Name: Mike Milde
Relationship status: single
Education background: College
What are your gifts and strengths?
- Openness, kindness
- Very proactive, sometimes too much
2. What were your goals before you became a Christian? What was your passion?
I didn’t have a specific desired profession before I became a Christian. It was very important to me to make a lot of money, so that I could afford to possess a lot of things. However, I didn’t have a solid idea or plan as to how I could accomplish this. A big passion of mine was always to play soccer actively in a club. Before I became a Christian, I was passionate and focused only on myself and what I wanted.
How were you influenced and shaped by your parents growing up?
I was raised with Christian values and spent my childhood in the Lutheran Protestant Church. I participated in their kid’s club, as well as the catholic boy scouts. Faith, however, was not the center of our family life at home, at least not in the way that I’m used to it now. My parents still taught me a lot. My Dad, as a business man, taught me the importance of always reflecting and debriefing everything, as well as to live up to your potential. My mom was always there for me and tried to make everything possible for her children.
When did you give your life to follow Jesus? How did you decide you want to be a pastor? Was there a specific situation that changed things for you?
I began to follow Christ in 2012. I made this decision after I searched for a long time in different religions and fellowships to answer the question, “Which God should I believe in?” I always knew that there was only one God. I couldn’t find answers in my local Lutheran Church, neither could I find answers from Muslims, Jews or Buddhists. Within these religions, I only found people who were also seeking the same thing as me.
This was very unsatisfying for me because I assumed that God is intelligent and he could encounter his creation in order that they would understand, like an owner whose dog understands that sit means to sit. When I gave up my search for God and my life continued without purpose, I realized: There must be more to life than earning money and having possessions. My closest friends and family could see that I was not content and continuously frustrated. My mom became a Christian a couple years before I did. It happened in a Free Protestant Church. She invited me to join her one Sunday, and I agreed to come. I felt like there was nothing to loose and the desire to know who God was burned in my heart. In this church, I got to know a few guys and through our conversations, I realized something new: While all religions try to seek and chase after something, like all people in this world, these guys found something that I wanted to have. Something that was different than any religion, community or relationship and that something was Jesus. To become a pastor was not my goal, not even as a new Christian. I started an apprenticeship to become a financial advisor and realized how much God had blessed me. He also gave me a sensitivity to work with people, it’s fun, and a joy to serve and help people with their finances (which is a delicate subject in Germany). During my apprenticeship, I experienced time and time again that God was with me and that He carried me through that time. My success in my job came only from God. When I realized this, God gave me a choice with the gifts that He has given me: I could either become someone who makes a lot of money and be wealthy or someone who builds His kingdom.
What made me choose to build His kingdom was the fact that God let me choose! He would support me no matter what I decided.
It was also very important to me what my pastor and spiritual parents thought about this. I wanted to make sure that I was not just hearing some voices. Both confirmed this path, and then I decided to become a pastor.
Are you not worried to live a boring and tiring life as a pastor? Self-denial, high moral expectations, dealing with annoying people or even the danger of losing your job?
Let’s start with the last questions; I’m not fearful of being without a job. There is so much to do! There is so much work that still needs to be unveiled. I don’t think pastoral work in boring. In my practical placement at Move Church, I’m learning how diverse this job is. From Summer Camps to Soccer tournaments, Small groups, Preaching, and big events that require a lot of preparation. Boring or dull is not something I would use to describe this work. As for self-denial and moral expectations, I’m doing this for God and not for people. God, the Creator, knows what my body needs and He has a plan for my life. He exists outside of time and space and reigns over everything. He knows exactly what’s good for me.
Can’t you build the kingdom of God as effectively as a businessman or Politician compared to a Pastor?
Definitely! I’m hoping that not every Christian will become a Pastor! Otherwise it would be only about us. Who will invite people to the services? Who will make a difference in the world out there? That’s not only the job of the pastor, it’s for all believers. Personally, it’s the right decision for me. I like to focus on one thing at the time and not be distracted by other things around me; I’m just not capable of it.
During your time at the THS- School of pastoral Leadership you are getting insight into the daily life of a pastor. How does it look like? What do you like and what do you dislike?
I really enjoy the atmosphere at work. Every week, I’m working from Thursday to Sunday at my placement church, Move Church. There are big departments and a lot of small things within these departments that need to get done. Each week is different, but there is a high emphasis on small groups and small group preparation. Often the week entails, Volunteers being trained, programs being prepared, Sermon preparation time and personal Coaching. The personal coaching time can be challenging, it requires time to reflect on all that is discussed and how to implement these things in my life. It feels like the work that needs to be done is never ending. Something I do not like is that often as a pastor you become the center of attention, sometimes it is too much attention. It can be dangerous because people start to follow you, even though you are not perfect.
Something I really want to emphasize to people is the opportunity to meet and get to know new people who think so differently from themselves.
What does someone who wants to become a pastor have to learn at all cost?
Definitely patience, determination and a lot of commitment. There is always a lot to do. The most important thing is the willingness to give your best with the skills and character God has given you and to be remain teachable. This will make a difference and will lead people to Jesus.
The dream of most pastors is church growth and to see breakthrough. Many have been disappointed, and some have even left the ministry. Why do you think that is?
Every Pastor and person has been given unique gifts and they need to be invested well. Often division happens simply when people work together or if people are working in a position that does not align with their gifting.
Why did you decide to study at THS- School of pastoral Leadership and not at another school?
Two very close friends advised me to study at THS. They talked to me completely independent from one another and they are from two very different contexts.
The combination of the placement in the church and the theological studies suits me well.
I’m less of a theorist, I do not like to think about problems from 2000 years ago that still don’t have a solution. I’m an activist, I want to get into the game and get started. This is what THS offers. At THS I’m able to learn as a Pastoral apprentice to lead small groups and receive coaching from experienced Pastors, at the same time I receive the theological knowledge through the courses.
What has been most significant in your learning process so far? Where has your life changed through the church placement?
I think that I have changed in my character, nonverbal communication, and preaching. The thing that has changed me the most are the promises from God and His blessing, which I experienced in good and bad times.
How would a typical week look like in ten years time? You can think outside the box, don’t feel limited. How does the week look like?
Today in 10 years’ time, I would be done with my studies. My desire would be to lead a church or a church campus with a great leadership team, where everyone invests their gifts and talents accordingly. I would focus on my passions and areas of interest, as well. I would have a Christian soccer team which is open for everyone to join. Another thing would be a youth ministry, where young people outside the church are keen to join us. I would have a lot to do because many people are coming to know Christ and the kingdom of God is expanding.