The Personal Testimony of Christian McShaffrey
I was raised in a typical middle-class home in the midwest, baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, and raised in accordance with that faith.
In my early teen years, I began to develop anti-social tendencies but managed to stay out of any serious trouble. The “skater/punk rock” community was shaping both my personality and appearance.
As it came time to begin high school, my parents intended to continue the proud family tradition of having their children attend the local Catholic private school. This was disastrous.
I was picked on, beat up, and generally humiliated. Most of this I brought upon myself due to my fierce commitment to self-expression through non-conformity. Though self-inflicted, the emotional pain led to severe depression.
After one semester, I transferred to a public high school where I quickly found others like me. The motley bunch with whom I associated was small but well known. While these leather-clad misfits generally meant no harm, they dressed like they were ready for war: Combat-boots, metal spikes, army fatigues, etc.
I loved music and hated society, so I took the next logical step: Starting a punk-rock band.
Through certain music, movies, comics, and books I was introduced to the occult and as my interest deepened, my music darkened. As the years passed, my adolescent anger turned to wrath and my anti-social tendencies tended towards violence.
Drugs then came into my life promising to provide some peace of mind (which I desperately needed). However, the promise was empty. I found no peace.
My ever-increasing involvement in the occult and ever-darkening disposition caused me to become what can only be described as “evil.” I became delusional, violent, and unfit for life in civilized society.
After spending some time in the psych ward, I somehow managed to convince everyone that I was “O.K. now,” I returned to high school, and persisted in my wicked ways until graduation. College then offered me new opportunities and new challenges.
I started as as a communications major (hoping to further my music career) and then became an English major (hoping to develop my skills in prose and poetry). However, drugs, death, and disorder drove me to drop out.
After a few months, I enrolled into Mortuary College (an environment more consistent with my general disposition). During these mortuary days, I continued to use drugs, invoke demons, and write death metal music.
In God’s providence, I “stumbled across” a Christian radio station one day as I was driving and heard new and strange things that seized my attention: Glad tidings of sin forgiven and solemn warnings of coming judgment.
Though I resisted with all that was in me, the Holy Spirit conquered and Christ Jesus took his rightful seat on the throne of my heart. I had been born again, baptized, and forever changed.
After six months of radical sanctification, I became an entirely new man. Gone forever were my drugs, band, long hair, piercings, devilish disposition, and misery.
I then began working at a local hospital and it was there that the Lord began to prepare me to preach the Gospel. I felt a great burden for the lost and shared the Gospel in a bold-but-clumsy manner with everyone who would listen (and even with those who would rather not).
My evangelical zeal was eventually tempered by godly wisdom as I continued to grow in grace and knowledge. My elders provided several opportunities to sharpen my gifts in the local church until they were convinced that I had indeed been called to the ministry.
I went to seminary and was taken under care of the Presbytery in 2000, was licensed to preach the Gospel in 2002, and was ordained as an Evangelist in 2004. My calling was changed to that of Pastor in 2007 when our Church was organized as a new and separate congregation.
I continue to serve Christ and his Church today in Reedsburg, WI with my wife Kelly and my covenant children: Zechariah, Isabella, Micaiah, Anastasia, Nehemiah, and Savannah.