Ryan Wallace, a Calvin Theological Seminary student and aspiring church planter, says his journey really started with a man named Bruce, a client at the software company Ryan used to own.
Bruce didn’t seem to care very much about business success, but his life was one of godly character and integrity. He discussed tirelessly his love for people and bringing glory to God in everything he did.
As it turns out, Bruce was one of several people, including pastors, businesspeople, and professors, who have in one way or another mentored Ryan and spoken “truth into my life,” he says.
“Bruce’s example was compelling,” says Ryan. “I wanted God to work in my life the way he was working in Bruce’s life.”
A passionate follower of Christ, Ryan says he had felt God tugging him for a long time, yet wasn’t sure in what direction.
Meeting Bruce, a man who tried to bring the glory of God into everything he did, helped Ryan to finally realize what God wanted of him—to use his entrepreneurial and training gifts to equip followers of Christ.
To do this, though, he would need to sell his software company and go to seminary. Unsure of what to do, he trusted God’s call, sold the company, and entered seminary. He also began volunteering at his church, Evergreen Ministries in Hudsonville, Mich.
After a year, Ryan became director of discipleship at Evergreen and found opportunities to teach, preach, train, and walk alongside people facing challenges.
As he nears the end of his seminary training, Ryan has decided to take what he has learned, along with his experiences, and share them with others, training and developing church leaders through church planting.
Ryan is currently president of the Seminary’s Church Planting Club. This summer he will start a Christian Reformed Home Missions-supported summer internship at Grace Reformed Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a two-year-old church with 300 members.
During the internship, he plans on preaching, leading adult education, and developing leaders.
After his internship and completion of seminary, Ryan plans on planting a church. He eventually hopes to help to train, develop, and send leaders wherever God wants them go. Over time, he hopes to plant other churches as well.
Ryan and his wife, Rebekah, have been married for almost seven years, and they have a new daughter, Hannah. Together they are listening to God’s leading as they try to walk faithfully each day.
As he looks to his future in ministry, Ryan says he has come to see that everyone’s story belongs to God.
He has also realized how grateful he is that he can be an ambassador of God through retelling his story “and how it is a part of God’s grander story.”