October 5, 2009
Mike McKinley is a pastor and regular blogger over at 9Marks. Here is part 1 of his interview.
1) Where do you pastor?
I am the pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, about a half hour outside of DC in Northern Virginia. The church is 152 years old, but before I became the pastor the congregation had dwindled to just a couple of saints. We brought a few people with us from Capitol Hill Baptist Church and began the work of revitalization in 2005. Guilford’s congregation is now fairly diverse (about 35% of the members are foreign born internationals) and skews young. We have started two Spanish-speaking churches and hope to start many more.
2) How did you come to Christ?
My family didn’t go to church regularly when I was a young child. When I was about 10 years old my parents came to Christ and began taking my brother and me to a good, Bible-preaching church. I heard the gospel in Sunday School and by God’s grace it seemed obviously right to me. I was converted at some point in that process.
3) Describe your call to ministry.
Given the restraining orders that prevent me from cage-fighting for a living, there weren’t too many options open to me. I discovered that I couldn’t adequately feed the family as a pharmaceutical clinical trial subject, so I took that as a kind of call to the ministry. Also, when I was in college I began to feel both an increased love for the church and a strong desire to teach God’s Word to God’s people. When Capitol Hill Baptist Church invited me to come plant a church from their congregation, I jumped at it.
4) Tell us about your family.
I fell in love with Karen when I was 19 years old and she was 17. She was the only Christian girl I had ever met who could quote Screeching Weasel songs in the course of normal conversation. When you find a girl like that, you don’t let her go. I married her in 1997 and we have four sweet, hilarious, intense, little kids. Kendall is our only daughter, she’s 7. Knox is 5, Phineas is almost 4, and Ebenezer is 7 months old.
5) What are some of your favorite activities with your family or personal hobbies?
I love sports. They haven’t invented a sport that I won’t play and/or watch on TV (full disclosure, I don’t consider soccer a “sport”… anything that encourages men with pony tails to flop dramatically is better categorized as “ballet”). I love coaching our kids’ Little League teams, playing baseball in our yard, and taking the family to see MLB games. I don’t particularly enjoy home construction, but I seem to spend a lot of time gutting and rebuilding our dilapidated house, so I guess that counts as a hobby.