving my congregation. Serving my community until I can no longer. I am definitely a pastor finding his voice.
I was born with a need to share. I have always been overly compassionate. Over the past year, however, little messages have been placed on my path. A movie here, a conversation there, a song somewhere else. Inside, I feel this growing need to lead as many people as are willing to the Lord. Finding messages in our most glorious text, applying them week after week to our daily lives. Helping my congregation through their ups and downs… that’s what heaven on Earth is to me.
I live in a western suburb of Chicago where there aren’t many geographical challenges. The most typical challenge I can really fathom is the growing disinterest in religion that is becoming commonplace in American culture. Being in the suburbs means there are five churches in a two mile radius of my church, all of us are struggling for a decent sized turn out. A couple of churches have modernized into the rock-heavy contemporary programs seen in the bigger uber-churches. Some have gone the opposite direction and gone completely traditional.
As I mentioned before, my best friend is also my pastor. We have weekly meetings where we discuss my learning, my goals, my struggles. He is my mentor and my best resource. Overall, my church family is excited to hear what voice I find deep down. Now I just have to figure that part out for myself.
A scholarship here at Christian Leaders Institute truly defines the success of my future. After two failed attempts at University, my debt is above my head. I have a growing family and a regular (40-hour, 3rd shift) job. I don’t know how I would ever be able to complete a program like this anywhere else. Monetarily, I can’t even count the money I’d have to pay and give up in lost hours. With this program being online, I can study during the hours while my 2 year old son is asleep.
First, thank you for praying for me. Over the years I have felt like I was unworthy of anyone else’s prayers. I am learning to graciously accept. Please pray that I continue to grow and learn in the gloriously warm light that Jesus has shined down on me. Pray that I find the right church that is willing to have me as a pastor. Thank you all!