Minister Isaac B. Greene is the Senior Pastor of Life Church, founded in 2016 at the Marcus Theatre in Orland Park. The small non-denominational ministry grew and now worships on Sunday mornings and has Bible Study on Wednesdays at the Atrium, located at 4151 183rd Street in Country Club Hills.
Greene is a man gifted with a passion for God’s word coupled with a love for God’s people. His passionate and creative approach to preaching and teaching inspires and transforms the hearts of believers and non-believers.
Called to the ministry at the age of 24, Pastor Greene has 20 years of experience in the ministry. Under his leadership, he has developed over 15 ministries for youth and young adults.
N’DIGO sat with Pastor Greene and discussed his church’s mission to create a community of Hope, Healing and Higher Expectations.
N’DIGO: You are an accountant and a successful entrepreneur, so how did you get into the ministry?
Pastor Isaac Greene: Ministry is my life story that started while I was a student at Pirie and Dixon Elementary Schools. I served as Captain of the Patrol Boys, Eighth-Grade Class President and Student Council President. Service continued into high school, college and my professional career. I have always had a passion and heart to not just look at problems, but to get involved and help bring solutions to help the community.
In 1993, after graduating from Florida A&M University, while at Apostolic Church of God under the leadership of Bishop Arthur Brazier, I was led to join the usher board and become a mentor for youth at the church. While serving at Apostolic, I was led to seek counsel for the burning desire within my heart to accept my lifelong passion to be a servant in the role of a minister.
Your church, Life Church, in Country Club Hills – how do you plan to grow it?
The seed for growth at Life Church is staying committed to our mission of “Transforming Lives Through Jesus Christ” by providing a ministry that brings Hope, Healing and Higher Expectations. Life Church inspires with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and gets involved in the community by feeding and clothing the homeless, mentoring youth, and providing ministries that change the heart to love and to want to live like Christ.
Life Church has been blessed to create a culture of love that embraces and empowers individuals and families to come as you are, but leave more like Christ. Our motto at Life Church is that “Life gets better, better, and better” when we are faithful and committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
You address a trend you have discovered in the ministry that you define as “church hurt”. Please explain it.
The church is the spiritual hospital where imperfect people come together to serve and worship the perfect God. This is the difficult and challenging aspect of ministry because members have a higher expectation of leaders and members in the church to uphold values and standards that should build each other up rather than break each other down.
The church is a trusting institution where people feel like they can receive help without being hurt in the process. However, when you have the imperfect helping imperfect people, you often have people experiencing the pain from our imperfections.
As God has extended His grace and mercy through His son Jesus Christ, we as a church community have the opportunity and responsibility to be more patient and kind with each other by offering grace to grow in our transformation process to be more Christ like.
At Life Church, we exist to build individuals up in their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. I often asked the question to our leaders, “Where is the transformation?” Because if there is no transformation, then it does not belong at Life Church.
What other changes do you notice in today’s church?
The church has the challenge of providing more services with less resources to meet the needs of its members and the community. We live in a world that is constantly changing and becoming more demanding of our time and resources. That often results in the church receiving the leftovers of our life, rather than the first fruits on our life.
In addition, the church has the challenge of being more loving to all of God’s creation. That will facilitate the opportunity to minister to all of God’s people despite their past problems or positions in life that may differ from our own. When we are willing to humble ourselves to serve as a bridge to bring people to Christ, rather than a burden to block people from getting to Christ, we will be able to fulfill Jesus’ command to go forth and make more disciples.
So many people, particularly millennials, are not attending church. Why do you think that is so?
I grew up in a Christian family that went to church and stressed the importance of God as a priority in our life. Today, we have generations that are growing up without being introduced to church at a younger age. It’s sad to admit, but on Sunday mornings, the new altar is youth sports, where parents are traveling to youth football, AAU basketball games and other youth sports activities.
In addition, today, people have been exposed to the shortcomings of the church through social media, which can be used as an excuse for not attending church. This leads non-believers and non-church goers to believe that the people in the church are no better than the world. Lastly, people do not like accountability and attending Sunday morning services is the moment of accountability for our daily actions with God.
Good ethics in Christianity begins with the minister, so what would you do with the pedophile priests?
There is grace for priests to repent of their sins and seek professional help to overcome their struggles. However, I do not believe priests should continue in a leadership position of any kind where they could potentially hurt others and themselves. The priests need a season of healing and restoration with God outside the church. The church has to be responsible for holding everyone accountable for his or her actions where no one is above the consequence of sin.
In your church services, you use practical experiences in your sermons moreso than scripture. Why is that so?
I use scripture as the foundation for my sermons for communicating God’s truth. The practical experiences and illustrations are used to help people apply the lessons learned from the Scriptures to their everyday lives.
How do you balance your life as a minister with your business life?
Accountability is what allows me to live a balanced life. My number one accountability partner is my wife Delunda and our children Jaydon and Jasmine. They keep me balanced. My first ministry is my family. My wife has been and continues to be God’s angel for helping me stay focused on managing and leading our family, business and the church. I have learned over the years to live a very disciplined life through daily devotions, exercise, and trying – to the best of my ability(!) – to eat healthy.
If you were left on a desert island for a year, what three things would you want with you?
I would follow the example of Jesus, who was in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus only had the Spirit of God, the Word of God and Commitment to God. God has matured me to understand that when I have God, I have everything I need to survive and thrive in life.
What are your future goals?
My goal is for Life Church to become the lifeline in the community for providing life changing resources to help every life get better, better and better. My heart’s prayer is that the resources provided will contribute to more peace in the community, stronger families in the community, better schools in the community, more jobs and economic growth in the community, and that ultimately, God will receive greater glory because of HIS Love that was on display through Life Church.