BIO

Like the snake who calls the lizard a reptile
Like the chimp who calls the jester a clown
When I tell you, “You oughta be ashamed of yourself”
I’ve gotta set my knees on the ground

O how the mighty have fallen
O how the reckless are crawling now
O how the mighty have fallen
Such a long way down

Thank you, please don’t swing your shovel at my head, friend
No, I truly won’t appreciate that sound
When you tell me I surely should atone for my sin
I hope you know the fate of the proud
O how the mighty have fallen…

– The Choir (Hindalong, Byrd)

I have been a pastor in Maine since 1985. It has been quite a journey. During these more than 25 years I have witnessed healthy church communities, churches that were closed societies and even ministries that misused Scripture to abuse and manipulate people.

Each experience has helped shape the person I am today and make me more and more convinced that every teaching, every experience and every urging must be filtered through the Standard which is the Bible.

Interests:
Leadership, living missionally, Photography, baseball, graphics, computers, technology, writing, cycling.

Education:
BA – University of Maine, Journalism
MA – Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Theology (focus – Church planting)

In 1984 I married my college sweetheart, Robin. We have raised three awesome kids – Josh, Shara and Jake – who are all uniquely gifted.

I’m a son, brother, husband, father, photographer, designer, coach, shepherd, writer, reader …

Favorite Movies:
Field of Dreams, It’s a Wonderful Life

Favorite Music:
The Choir, U2, Paul Simon, Country

Favorite Books:
Margin, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Jesus Style, Blue Like Jazz, The Shack, Crazy Love, Doctrine, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, Unbroken, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Unbroken

Scott-Self-7970-2My Story

I grew up the youngest of three kids with two sisters ten and twelve years older than me. My parents were average, middle-class Americans doing the best they could. My Dad is an alcoholic, on and off the wagon, while my mom worked to hold things together every time dad slipped.

I never doubted my parents’ love. Despite his illness, my dad had three priorities that were evident no matter where he was in his struggle; God, country and family. We were in church most every Sunday morning and both of my parents held positions of leadership in our church.

I remember going to a summer camp on a lake when I was nine years old. I remember canoeing, shooting arrows and having fun with our cabin counselor, who we called “Zebra.” At the end of the week we listened to a speaker who asked if we wanted to go to heaven. He told us the story of Jesus that most of us had heard dozens of times before and then invited us to come forward to “ask Jesus” into our hearts. We all went up and repeated a prayer that would get us into heaven. I know, it sounds bizarre.

During my teenage years I wondered if every “Christian” family was like mine.

When I was 17 I attended a youth retreat with a bunch of younger kids in my youth group. When we arrived I quickly saw that all the kids there were in 6th or 7th grade. What a disappointment! I had gone hoping to meet some new girls.

But something significant happened that weekend. When the kids went to bed, a group of youth leaders invited me to join them for coffee. Even though I didn’t drink coffee, I pretended to and sat and watched them interact. It was amazing. These people were openly sharing problems and being real with each other. They were talking about Jesus, uncertainty and how they knew He was helping them navigate life. They weren’t living a Sunday Jesus game. I immediately wanted what they had!

That night I went back to my cabin stunned by what I saw and I said a simple prayer, “Lord God, I want to be like them. I want to know you. Jesus, I want you to live in me and I want to follow you no matter what. Forgive me for playing games. Change me.”

That was in 1980. From that point on I have tried to live my life getting to know Jesus through the Bible and prayer. I’ve learned that He is real and that He wants me to be real with Him. He hasn’t called me to some game where we play church for a couple hours a week and hide all our faults. Instead He’s shown me that He loves me regardless of how often I blow it and He never bails out on me. I’ve moved from living in fear on an active volcano to knowing that God is there with me to help me through whatever eruptions occur.

In May of 2011, I became aware of my largest struggle yet. Without a liver transplant I would die. I declined rapidly and was hospitalized approximately every 15 days over the next year.

On May 7, 2012 my son gave me half of his liver to save my life. Today I am living life again and so very thankful. I face the common concerns of people living with transplant but that’s fine with me. I’m alive!

No matter where you are in life right now, I am totally convinced that Jesus wants to have a relationship with you. It takes reaching out to Him and asking Him to forgive you, take control of your life and make you like Him. It’s not about a magic prayer, a weekly ritual or a code of conduct; it’s about a living, active relationship with God.

Yeah, I know, you might have been hurt badly by a church, an ego-driven pastor or rejected by self-righteous Christians. Me too. I discovered that like the spiritual leaders of Jesus days, they are missing the point. I doubt that many of the people Jesus welcomed would be welcomed by them either. That’s why you have to go over their heads and look into Jesus for yourself. Start with 1 John chapter 1 to get a summary and then read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John asking, “Who is Jesus? What was most important to Him? What was He like?” If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised by the radical guy you discover.

