Interview with Eric Bancroft

February 22, 2010

T4G is really excited to have 8 breakout speakers this year. One of those, Eric Bancroft, is interviewed here about his ministry and personal life. As you think about T4G and the speakers, pray for them!

1) Where do you pastor?

I pastor in the NE area of Indianapolis, Indiana at a non-denominational Baptist church called Castleview Baptist Church. I have been at the church for a little over a year. The congregation is a sweet group of people that is diverse in age and also becoming diverse in ethnicity as our community continues to change. It has been exciting to see how gospel-centered, expository preaching continues to shape us as a local body of Christ. With the Midwest easily characterized by its morality where Jesus is simply a mascot and the cross is a logo, we are trying to minister as a people committed to the glory of Christ as it is heard through the gospel and seen in its impact in our lives, personally and corporately.

2) How did you come to Christ?

Growing up for my part of my life in South Carolina in a non-Christian home, I was exposed to cultural Christianity but never heard the gospel. A man named James Walker moved in next door to my family. He turned out to be a new youth pastor at a Baptist Church. After visiting his church several times and having him explain to me the gospel, I surrendered my life to Christ. My knowledge of sin was real, personal, and pervasive in my life and the lives of those around me. Forgiveness and adoption by God through the work of Christ was overwhelming to me. I remember that night like it was yesterday.

3) Describe your call to ministry.

“Wandering in the wilderness” would best describe my time leading up to my full-time pursuit of ministry. I was very confused as to what “the call” meant. I thought I needed to have certain goose bumps or some other mystical experience. While in college, as I was taught by those in leadership in my local church, I began to recognize that the pattern Paul instructed Timothy in was desire, character, giftedness, affirmation, and opportunity. Thanks to men like Dwight Moody, Jerry Wragg, and John MacArthur my call to ministry was affirmed.

4) Tell us about your family.

I am married to a rock star named Danelle and we have three boys, Isaac, David, and Jeremiah. Two were born in California and are ours by birth and one was born in Ethiopia and is ours by adoption. The Bancroft Five lives in a house full of energy and we love to invite almost all of Indianapolis over to our house. A person walking into our house is usually greeted with a playlist created by my boys of anything from Trip Lee to Andrew Peterson, from Above & Beyond to Angel Taylor.

5) What are some of your favorite activities with your family or personal hobbies?

Moving from Los Angeles to Indianapolis, we have learned to have winter activities and summer activities. Our favorite winter activity is tying a rope to the backseat of our Honda Element, dropping the tailgate, and flying around the neighborhoods on snow discs (Indiana’s flat so you have to improvise). Summer fun includes the boys riding bikes while I ride the longboard skateboard on the Monon trail of Indianapolis, hiking through various parks looking for animals to “subdue,” and anything else that makes for a lot of laundry.

Beyond that, I love triathlons, adventure races, other outdoor sports, and going on wild date nights with my wife (which could potentially qualify as another outdoor sport).

6) Favorite biography?

Without a doubt, it would be Arnold Dallimore’s two-volume biography of George Whitefield. Reading about his life has made a big impact on my life. His passion for the lost and God’s sovereign purpose to bless his preaching like never recorded before in human history is stunning. It has definitely fueled my mindset that I would rather die at forty exhausted for the kingdom of Christ then live to eighty and be well rested because of my apathy.

7) What will you be speaking on at T4G?

My title is “Convincing Christianity: The Implications of a Robust Gospel in Marriage.” As Christians, we want the world to hear about the glory of God in Christ. Such a commitment is seen partly in the effects of the gospel working themselves out in our relationships, and no better single relationship for that to be seen in than our marriage; the epicenter of all relationships. This is about the convergence of Christology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, and Missiology. Nothing less than the glory of Christ and his saving work is at stake.

8)Which of the main T4G speakers could you “take to the mat” so to speak?

I’ve wrestled with the Big Mac and it’s no fun. The man is a powerhouse. But I think I’m ready for the Mohler Madness. As long as we have to leave our books at the ropes, I would step into the ring.

9) Why are you excited about T4G?

· Because its two hours from Indy and I can bring more guys come from our church.

· Because the messages always challenge me to think deeply about Christ.

· Because it is three days of fasting from sleep but three days of indulging in fellowship. The late night conversations I have had with friends from Sovereign Grace Churches the last two T4G’s have been worth the registration alone. Chase these men down to learn about theology that percolates into the soul.

· Because it begins new friendships that are formed from a passion for the gospel and a common commitment to humility by learning from others as we are reminded how big Christ’s church is.

10) Anything else we should know or you’d like to say?

One of the most helpful contributions to my love for the work of the gospel and view of Christ’s church has been to leave the borders of America and be involved in ministry in other countries around the world. It has caused my heart to long for the fullness of worship promised in Revelation 7 and helped me parse the “American” from my “Christianity.” It has given me a fuller picture of “T4G.”