The purpose of Wooddale Church is to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.
Steve Ranz is a likable guy. What lies behind his steel-rimmed glasses and neatly trimmed mustache is a motivated man who wants to share how he found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that has been so life-changing for him. Steve says, “God was there for me when I needed him and I do not want to disappoint him.”
Steve grew up in a religious home and followed all the rules, but it always seemed that something was missing. He even spent two years studying to be a priest but decided that was not his calling and went into business. He had a lot of success in business and his ego was built on his status and paycheck. He lusted after things and bowed to the god of materialism.
Thirteen years ago, when he and his wife Patricia came to Wooddale for the first time, he learned about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The love and grace he found in that relationship freed him from all rules he had tried to follow. It was refreshing. This is what had been missing from his life.
Steve says, “Life was like riding a tandem bike – I was in control in the front seat and God was in the back seat available when I needed extra help pedaling.” It was a defining moment when he realized that God wanted to be in control and sit in the front seat. He asked God to take control of his life, confessed his worldly ways and professed that he wanted God’s will for his life.
As a highly motivated salesman, Steve has the gift of meeting people and engaging them in conversation. As every salesman knows, your ability to relate, determine people’s needs and build trust are useful skills. God has used Steve’s natural abilities as his spiritual gift. Without making people feel uncomfortable, he can talk with them about their spiritual journey and find out where they are. He frequently is able to tell people about his own walk with the Lord.
Steve entered Wooddale’s One-to-One mentoring program, which gave him assurance of his faith. Later, he decided to enter the training to become a mentor to other men. Steve’s initial experience as a mentor did not go well. Men dropped out, which disappointed him, and he became discouraged, but he soon learned that his part was to be a willing servant and to leave the rest up to God.
Steve realized that God had given him a heart for mentoring men. Through the Wooddale Men’s Ministry, the Saturday Morning Bible Study, One-to-One Mentoring Program and his business, Steve has found an outlet for his ability to mentor men. Steve’s mentoring style is directive and accountability driven. Many men have the need to be accountable to someone. Steve considers these mentoring sessions as God appointments, so he leaves the outcome up to God.
Of all the men he has mentored, the hours he has spent with three prisoners has been some of the most rewarding. All three caused the death of another person and would be written off by society, but all three have found Christ. They are thriving spiritually and each time Steve visits them in jail he finds that they bless him more than he blesses them. They have found the true freedom that comes with having a personal relationship with God, just as Steve experienced.
Steve’s life is an example of faith in motion.