Brian Vander Bie

ofmfleadership development

Reasons for wanting to enter full-time ministry in the CRC

Since transitioning out of fulfilling work in the military and back into the civilian work force in 2012, I have felt lost, like I have no sense of direction. I have increasingly felt a lack of mission and purpose in what I am doing in my day to day job. Over the last couple of years, God has increasingly been placing an unsettledness in my heart. I have been feeling that God has something more for me. When I ask God what steps to take, he points me repeatedly in the direction of vocational ministry, advancing his Kingdom. That is only confirmed when I try to look for jobs in other fields; I sense that I would remain unsettled, longing to work full time in ministry.

A brief sketch of personal history and spiritual biography

I was born and raised in a Christian family in the Grand Rapids area. After high school, I attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University. I graduated from Ferris State University in the spring of 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Automotive and Heavy Equipment Management. At that time I also was commissioned an officer in the Michigan Army National Guard.

From graduation until the end of 2012, I either worked full time for the Michigan National Guard or was on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Since returning from Afghanistan in October of 2012, I entered back into the civilian work force. I first worked as a maintenance manager at a carpet recycling company for about six months. For the last three and a half years I have been working in commercial construction. Currently I live in Wyoming, MI. I am married to my wife Sara and have two young children, Kayla (5) and Zachary (3).


Although there is no key experience in my life that has prompted me to pursue ministry, I have seen the Lord work in that direction in my life over the years. In college, I was a student leader in a college ministry. I led small groups and was involved in the yearly planning for the ministry. For the last 10 years, my wife and I have attended Kelloggsville CRC in Kentwood, MI. During this time, I have been a Cadet leader where I enjoyed mentoring youth. I also chaired the Shepherd Leaders group which is responsible for the initial pastoral care of the congregation. I have also been involved in numerous community outreach projects such as community picnics, block parties and neighborhood clean-ups. Currently I have the privilege to serve Kelloggsville CRC as an elder. It has been an enriching experience as I get to share in the lives of others in a deeper and more sincere way.