LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine

Q & A with Elder Board Chairman Jim Goetz

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How long have you been a member of Wheaton Bible Church?

Since 1979. Sandy and I were married in June that year and were renting an apartment in Wheaton. We decided we would commit to a local church and came the first Sunday after our honeymoon.

We loved the worship and preaching and met wonderful people who are still our friends thirty-five years later. This has been our place to grow and serve in love.

Describe one or two memorable experiences you’ve had at Wheaton Bible Church.

Two memories of God’s amazing provision stand out. The first is the Step Out/En Marcha tent meeting on May 15, 2005. We worshiped as one body in English and Spanish, sharing our commitment to follow God’s leading in ministry and in the relocation of our church building. God filled us with love, courage and joy.

The second was our dedication service on August 24, 2008. What God started in the tent meeting led to the joy of moving into our new church facility. It was a celebration of God’s faithfulness to us through the sacrificial service and giving of our people. It was also a testimony to Jesus’ victory over death as we dedicated our Prayer Tower in memory of Carol Bugh. Each time I’m there, I am reminded of Carol’s love for this church and of God’s loving gift of eternal life through Jesus.

JG1How long have you been an Elder?

I have served as an Elder over a period of sixteen years, with two breaks during that time. Those years have been filled with stories of God’s work through the many challenges of life. It is a joy to serve with our Elders and staff.

What are the most challenging and most rewarding parts of being an Elder?

The most challenging part is seeking unity as we embrace the challenges of our broken world. Life pulls us in different directions, yet we want Wheaton Bible Church to be a place where we all love God, grow together, and reach the world. Conflict in our lives and our church is painful. But we have seen God’s wonderful purposes even in times of conflict.

The most rewarding part is seeing lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the past year, we have heard dozens of testimonies at our Baptisms and have seen the spiritual and physical impact of our global outreach, and the healing power of our local ministries.

Given the choice of front-row seats at the Super Bowl or, as an Elder, being able to witness God’s power in the church, I would choose eldership every time! Paul wrote, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

When did you accept Christ as your personal Savior?

As a child of six, I was led to faith in Jesus by my mother. After I became fully aware of the truth about my own sin and its consequences, my mom asked if I knew for sure that I was saved. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?

My longtime favorite is Proverbs 3:5–6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

When I am perplexed, I turn my heart, my will, and my passion back to the Lord. I give the struggle to God and plead with Him for guidance, trusting Him as I take steps forward in life. I have taken this verse to heart in most of my big decisions in marriage, family, and work.

Tell us about your career.

I have spent 35 years in the technology field, starting as a software engineer after college. Back then it was an unusual career choice, but IBM was willing to train me, and I was blessed to catch the wave of tech. Even then God generously gave me the desires of my heart and opened the door for effective work and witness. After serving as the head of technology in three global companies, I am “pseudo-retired” and open to God’s leading in ministry and vocation.

Tell us about your growing-up years.

I am a “Cheese Head,” born and raised in Marshfield, Wisconsin—the youngest of six children, including my twin brother—and loyal to the Green Bay Packers..

My dad was a dairy farmer who transitioned to factory work as farming failed. My mom went back to work when I was in junior high, as we always struggled to make ends meet. We were not rich in material possessions, but we were rich in faith. My mom was a woman of prayer, and my dad was always willing to serve others. I witnessed my parents trusting God with family traumas, serving at our church, and supporting missionaries with meager contributions and a lot of love.

Mom and Dad both lived and died within a twelve-mile radius but cared about the world. This encouraged me as I have been able to work around the world and interact with global missions. My parents saw everyone as uniquely created by God and worthy of love.

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Describe your family.

God has blessed me with the most beautiful wife on the planet. Like my mom, Sandy is a woman of prayer, and I need that! We have been married for thirty-five years and remember our first date like it was yesterday. We have three sons: Brian, 28, in Madison, Wisconsin; Michael, 26, married to Jill and living in Wheaton; and Jonathan, 24, married to Mary and living in Barrington.

We continue to go through life with some family members rooting for the Chicago Bears and some for the Green Bay Packers.

Can you share a short story that offers insight about you?

I found schoolwork relatively easy. This led to academic success and a college scholarship—not a small deal in a family with zero savings. But in my second year of college, a head injury put me in the hospital and took away my ability to read and think for about thirty days. This resulted in fear for my future and took me back to total dependence on God. I was reminded of the words of the old Andrae Crouch song To God Be the Glory: “All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.”

God healed me, and I recognize that our gifts in life are fragile and come from our loving Lord.

If you could speak with each member of the congregation, what would you say?

I would say, fully embrace God as your creator and sustainer—your ever-present help in time of need. If you have not come to trust in Jesus as your redeemer, confess your sin and put your faith in Him today.

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This entry was posted on December 4, 2014 by in Winter 2014/2015.

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