As an avid history buff, Faith Community Church’s pastor David Yoder has landed in a good place. After graduating from Central Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity and serving three years as an elder at Emmaus Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Yoder and his wife Natanya enthusiastically accepted the invitation to join the work of the Christian & Missionary Alliance in the historic civil war town of Franklin, Tennessee.
“I first felt a very real ‘setting apart’ for the gospel ministry when I was 17,” David explains. “That’s when God first gave me a real desire to do this work. One of my greatest joys in the pastoral ministry now is to see God’s liberating grace at work in the lives of people.”
David’s desire to extend God’s grace beyond the walls of the church is clearly evident in the emphasis he places on learning to live as a follower of Christ in the world, rather than retreating from it. A reader who enjoys discussing classic works from writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, David believes the church in general needs to learn to graciously interact with and respond to the culture God has planted us in.
“I would like to see us at Faith Community become fluent in the languages of the world,” he says. “When I speak of languages of the world I don’t mean foreign languages as much as the language of culture. This fluency will help us in speaking truth into the lives of people as we work toward discipleship. A great example is ‘art.’ We have artists in our church community. The use of art to respond to God’s greatness is a natural thing. I would like to see us develop our artists to reflect God’s glory. There is also much we can do to prepare the next generation of children to minister to their own generation. We shouldn’t wait until they’re in high school before we start paying attention to them.”
Foundational to Yoder’s view of his new pastoral role are “a healthy, reverential respect for God’s Word,” and a focus on the “Sufficiency of Christ.”
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt the biggest hindrance to the gospel in America is our wealth and fascination with material things,” he observes. “The primary way to break this imagination is to preach and teach the sufficiency of Christ. Then we can begin to live out the reality of the gospel by our generosity and by doing with less. We can live in such a way that our lives proclaim ‘Christ is better than the riches of the world.’”
David and Natanya are enjoying life as Franklinites, and look forward to investing many years of their lives in this community. They have four sons and two daughters: Levi, Uri, Christian, Clarissa, William, and Angeleen.