My name is Chris Aaron Rice and my life is driven by my faith. My hope in Jesus shapes how I view the world. I recognize the many wonderful influences that led me to my personal decision to have faith in Christ, and I do my best to use the gifts I have been given to shed light for others. I have lived communally for the majority of my life.
I was raised in a Christian commune where all things were shared in common. Jesus People USA (JPUSA) is located on the north side of Chicago. This community strived to model after Acts 2:44-47. We all lived in a large hotel sharing meals, work, trials, and fellowship with one another. I lived there for fourteen years, and I learned that community is not easy and I needed God’s grace daily.
I moved to St. Louis in 2010, because my parents felt a powerful call to work with NLEC again. This move was just changing one community for another, but the radical change in environments forced me to make my faith personal. I had to choose Christ for myself, not because my family followed him. It was either sacrifice myself to Christ, or give myself in to depression. Both sides of my family are famous warriors for the gospel of Christ. Yet, I know personally that being raised in the church doesn’t produce a Christian without personal commitment to Christ.
Time and again God proves His power in my life. I can do my best to force my idea of His will in my life, but at the end of the day I find myself simply clinging to the cross. I thought God wanted me to be an Archaeologist, then a police officer, now a pastor. The journey seems long with many blessings from God and failures on my part. As a pastor I am growing in my thirst and knowledge for my savior, while I seek to serve the poor and hurting in our communities. My journey in faith seems to only just be beginning. I am so excited to see what God has in store for NLEC, as we grow in faith together.