My Story So Far…..I was born September, 26, 1969 @ the old Copley Hospital in Aurora, IL as the son of Robert and Tonia Hager. My sister, Sheri was born 2 years later and shortly thereafter we moved to 314 E Church St. in Plano where my parents still live. My sister and I both attended Plano Schools.
In the Fall of “87 I moved to Conway, AR to attend Central Baptist College. I had originally intended to simply receive my Associate of Arts in General Education degree from there before advancing in my chosen field of forestry and wildlife management at the U of A. Before returning as a sophomore in early August 1988 I finally surrendered to God’s call on my life for some kind (worship leader or pastor) vocational ministerial service. Later that same month I met Christy Ann (Elrod) of Camden, AR who was beginning her freshman year at CBC on a full-ride music scholarship. Within weeks we began to feel that the Lord had brought us into each other’s lives for a special purpose.
In May of ’91 we both graduated from CBC and the following week were married and began serving in our first “full-time vocational ministry position” as Youth Pastor at a church in Conway. After an amazing first year of growth the Lord led us to join the staff of another wonderful church in Gurdon, AR where we spent another fruitful 4 1/2 years serving as an Associate Pastor of Youth and Education. In August of 1995 I felt God tugging at my heart in regards to returning to serve the church in which I had been raised in Oswego, IL. In November of that year I accepted the call of her membership and served as her pastor for nearly 11 years before ultimately surrendering to an exciting new journey to enter the church-planting ministry and to plant a brand new church in northern Kendall County.
For over 7 months in 2007, side by side with half dozen other families who felt called to join us, Jacob’s Well simply rolled-up her sleeves and began serving anywhere we found needs that needed to be met. We felt that in a cynical region that had been seared by the hypocrisy, self-absorption and/or indifference of many self-identified religious individuals and institutions it was essential that we be “seen before we were heard”. Talk is cheap and we knew the ones God had called us to, those who had never entertained a personal relationship with God or attended church or who had drifted, walked or run away from God and the church were weary of empty words and shallow hearts. In January of 2008, Jacobs’s Well began to host weekly public worship services for the first time.
During my 20+ years of marriage and ministry God has blessed in so many ways. Easily, the most amazing blessings of all are the love of my best friend and wife, Christy and gift of life He has given to us 5x’s. After losing our first child in a miscarriage in February of 1996 God blessed us with 4 amazing different, beautiful daughters. Jessica (12/96), Lauren (12/98), Cassie (9/00) and Willow (5/08). I am especially grateful that these special ladies share their parents love for the Lord and those He has called Jacob’s Well to reach. Each are an integral part of Jacob’s Well in some way and are as excited about the journey God has led us to here in Kendall County as we are.
RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Hiking(preferably off-trail), Kayaking, Biking, Snorkeling, Spelunking, Photography, Writing, Reading, unique and high-rise architecture, historical pilgrimages, staying up on current world/national/local events and taking long scenic drives with the top down and music up in my ’93 Jeep Wrangler.
PLACES I’VE BEEN: Trial Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Coral Reef off the coast of Culebra Island, Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks, Key West, Chicago, Ozark/Ouchita/Buffalo River National Parks (Arkansas), Cades Cove (Tennessee), Washington D.C. PLACES I HOPE TO GO: Yosemite National park, Crater Lake National Park, Bryce and Zion Canyon National Parks, World Trade Center Memorial, Hawaii, Alaska, Fiji, New Zealand, Philippines, Beijing, Dubai, Jerusalem, Rome, Southern Germany, Switzerland, Belize and the Tepui of SE Venezuela.
SPORTS TEAMS: DA Bears (of course!), the Cubbies AND yes…the SOX. I’m pretty much an all-Chicago fan and have never quite understood why there has to be such vitriol between north side and south side fans except on those days when they play each other or when we get to heaven… they both play in the World Series. If that day comes while I’m still living here on this marble I’d have to root for the Cubbies because really, who doesn’t want them to finally lick baseball’s longest running curse! And finally, I know it’s weird to say this having been raised here in this region but my absolute favorite sporting event to watch is Arkansas Razorback Football. Although, I gotta admit, having one of my favorite people playing for the Northwestern Wildcats will probably enlarge my enjoyment of collegiate sports beyond Arkansas.
MUSIC: Honestly, if played with skill, there is not much I don’t enjoy listening to. I love good solid rock, catchy pop, bluegrass and country-rock as well as lots of epic moving soundtracks and musicals. However I confess that most forms of Opera, Jazz, Ska, Rap and of course Disco (if it can even be called music!) can only be endured in small doses by my set of ears. PERFORMERS &/OR COMPOSERS: Gungor, Johnny Cash, Christina Aguilera, SCC, MWS, Switchfoot, U2, Beatles, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Sandi Patti, Loretta Lynn, Wayne Watson, John Williams, Howard Shore, Stephen Schwartz, Bruno Mars
SPIRITUAL &/or LEADERSHIP INFLUENCES (outside of God and the Bible of course!): John Ortberg, Francis Chan, Ed Stetzer, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Dallas Willard, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Rick Warren, Henry Blackaby , Louie Giglio, Craig Groeschel, Peter Scazzero, John Maxwell, Jim Collins, C.S. Lewis, Johnathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, Matt Chandler, Steven Furtik, Rick Rusaw, Donald Miller, Erwin McManus, M.W.S., S.C.C., Wayne Watson, Thom and Joni Shultz, David Dickson, Darlene Carey, Steve Ogne, Dave DeVries, D. James Kennedy, E. Harold Henderson, Larry Barker, Donnie Parrish, Joel Slayton, Cardinal Joseph Bernadine, Augustine, Jim Elliot, Tonia Hager and Rob Bell (I gotta say that last one has me real worried of late but his early Nooma and ‘Velvet Elvis’ was used by God in powerful ways!).
