I’m Bryan Townsend. Former Pastor, long-time youth volunteer, lover of fine foods, half-delusional cook, current AV/Tech guy, hopeful church planter/dreamer, and new husband.
I’m also a geek. Or a nerd. Or whatever. Almost all my hobbies? Weird. I love to cook, for example, but not in a Guy Fieri, jorts-and-hawaiian shirt, wear-my-sunglasses-on-the-back-of-my-head kind of way. I’m an Alton Brown kind of cook. Teach me the science behind it, give me a neat set of refrigerator magnets, and plenty of gadgets to buy (just ask my wife).
What else do I do for fun? I grew up on video and computer games. I still own my original NES, somewhere, along with my copy of Duck Hunt and that jerk of a dog that laughed every time I missed. I didn’t play very many shooting games. I preferred games that let me build a skyscraper, or grow my civilization from scratch, or plot the tracks of my railroad, or enact civic policy in my hand-designed city.
I played World of Warcraft for years. On an RP server. I played Dungeons and Dragons, and never once felt the desire to murder any of my friends. I read Harry Potter, and didn’t learn how to cast a single spell. I love playing card and board games, like “Bang!” or “Guilottine” or my all-time favorite, “Canasta”, which my grandmother taught me. I still play Warhammer from time to time, which involves assembling and painting tiny toy soldiers, then pushing them around a 4′ x 6′ “battlefield” while rolling dice and taunting my friends. That’s what I did for my bachelor’s party.
Even my love of football and the Arkansas Razorbacks is taken to a bit of an extreme – isn’t that what being a geek is, after all? Loving something to the point that you seem to know waaay too much about it? (Fantasy football is D&D for guys who didn’t play D&D in high school, after all).
I’ve learned to embrace my geekiness – and I’ve found that there are a lot of people just like me out there, just still afraid to let anyone know that they have actual options on Star Trek versus Star Wars. Ask me sometime. I have them, and I’ll tell you all about them. My father has (kindly) compared me to the cast of Big Bang Theory. I found this objectionable, until I remembered, “Yeah, I’ve had that same conversation while playing Settlers of Catan”.
At any rate, the thing I’m geekiest about is God. I love Jesus, and I long to love Him even more. It’s been my dream (and I’d say His dream for me) for years now to plant a church. Ever since my first year of seminary waaaay back in ’98, reading a brand-new copy of Purpose-Driven Church. Ever since before I ever heard anyone else use the term “church planting” out loud. I’ve pastored, I’ve taught, and I’ve mentored. I’ve studied, I’ve prepared, and I’ve prayed. All the while, I’ve been waiting.
I remember Rick Warren saying something about how it’s okay to wait for God to activate your dream. Moses was in the wilderness for years before God finally led him back to Egypt to free his people. Joshua spent even longer in the wilderness before finally leading his people across the Jordan to their destiny. David spent years running from Saul before he could take his God-appointed position. Jepthah was rejected by his relatives and chased away before he was called back to save the same people who threw him out. Jesus lived for 30 years before He began what we’d call his public ministry. Who knows how long the disciples had lived their lives before Christ called them – and the same for Paul, who spent quite some time murdering and terrorizing Jesus’ followers before God called him to do what he’d been created to do.
So I’m content to wait.
But I’m not so content to keep my mouth shut about it anymore.
It’s time to blog.