Sent, But Not Forgotten

An Update on the Macklers

Posted by Josh Gilchrist on June 18, 2023
Sent, But Not Forgotten
The Mackler family from left to right: Margo, Isaiah, Melissa, and Norah. Photos courtesy of Melissa Mackler.

God has surprising plans. Anyone who has been around Faith Bible Church for a while knows that we are a training and sending church. Joyful surprises come when new men and families rise up to be trained within the church. Then there is the surprise when God, in His perfect wisdom, calls those men and families to be sent elsewhere, using the training they have received through Faith Bible Church.

Isaiah Mackler learned about Faith when he met Dan Jarms at The Master’s Seminary while their times there overlapped. Dan graduated before Isaiah and moved back to Spokane. When Isaiah completed his seminary degree, he realized he needed more church experience. He called Dan and asked if he could take an internship at Faith Bible Church so the church could train and test him in preparation for full-time ministry. In 2005, Isaiah and his wife, Melissa, moved to Spokane to become a part of Faith.

Isaiah remembers, “We wanted to really go through the process of having a local church to own us, to know us, to affirm our gifts, and to send us.”

During their time here, Isaiah did a variety of ministry work: writing curriculum for children’s ministry, serving as a youth leader, becoming the youth pastor, and then filling the role of children’s and family pastor. The Macklers also adopted their two daughters, Margo (13) and Norah (10), during their time in Spokane.

“We wanted to really go through the process of having a local church to own us, to know us, to affirm our gifts, and to send us.”Isaiah Mackler

After a decade of faithful ministry at Faith, in 2016 Isaiah started looking for a pastoral position where he could focus on his gifts and passions for teaching and discipleship. He discovered an opening for an equipping pastor. Isaiah applied and the church’s elders responded. He has been at Cornerstone Bible Church in Fullerton, California, ever since.

For a couple of years, Isaiah filled the role of interim teaching pastor at Cornerstone. Now, his responsibilities are varied and include some administration, counseling, and leading Sunday School. Instead of church members attending different classes during multiple services, they all gather together for equipping in Sunday School. The Macklers have also been hosting the young adult and college-age group from their church.

Faith leaves a strong impression

When asked how his years at Faith impact his current ministry, Isaiah replies, “It’s like asking, ‘How did your parents affect you?’” Isaiah had moved around a lot before marrying Melissa, going to seminary, and coming to Spokane. The time they spent here, the training he was given, and the love they received from the body gives Faith Bible Church a special place in their hearts.

One-on-one discipleship relationships at Faith – where men who were further along in their maturity invested in men who had room to grow – left a powerful impression. The relationships of dads with their children and the multi-generational impact that has on the church also resonates with him.

Not only does the history the Macklers have with Faith Bible Church impact their ministry in California, but current relationships that have been maintained are still a blessing. Isaiah says, “I still call Dan when I get in a bind. I still reach out to Brian [Sayers].” He also enjoys the relationships and connections he has with other pastors who have been sent, like Corey Millican.

Cornerstone Bible Church also supports our Global Outreach Partners Marcus and Amie Denny (second and third from left in back row).

Isaiah, Melissa, Margo, and Norah enjoy their lives and ministry in Southern California. One of their favorite perks is being able to drive to the beach and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Margo and Norah have made a bunch of friends both through church and through a homeschool co-op. Both girls are taking piano lessons as well.

Their lives are very much church-centered. Cornerstone’s teaching pastor leads a Wednesday night “Cornerstone Bible Institute” where people from the church learn to read the Old Testament better. Isaiah takes the girls there each week. Margo also attends youth group on Friday nights and loves it.

Melissa has made wonderful connections with women in the church. Isaiah is grateful for her stable disposition and servant’s heart. She is a part of a group of 25 women from Cornerstone who are learning how to teach other women how to study the Bible.

Growing in every way

One of the challenges that Cornerstone faces is just the reality of the fast-paced, pleasure-driven culture in Orange County. Building deep relationships, especially between men, can take time. Thankfully, there are a lot of ministry activities that help facilitate the chance to cultivate such relationships.

Isaiah says he has learned so much and grown these past six-and-a-half years. One of those lessons involves self-evaluation and how he determines what success is. “We judge ourselves by the standard of God’s law, for which we have a Savior,” he says. We pursue the holiness of God and seek to do things according to His standard, with the knowledge that Christ’s perfect sacrifice and righteousness are already credited to us.

The Macklers use their home for various church gatherings, such as the young adult life group.

It can be easy to judge ourselves and our ministries based on how well we handle certain responsibilities. But Isaiah is learning more and more to look to the Gospel and God’s standard, remembering that Christ loves us and gave His life for us.

Serving at Cornerstone has been very encouraging to Isaiah and Melissa. Isaiah has learned a lot working with the senior pastor, Joshua Mack. One of Isaiah’s favorite parts of ministry is seeing people come to receive biblical counseling and then flourishing. He describes it as joyful and addicting. The longer he is there, the more opportunities to counsel arise.

Another source of joy for Isaiah and Melissa is seeing people in the church, not just the elders, come to the realization that they are called to do the work of ministry. The group that Melissa attends where women are learning to teach one another the Word was initiated by a female church member. Men are learning what it means to be elder qualified, and some men are even volunteering to help teach about money during the equipping hour.

God promises to build His church, and it is no surprise that He raises up men to go and strengthen it. It is no surprise when those within the church rise up as a result.

Josh Gilchrist

Josh serves as Resident College Pastor for Faith's college ministry, Doxa. He and his wife, Pam, have three children.

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