Douglas H. Searle
Kralendijk, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands
I grew up in a military family, so I spent my childhood moving from place to place around the country. I inherited my parents’ interest in the missionary enterprise, so whenever I get the chance, I like to travel to a far-away place and participate in what God’s people are doing there. I’ve had the privilege of serving in Africa, South Asia, Central America, South America, and Europe. I spent the summer of 2004 in Anyigba, Nigeria, teaching in a small Bible College and traveling around to preach in several Churches. After many years on the staff of Community Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee, I now serve as the Pastor of International Bible Church in Bonaire, a tiny island near Venezuela in the southern Caribbean.
I believe that life is about fellowship with God, who makes himself available for fellowship in various ways. The most important of these is the person of Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Son of God, “the exact representation of his being.” Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Since Jesus is not present in bodily form these days, we know him through the pages of the Bible, which is also the true revelation of God.
Unfortunately, human sensibility of God’s self-revelation has been lost. Our sin has completely blinded us. Not only that, it has put us in the position of complete alienation from God and rendered us worthy only of punishment. Since life is fellowship with God, our alienation is the same as death–eternal death. Only the atoning sacrifice of Christ, in which he received the punishment of God in our place, allows our fellowship (our life, eternal) to be restored. According to scripture, those who trust in Christ and his atoning sacrifice are reconciled to God, forgiven their sins, and enter into true life.
Because I believe God’s grace has performed that miracle in my own life, I want to take full advantage. I want to begin to really live, to experience growing fellowship with God in Christ by the Spirit. I believe that means I am to be more and more fully engaged in an adventure, an exploration of the personality of God. Mostly, I do that by exploring all the things God has made, especially the Bible, which is the only infallible Word of God available to me today, and other people, who are made in his image.
The best place for this adventure is the Church, the body of Christ. While all human beings are created in God’s image, it is the community of redeemed people that has the greatest potential for truly reflecting his character. Though our efforts are feeble and imperfect, the Spirit of Christ resides in the people of Christ, and as we love one another truly, we bear his likeness truly. The depth of our fellowship with God is all tied up in the depth of our fellowship with one another.
When my father passed away several years ago, I suddenly came to realize–by it’s emptiness–the size of the space he occupied in my life. Thirty-nine years of knowing one another, of fellowship, creates an overlap of life. Because of our shared experience, I could view the world from his perspective; I could well guess what he would think or enjoy or respect. Hundreds of people came to my dad’s funeral service. They were there because in each of their lives, he occupied some space, and they in his. This is the measure of a good life: is it taking up space?
I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2005 (Th.M.), and from the University of Washington twice (MBA, 1984 & BA, 1982)
Interests: Theology, Epistemology, Biblical Studies, Church Life, Teaching, Scuba Diving, and Nature Photography. My favorite thing to do is share a meal and an interesting conversation, especially about one of the above interests.