Mike grew up in a pastor’s family and lived in three states — Idaho, Montana, and Minnesota — before moving to the north side of Chicago, where he graduated from Taft High School in 1982. He headed north to Moorhead, Minnesota for college, and earned a B.A. magna cum laude with a double major in English and Communication from Concordia in 1986. Upon graduating, he took a job as an assistant golf pro at a Chicago area resort, and enjoyed it so much he almost made a career of it. Ultimately, however, Mike pursued the call to ordained ministry and enrolled at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, where he received a Master of Divinity in 1990. From 1990-1993, he served as the pastor of Palestine Lutheran in rural Huxley, a congregation that has been faithfully doing ministry since 1855.

In 1993, Mike became the new mission developer for Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa. Passionate about developing a church committed to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, he organized the new congregation upon the solid foundation of a Bible-based vision: to be a Spirited, Growing, and Christ-centered community filled with hope!

Recently, Mike was listed in Outreach Magazine’s “25 Church Leaders to Watch,” and is a recipient of the “40 under 40” award from the Des Moines Business Record. He served on the original Core Leadership Team for Alpha USA, and is a current board member for Meals from the Heartland. Mike’s sermon podcasts are downloaded by thousands of people around the world.

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