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I grew up in the home of a United Methodist pastor so I decided early on that I would never go into ministry myself. Well, God had other plans. One evening when I was 19, had a profound experience of calling to ministry.

During a conversation about church with Jenni (now my wife), I felt a deep stirring - words that I would have never thought to speak emerged from my lips: "Maybe I should be a pastor. We both felt an immediate confirmation in our spirits that has set the trajectory for my vocational life since that day. 

 

Prayer and meditation are important parts of my daily spiritual practice. I find that these not only help me feel more connected with God, but also boost my mental health as well. Engaging with scripture is also an important regular practice. For me, it is crucial that the only time I'm interacting with scripture isn't just during sermon preparation. I read scripture on its own and often read books and articles and other content that informs my understanding of the Bible. Worship has always been my first love and the way that I most easily connect with God. I don't limit my experience of worship to Sunday services, though. I will often find myself in a posture of worship as I play guitar or walk in nature. I also find great value in taking 24 solo retreats a year where I will plan and prepare for the work of ministry as well as practice silence and solitude to connect with God.

 

I have a musical background and can contribute to the music in a church by singing or playing guitar, bass, or drums. I also bring technological expertise with me because of my past role at the conference.

Cullen Tanner,
Pastor

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