Raj Christodoss (祈礼恕)- Associate Pastor, English Congregation

Pastor Raj has served at CBCOP since 2003. Previously, he ministered in a Taiwanese American Church named the Fairlawn Community Church of New Jersey from 1997-2002. He has traveled to both India and Taiwan on missions trips, been a Youth and Young Adult Minister and was once an operations manager at a bank. He received a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a B.A. in Psychology and Business from Trinity College.

Personally, he is married to his beautiful wife Nive and has two fun-loving, energetic children. Pastor Raj is an avid reader, a die-hard Cubs fan, a runner (a few 5Ks under his belt) and is known to have a mean tennis serve.

What is your personal approach to preaching and teaching?
My passion, simply put, is to help people connect with God. Help people to see the reality of God’s truth in their lives. Help people where they’re motivated in exploring God’s truth by reading & studying on their own. Help people to be more than hearers, but doers of the Word. The goals of teaching have always been to Inform, Inspire, Illustrate the truth of God’s Word & the gospel (love) of Jesus Christ. Every person is unique so personal care from the church body is critical for spiritual growth.

My background is unique and God has prepared me through many experiences to preach and teach. I worked in a corporate environment for a number of years before returning to Trinity for my masters in divinity. I am a family man with my loving wife and two children. I’ve worked with kids, youths, young people, middle-aged and retired people. I like to often interweave all these different generations and reveal God’s truth along the way so people can see God working in their lives.
It seems unusual that you would be a pastor at a church that is primarily of Chinese dissent. What is behind your motivation or desire to be pastor at CBCOP?
In the last 17 years, the Lord has opened doors for us to serve in primarily Asian churches and we have enjoyed the experiences of working in Japanese-American,Korean-American, Taiwanese-American & Chinese-American churches. Culturally, we are all not that different. Outwardly, we might look different, but inwardly our hopes and dreams are pretty much the same. As immigrant children, most of us have realized the hopes and dreams of our parents, however, we long for something more significant, something deeper than what this world has to offer. We have a God-shaped vacuum in our lives and nothing less than the truth and the reality of who He is can fill that void.
You have been serving the English Congregation pastor for several years what do you think is the greatest need at the Chinese Bible Church of Oak Park and in the local community?
The needs in the church and in the community are not so different. The greatest need for people these days is the need for authentic relationships. People want to be connected whether that be thru technology or thru vocations or thru leisure. Man’s need is to know that his/her life counts, that their life has significance and purpose beyond one’s own domain. As a church, we seek to bridge those gaps thru functioning small groups, service opportunities and fellowship groups. We want to know others and be known.