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot loose – Jim Elliot
There is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right – Bill Hybels
It’s not about you – Rick Warren
God is never more glorified than when we are most satisfied with Him – John Piper
I’m bored knowing what I can do – Francis Chan
Everybody ends up somewhere…some people end up there on purpose – Andy Stanley
It’s not what’s hangin’ on the wall but what’s happenin’ down the hall that determines the health of your church or organization – Andy Stanley
Don’t confuse me with the facts – anonymous
Insanity is doing the same things and expecting a different result – John Maxwell
You Can’t Fix Stupid – Donnie Parrish
All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke
I have a dream – Dr. Martin Luther King
Discipline yourself and others won’t need to – John Wooden
Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story – John Wooden
It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit – John Wooden
Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them – John Wooden
Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than whose right – John Wooden
Two Wrongs Never Make a Right – 70′s Freshin’ Up bubble gum commercial
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it – I think I made that one up
MOVIES: LOTR Trilogy, Braveheart, Star Trek (Original Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country and new-Star Trek), E.T., The Color Purple, Schlinder’s List, Star Life, The Sound of Music, Beyond the Gates of Splendor, Dumb n Dumber, Vacation, Bruce Almighty, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Batman :Forever, ALL Pixar Movies, How to Train a Dragon, Silence of the Lambs
Welcome! I have the joy of leading an incredible team (including 5 area leaders and 30 volunteers) that guides and oversees the Children’s Ministry Team here at The Well. My responsibilities cover all ministry activities that involve children, birth through eighth grade, and their families. I am so thankful to serve side by side with these talented and selfless individuals. We share a passion for seeing children come to know Jesus and His better way for living the most amazing life imaginable. Feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have. In the meantime, here is a little about me and my family.
I have been married to Rob since 1991 and we have 4 beautiful daughters: Jessica (’96), Lauren (’98), Cassie (’00) and Willow (’07). I was born and raised in Arkansas but have now lived in the Fox Valley area for over 15 years. In my free time (whatever that is!) I enjoy good movies, television dramas, interior decorating, stage performance, travel, reading and gardening.
Serving children has always been an important part of my life. I began serving children in my local church when I was 13 years old. Since then I have given my life to ministering children. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Music Education and have taught kindergarten, middle school choral and general music and private voice. I currently teach Chorus and Introduction to the Fine Arts at Newark High School on a part-time basis and home school our second grader. Since 1994 I have had the joy of representing Group Publishing at various teacher training events and seminars as well as product preview events. During this time I have enjoyed meeting some of the best and brightest minds and connecting with some of the biggest hearts in Children’s ministry today.
I thank God for inviting me to be a part of Jacob’s Well. He has used it to transform my life by teaching me to look beyond myself and share His truth, with His love, by extending His grace in every area of my life. That never more useful to me than right here in the Children’s ministries of Jacob’s Well.
I was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up south of there in Duncanville. I graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. I’ve been married to my beautiful and amazing wife, Jennie, for 19 years. The lord has blessed us with two extraordinary children, Renee, who is 14, and Jackson, who is 8.
I answered the Lord’s call into ministry in 2010 and moved our family in Illinois to become involved with the work that God is doing in and through Jacob’s Well. I look forward to beginning working on a Master’s Degree in an area of ministry in the near future. I currently have the privilege of serving (and learning) as Associate Pastor. I am excited to see what God has in store for Jacob’s Well and for me in the coming months and years.
Brad Schleifer – First Impressions Team Leader
I was born in Aurora and raised in Kaneville and Big Rock. I married Stacy (Shrader) in 1991 and have 6 children (Amber 19, Allie 18, Cloe 15, Noah 13, Eli 8 & Isabelle 4). I have been employed at Danials (building supplier) since 1985. Three of my daughters serve on the worship team; my favorite worship music therefore is whatever they are singing.
My favorite TV show is Raising Hope and my favorite actors are Clint Eastwood and Peter Griffin, neither of which is in that TV series.
My favorite movies are Pirates of the Caribbean, Shawshank Redemption and The Man from Snowy River.
My favorite books of the bible are any of Paul’s and Paul is my favorite of all of the authors.
My favorite bible verse is Psalm 127:5
I love cars and my dream is to complete the rebuild of my 57 Chevy.
I spend most of my free time hunting, snowmobiling, fixing things and spending time with my kids.
My dream job would be a bush pilot in Northern Ontario.
I love the outdoors and that is why I would like to live in a Rocky Mountain range state one day.
Because There is a Better Way!
PO Box 54 Plano, IL 60545