"Jesus has always been my savior, pursuing me throughout stages of life where I was oblivious to salvific works." - Ryan
Ryan was born 3 months premature weighing 2 pounds with lung issues back in the 70’s when medical technology wasn’t able to heal and normalize these types of situations.
As a "miracle" child, he really couldn't sit still in church or school for lengthy periods of time, and often found himself bored to death, wanting to run all over the world! Eventually, his faith went through a long, stagnant season from around the ages 15-20 where he felt like he was "sleep walking" through life!
In the summer of 1998, Ryan found himself reading the Bible again. Reading from the letter of Ephesians, Ryan stumbled upon the verse, "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you..." (Eph. 5:14). Things began to change... He transfered from the University of Texas to Baylor University.
After a breakdown with God one evening, Ryan quickly became immersed in the day to day life and ministries at University Baptist Church in Waco, TX. After his first semester of doing youth ministry, he was placed in the head leaderhip position of the inner city youth department. Ryan found a new passion in the Baylor classroom studying religion, where he obtained his BA in Religion. Still, Ryan's feet were always longing to hit the streets, diving deeper into relationships with hurting and broken youth, sharing with them good news!
Ryan met the love of his life at Baylor, and the two of them headed to Denver after graduation, and were soon married a year later on August 11, 2001.
In the fall of 2000, Ryan enrolled in Denver Seminary, and continued his life pursuit in both being discipled and making disciples in the name of Jesus as a youth pastor at Hope Community Church. Ryan further fell in love with the reality of leading people as both his seminary training and practical life experience as a youth pastor shaped and pruned his heart, mind and soul.
After graduating from seminary, Ryan and Lauren moved back to their home turf, Texas. Ryan began working as a full time youth pastor at Northern Hills UMC. He experienced tremendous growth in discipleship among the student body as he partnered with his dynamic youth ministry staff and volunteer team to make an eternal difference in the lives of the teenagers in San Antonio. Ryan and his team continued to work "outside the box" of traditional youth ministry paradigms, and was able to witness a mission driven, family integrated youth ministry that was rocking.
Ryan and Lauren spent a short season on the outskirts of San Antonio (Spring Branch) at an outstanding missions driven church, Riverside Community Church, where Ryan worked as a barista pastor in their coffee house, The Loft. Ryan learned an enormous amount about doing simple ministry serving coffee and getting to know many people’s stories during those life changing 8 months.
From 2008 - 2010, with the blessing and help of Riverside Community Church, Ryan was sent as a missionary pastor to the 3rd world country, The Commonwealth of Dominica, where his wife began her first two years of medical school. Ryan started a local outreach minstry for children and youth (In.Light.In.), taught Spirituality at an alternative high school (C.A.L.L.S.), and planted a nondenominational church (Lighthouse). The church grew in numbers leaps and bounds by word of mouth, met immediate needs through weekly offerings, spontaneously blessed one another through prayer and service, and leaned upon one another through all kinds of family crisis as they emphasized healing and redemption on an ongoing basis. Dominica heightened Ryan's awareness toward orphans, enlarged his heart and fueled his zeal and his unending advocacy for the church to become the gracious hands and feet of Jesus toward the "least of these."
Ryan loves people because he is absolutlely crazy about Jesus! He once said, "Lauren and I have lived with a lot, and we've lived with a little. We've been a part of large churches with large budgets, and we've done life with churches with tiny budgets. People are ultimately what matter! In all of our efforts, the words of Jesus must become embedded in the fiber of our local churches, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." And the kindgdom has always been about God's love for all of the beloved sons and daugthers!"
As the adventures continued, Ryan and Lauren journeyed to New York City, the "crossroads" of the modern world, in the fall of 2010 where Lauren completed clinical rotations in various hospitals and Ryan served as a Pastor on staff at Liquid Church.
Ryan, Lauren and their daughter, Caroline Jane Miller, live in Denver, CO. Lauren an MD at St. Joseph's Hospital. Ryan is a stay at home dad and is the Director of Denver Pub Theology and the social media coordinator of The Table!
To read more about Ryan's passions and interests, go here.
To read about Ryan's beliefs, go here.
To hear what others are saying about Ryan, go here.
To read Ryan's personal blog, go here.