I grew up in a little country mining town in the Southeastern part of Australia. My family is still there. My mum was a cook in the local hospital and my dad was a butcher. My dad became a Christian in a “pub” one Saturday night the year before I was born. A Salvation Army officer was selling their magazine and sharing the way into the Kingdom of God; my dad was listening and turned his life over to Christ. My earliest memories are of the brass band playing at the Sunday gatherings at the Salvation Army. I was dedicated to the Lord right from the start.
I was a pretty “cheeky”, naughty little boy, loved to play practical jokes on my sisters and somehow they often backfired just ask me some time about the “sheep’s eyeballs!” By the time I was a teenager, I was unsure if God was real and it was through a few kids that I had considered my enemies that I actually came back to the Lord. Both had life transforming experiences with Christ and they managed to really show me how real God was by the changes that I saw in them.
It was the 70’s and I basically became a “Jesus freak”, complete with guitar, afro, love beads, and a passion for God. We did street evangelism, coffee house ministry, and prepared our hearts to see the Lord’s return. It was during that time that I got involved with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and went to New Zealand to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS). That 6-month course turned into 10 years! I saw things, learned things and experienced things that ruined me for the ordinary.
I learned about the Father Heart of God, Hearing His voice, God’s Heart for the Nations, Intimacy in worship, the power of humility, repentance-the way to a joy filled life, principles of leadership and so much more. I found myself in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, all of the Asia and Pacific regions, as well as parts of Europe. I think that I became a global Christian through all of my experiences.
I met Barbara at the Singapore airport! She was also in YWAM; she had been working in Vietnamese refugee camps in Hong Kong. I knew from the moment I saw her that she was special. We married in Hong Kong and had our first daughter there. In 1988 we moved to Perth, Western Australia, where I continued my education and there met up with a Vineyard Church. I eventually became the Children’s ministry pastor in a large Vineyard Church, I served there for about 8 years. We added 4 more children to our own personal children’s ministry during those years too!
Coming to the United States is a long story, but it was definitely a door that the Lord opened up. I came here to be the Executive Pastor of Lakeshore Vineyard in Holland, Michigan. I served there for about 5 years before launching out to plant a new church on the north side of Holland. This church is now Without Walls Vineyard Church in Zeeland Michigan.
Our desire is to form a contemplative charismatic community that knows how to remove barriers and build on ramps into being with God. We have four pillars that our local community seeks to make disciples around:
- Cultivating your inner life with God.
- Cultivating intentional relationships.
- Pursuing God in our daily lives.
- Understanding our total need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In additional to being the Senior Pastor of this local church, I also serve at the Asian Regional Co-ordinator for USA Vineyard Missions, in which I help develop and strengthen indigenously led, self-sustainable, church planting movements in the nations of Asia. Currently we have 10 USA Partnerships of churches operating in Asia.
For many years I have been a bi-vocational Pastor and I have worked primarily in the manufacturing sector involved in human resource management and also as an executive coach. I have two coaching certifications – one with a church organization, Logan Leadership and the other as a coach with GiANT, a large coaching network operating around the world. I love to coach leaders who really care about having a positive and life-giving impact on those that they are serving. I have a small and growing coaching and consulting business called Enlive Leaders.
I love cooking, playing guitar, being with our large and growing family of five children, their spouses and our 8 grandchildren. I enjoy watching old movies and the history channel. My all time favorite movie is Les Miserables.
Get in Touch with Ross Naylor-Tatterson