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The One-Year Challenge:
Welcome Brian Mackie and Amy Pfluger!
by Elizabeth Alphin Mundie
Many of us in the Greater Nashville Church have had the privilege of watching Brian Mackie grow up.
The son of members Bruce and Kathy Mackie, Brian participated in our church's Kingdom Kids and Teen Ministry programs. Now, he has completed four years at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and he has returned home to begin our One Year Ministry Challenge.
According to Tim Kidwell, an evangelist on the staff of the Greater Nashville Church, the challenge allows a college graduate to dedicate one year of service in a congregation before embarking on a career. “In addition to working in various ministries, the participants will receive leadership and ministry training, as well. This will help the students to determine if the full-time ministry is right for them.”
During fall of 2014 and spring and summer of 2015, Brian will lead our MTSU Campus Ministry. “My dream for the one year challenge,” he says, “is to build a ministry which is stable and growing. While this may take a while, I hope to be part of the team which builds the foundation for a strong ministry, like the one I had at Virginia Tech.”
Though he was nurtured in the faith from the time of his birth on July 31, 1992, Brian – like all of us – had to make the decision on his own to follow Christ. As he says, “I grew up knowing the difference between light and darkness, but I did not understand why it is so important to be in the light. Therefore, during my transition to college, I realized that my life had no purpose. After being shown what my purpose should be through the scriptures, I was baptized on July 7, 2010.”
Brian cites a number of positive influences on his spiritual walk. “My parents have inspired me through their consistency in the faith,” he says.
He also notes, “Growing up in the Greater Nashville Church has been great for me, as I have watched your lives. Seeing how God lives within everyone, giving them purpose, really helped me as I decided to become a disciple.”
Similarly, John Mark Mines, Brian's college roommate and a brother in Christ, has helped Brian persevere as they have gone through trials together. “He is a brother and a friend who will walk, run, or pray with me,” Brian says.
Of course, Jesus has the greatest impact on Brian's life. “Jesus inspires me through his devotion to God even when things are difficult and challenging.”
Words of Jesus which are among Brian's favorites are found in John 8:31-32: Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Whether you've known Brian for a long time or you are just now meeting him, you will discover that he is fun to be around. He enjoys ultimate Frisbee, corn hole, and other competitive games. Two movies that he enjoys are Gladiator and A Knight's Tale. Another movie, To Save a Life, has encouraged Brian.
Truly, God has raised up for us a young man with a heart to serve him and to serve the disciples here in Nashville!
Meet Amy Pfluger, whose beautiful voice enriches our worship each Sunday. While Amy grew up in Chicago, many of us have had the privilege of knowing her during her four years of study at Belmont University. After completing the summer Youth in Ministry program of the Chicago Church of Christ, she has returned to the Greater Nashville Church to embark on the One Year Challenge.
Amy is assisting with the Youth and Family Ministry. “My dream for the ministry,” she says, “is to see a unified group of teen girls who grow in their relationship with God and with each other. My personal dream for the year is to form lasting friendships with the teen girls that will last beyond the One Year Challenge. I want to walk closer to God through loving people. My ultimate dream is to use my gifts to serve God and his people for the rest of my life; whether that be in music, leadership, or teaching.”
Amy was a teen, herself, when she became a disciple of Jesus. She was baptized as a freshman in high school in April of 2007.
“God helped me through my pride and through the deceit that plagued me as a young girl trying to please everybody. I'm so grateful that God humbled me to make this decision at a young age,” Amy says.
God has developed Amy's gifts for ministry through many avenues. After having studied Commercial Music with an emphasis in Music Business, Amy graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music in May of 2014. She has been involved in the worship teams of both the Greater Nashville Church and the Chicago Church of Christ. Additionally, she helped lead worship for three International Campus Ministry Conferences.
In addition to her ministry activities, Amy enjoys being out in nature. She especially likes picnics and hiking. She also loves dancing and listening to live music. Her favorite things about the city of Nashville are the access to live bluegrass music and the barbecue.
Most of all, she treasures her relationships in the Greater Nashville Church, which she sees as being diverse and energetic.
“Whenever I'm around friends, I'm having an awesome time,” she says.
Among her friends is Ashlee Reaves, whom Amy counts as having a “Jonathan-David” influence in her life. “She has taught me what true vulnerability looks like, and she has been an example of faith and perseverance through trials.”
Of her parents, Amy says, “It's hard to even begin to express how much I appreciate them. If it were not for them, I would not be a disciple. My Dad has a gift of verbal affirmation. Because of him, I will never be in doubt of his and of God's love for me. My stepmother has a tearful, appreciative awe of God. Her personal relationship with him always inspires me.”
Her greatest relationship is the Lord. “Something that always brings me chills about God is His desire to listen to and to answer my prayers no matter what. The fact that there is a whole world of people and problems out there, and yet God still listens to me when I cry out in fear of a thunderstorm, simply because I am his daughter – that seriously brings me to tears.”
If you missed the article "Meet the Alberts and the Walelos" you can read it here.