13 Responses to BIO

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello Scott,
    I wish you all the best on your journey. My 2 year old daughter had a liver transplant January 23, 2009. She was a very healthy girl, until she woke up January 5, 2009 with jaundiced eyes. The cause unknown, but probably viral. After 1.5 weeks of hospital visit, she was admitted and watched for acute liver failure. In the meantime, numerous family members were being screened to be her donor. She is a very lucky little girl!! On January 21, 2009 she was diagnosed with acute liver failure and listed on the national donor list. 2 days later her Aunt was told she was the perfect match and went to surgery that same day. At this time my daugher’s health was plumiting. After a 6 hours donor surgery, my sister came out of the OR without complications. She has healed without any long term complications. My daughter also had a straightforward 10 hours surgery without surgical complications. Following her liver transplant we have experienced a couple bumps in the road (neutropenic that resolved 1 year later, high blood pressure that resolved 4 months post transplant, anaphylactic food allergies which is being managed still with avoiding certain foods, asthma which was stimulated by the allergies, a lowered immunity due to the immunosuppression which will be lifelong), but life has returned to a new normal, not much different than her senior kindergarten friends. Our faith has been a big part of our journey as well. We are very thankful for our miracles! Since the beginning of our journey we have raised $100,000 towards improving the health and wellbeing of liver transplant recipients through research at The Hospital for Sick Children through Ashley’s Angels. Thank you for sharing your story. All the best!
    Sherrie

  2. Julie Goodwin says:

    Absolutely awesome!! Praise GOD!!!
    The trifecta….personally designed by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!!!
    I could not be happier for you, for Robin, your children and family!
    WOW!!!
    Best, Julie Goodwin

  3. Joe Rosario says:

    Hi Scott,

    You don’t know me but my name is Joe Rosario but I suspect that we have a lot in common, as I received a liver transplant at the Lahey Clinic in 2007. Just to ensure you that I am not some kind of nut I was on a conference call with the NEOB (your sister was also on the call) and the subject of your fund raiser that was being held today came up. I decided to check it out and I actually had the chance to meet your sister today at the First Parish Church. Like yourself, one of the options presented to me by my surgeon was the option of a living donor. I come from a large family and was fortunate enough to have family that wanted to volunteer for this. My younger brother drew the short straw and actually was my donor. Just so you are know both him and I are doing well.

    I just wanted to take the time today and introduce myself. I know first hand what you are going through. So please, if you have any questions or want to talk about my experiences (and yours) then please feel free to contact me either by phone or e-mail. Below is my contact information.

    joerosario74@gmail.com
    H 282-6982
    C 450-1520

    Trust me when I tell you that you will get through this and come out of it feeling like a new man.

  4. Scott, please post a picture on your ChipIn page – also…make updates on it..that might help.. also, make sure you mention it on every one of your postings. Nobody likes to beg, but dude – you – if nobody else needs the help right now and that is what your brothers and sisters are here to do for you! So far, so good..keep it up. Lotsa people praying for you!

    Oh! and about the debt being “forgiven” at the hospital – if you need me to talk to that lady, you let me know. I’m sick myself, but I’m a fierce little tigress. If they’ll take the 10k on the 27th of June, they’ll take it on the 27th of August or September 🙂 This is about humanity! You let her know that we are pulling together to raise money and that the hospital will be paid and we are doing everything that we can but money doesn’t grow on trees – even on money trees as I found out as a kid! Then, ask her for a donation and give her your ChipIn page link:)

    wendy.onsted@gmail.com

    Love to you and your family!

    Wendy

  5. Scott, you need a page on chipin.com for donations. Love, wendy

  6. Pingback: Your Kid’s an All Star? Wow!… | ECC | Youth Worker Update

  7. God bless you, brother. I just came to this post from a mention and online reprint of it by Mark Oestreicher at churchleaders.com. I am the administrator (that is, “pastor” in all but official title) at St. Clare Church in “the other Portland” in Oregon. Just want you to know I’m sending a link to your post to our church’s coordinator of youth ministry and to the director of Youth/Young Adult Minstry for the (Catholic) Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.

  8. Barb Legere says:

    I’m a YM Leader in 3 Catholic churches in Rochester NY and I’d like to use it as well. I saw it on whyismarko? Very well written! I’ll be following you from now on too.

  9. rondi says:

    hi scott!
    my name is rondi pogue and i am the director of the high school ministry at a church down in san diego, ca. we came across your article about kids and their sports and the parents response to them. we LOVE your article and that is the biggest challenge for us down here. we have shared your article with so many people and they have had great discussions about this topic.
    we are wanting to print your article up and give it to our parents (obviously putting your name on it) so they too can read it. would you mind if we did that? i wanted to double check with you before i did anything.

    thanks so much!
    again, GREAT article!

  10. Thanks Dan. I signed in and am looking around.

  11. Dan Colwin says:

    Scott,
    I noticed you re-tweeted Doug’s tweet about joining the Summit Team here at LT. Thanks a ton for doing that. The more people who know about it, the better we can serve youth workers. I also wanted to let you know about an online community of youth workers. It’s called Leading Youth Ministry. LeaderTreks created created our own Ning (free online social network similar to Facebook) solely for youth worker to get together and share ideas about leadership in youth ministry. Check it out if you can and if you feel it is valuable, please tell others about it as well. Thanks Scott.

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