As a believer still young in his faith, God showed him that his passion for music was an obstacle to spiritual growth. After he sold his
guitar and parted with many of his albums, God honored his sacrifice in a surprising way.
“Before I came to Christ, I was heavily involved with music – it was an obsession for me,” says Brad Coleman, the new pastor of worship and arts at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Although raised in a stable, Midwestern home where he attended church on Sundays, a personal relationship with God was lacking through his high school years. “Church had little to do with the way I lived or the core of who I was,” he notes. Coleman was never outwardly a rebel, but fell into hedonistic pursuits with friends. “I partied but I didn’t go crazy,” he says.
When he left for college, he decided to leave some of the revelry behind. “I had an awareness the party scene was stupid, but I fell right back into it. I had nothing that would give me the backbone to say ‘I’m not going to do that.’”
At Miami University of Ohio, Coleman came face-to-face with two art students, Chuck and Rich Bostwick, who left an indelible mark. “This was the first time I closely observed two people who had a dynamic, growing relationship with Christ,” Coleman recalls. “Their lives were absolutely informed by their relationship with God.”
As he watched the Bostwick twins up-close, he admired their skill and dedication as artists. “They were hardworking and had a great vision,” he notes. Their winsome personalities seemed to light up any room they entered.
On several occasions they invited Coleman to consider a personal relationship with Christ, but he was resistant. “They never shied away from entering into that kind of dialogue without condemnation,” he says.
Coleman always had the same response to their appeal: “That’s awesome for you. I personally don’t need that, but I’m glad you found it.”
However, his outward stance belied an inward tension. “I clearly did need it,” he admits now, “because I couldn’t resist following the crowd.”
Independently, Coleman’s roommate was talking with friends at Campus Crusade for Christ. He brought home a copy of “More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell and left it sitting on their coffee table.