Connecting his peers to Christ
“I couldn’t find a church that I wanted to be in,” Parker said. After coming to a relationship with Christ in high school, Parker searched for a church that felt like home. “I searched for a church for three or four years where I felt like I could really connect and get involved,” Parker said.
Finally, Parker’s roommate invited him to church, a local church plant called Impact Drayton, now called ID Clifton. “I showed up and within a couple of minutes I knew I was home,” Parker said. After one of the services, Pastor Ricky Wilson approached Parker and invited him to coffee. He felt shocked that the pastor of the church seemed accessible. From there, Ricky set Parker up in a discipleship relationship with the associate pastor, Taylor Little. “I’ve grown through discipleship because Taylor has been there with me every week for the past two and a half years,” Parker said.
Parker began taking on more responsibility at ID Clifton, beginning with helping to set up, then getting involved with the worship team, and eventually leading a small group. “After a while, Ricky and Taylor both told me that I was called to ministry and that I have a gift for it.” At the time, Parker did not want to hear this. “I prefer to do what I want with my life,” Parker told them.
One day, Parker was sitting in a coffee shop with Taylor. “Before my brain could process what my mouth was saying, I looked at Taylor and said ‘Hey, I’m supposed to be your associate pastor.’ I was like, ‘wait, what did I just say?’” Taylor confirmed that he’d known for a while but wanted the Lord to speak to Parker about it. “At that moment, it just clicked that this is what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life. I’m supposed to serve in ministry, and I’m supposed to serve God’s kingdom,” Parker said.
Now that Parker has accepted God’s call on his life, he can’t imagine doing anything else. He and Taylor are working towards a church plant and recently started a core team and had a soft launch of the church. “It’s been amazing to see God’s hand in providing for us whether people, resources, or guidance. But we can see God’s hand in this,” Parker said.
“Early in my relationship with God, I felt like I was doing great one day and terrible the next. Now it’s just been good because there are people there to support me,” Parker said. “That’s why I’m passionate about planting churches that provide community and support to others.”