Brian La Croix
Church/Ministry: Aberdeen Wesleyan Church
Aberdeen Wesleyan Church
Aberdeen Wesleyan Church has been around in one form or another since 1882. Our desire is to reach our community of 25,000 and surrounding area with the life-changing gospel of Christ. Our current average attendance is approx. 55, up from a year ago, as God is allowing us to touch lives for Him. Our biggest area we want grow is the college/career age, and hope to start a ministry on our local college campus soon. Please pray that God would help our congregation to catch the vision of souls!
This is my first "full-time" pastorate. I was called into ministry in my mid-30ís, and have been in some form of pastorate since November 1999. I served 7 1/2 months as the interim pastor of Westside Wesleyan Church in Bristol, SD before coming to this church. I also served in campus ministry with the Navigators, both as a student worker and associate staff. I have been the pastor of this church since September 2000. It has been great (most of the time!) and I believe God is moving in our midst. God has allowed me to become active in the community, honing my apologetics skills as I seek to reach those who feel they have no need for Christ.
I graduated from South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD)with a B.A. in Sociology in May 1986. I also attended the Navigatorsí Leadership Development Institute for 2 years. I recently finished my ordination studies, and was ordained in June 2006.
My wife Debra and I have been married 21 years, and have five children: Danielle (18), Noble (16), Lance (13), Olivia (10), and Ellene (9) We moved to Aberdeen, SD to take this pastorate in February 2001; I was commuting on Sundays before the move.
I love to read, read, read! And when Iím not reading, I am generally watching John Wayne movies or Minnesota Twins Baseball!
Best advice given to me about preaching
I canít remember who told me this, or if I heard on a tape, but the advice was to make sure that anyone walking in the door could understand the message, whether they had walked with Christ for decades or had not yet found Him. So I strive to make my messages understandable, using very little Christian "jargon" while still preaching and teaching the concepts.
Sermon or series that made a difference
Spiritual gifts series by Rev. Tim Purcell, my pastor at Brookings Wesleyan Church. This helped affirm what I thought God was calling me to, particularly about evangelism.
Books that have had an impact
Aside from Scripture, one of the biggest is IN HIS STEPS, by Charles Sheldon. Others include JUST AS I AM, by Billy Graham (my hero!), HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, by Dale Carnegie, THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN CHURCH, by Rick Warren, SURPRISING INSIGHTS FROM THE UNCHURCHED, by Thom S. Rainer, and EVANGELISM THAT WORKS, by George Barna. Another great book Iíve finished reading recently is THEY LIKE JESUS BUT NOT THE CHURCH, by Dan Kimball. Books about preaching that have most shaped me are PREACHING FOR LIFE-CHANGE, by Rick Warren, and COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE, by Andy Stanley.
Something funny that happened while preaching
Nothing worth reporting yet, but Iím sure my time will come!
What my parents think of my sermons
My mom says she likes my messages (but sheís my mom, after all!). My Dad has not heard me preach yet, but am hopeful he will be able to hear them sometime (Iím not sure I should just send him my tapes - would that seem prideful?).
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons
She thinks I am a gifted preacher.
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...
Call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, before it is too late!
What I want on my tombstone
He was faithful to God and his family.
Comment to those looking at my sermons
My desire is to help people move from where they are to becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. My messages are designed to do just that, whether the hearer is a non-believer, or someone who has loved Jesus for decades. I have a passion to help the church become filled with people who THINK - and can meet the challenges to our faith in a reasoned and reasonable manner.