Archive for July, 2008

The End of the Road…The Start of a Journey

After more than 2 months and 5,500 miles of traveling around the United States, we finally have a home…and a new ministry family.

It was mid-February of this year when my pastor and I first discussed the idea of my leaving a wonderful church ministry in Denver to pursue a senior pastorate.  I did not have a prospect in mind at that time–just a growing fire in my spirit for a full-time teaching/preaching ministry.  My pastor graciously gave me his blessing and recommendation, and I began to contact churches all across America–even overseas.  In all, I contacted over 30 churches.   Slowly, very slowly, the list began to narrow.

Some churches rejected my resume outright, claiming I wasn’t a match for their ministry profile.  Some decided on other prospects before even having a chance to meet me.  I did have the privilege of meeting and talking with some very good men and women in search committees in a handful of churches.  In the end, however, God must do the leading and He led decisively to a church on the east side of Indianapolis.

I received a phone call on April 2nd from the chairman of the search committee at Heather Hills Baptist Church.  Originally, as I previously mentioned, I wasn’t that interested in taking a church in Indianapolis as my perception was that Indianapolis was filled with Bible-believing churches.  However, God began to show me the incredible need in this city and burden my heart for it.  Indianapolis is a city in which I have lived as a child.  I also spent my senior year of high school here.  I spent a summer in Indy as a pastoral intern near the completion of my college degree.  Now God has brought me full circle.

After numerous phone calls, interviews, and two site visits to fill the pulpit, the search committee voted unanimously to recommend me to stage two: the deacons.  I met with this group of men about 4 weeks ago on a Saturday evening.  We talked at length about ministry, experience, philosophy, strategic planning, and church issues.  I began to realize that there was an incredible like-mindedness between all of us.  Shortly after, the deacons voted unanimously to recommend me to stage three: the congregation.  I had the privilege to candidate last Sunday, July 20th.  It was an exhausting weekend but a wonderful opportunity to talk face-to-face with so many members of this church.

Today, the process came to an end as the church extended a call to me to be their senior pastor.  I gladly accepted and am finally on my way HOME!  The next few weeks will be a flurry of activity as we settle into the church parsonage, find schools for the kids, and jump into the new ministry.  We are relieved that our “homeless tour” has come to an end.  We are exhilarated at the ministry to which God has called us.  It is our intent to spend the rest of our lives leading and equipping this church to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this city and around the world.

I am a debtor to so many of you who have encouraged us regularly, not only with your prayers and expressions of good will, but also with tangible help: money, meals, lodging.  THANK YOU!  You have shown us true Christian love and it has made a tremendous difference in our lives.  I go into this new ministry determined to continue the life of faith which so intensified for me in the last two months.

I’ll be putting more pictures up soon on Facebook to close out our homeless tour albums!  Of course, we could have just hoarded our resources and stayed in one location all this time.  However, the opportunities we have taken to see the beauty and magnificence of this country and fellowship with our Christian family from Chicago to Indianapolis to Sellersville to New York City to Bangor to Albany to Manistique and many more places has been absolutely invaluable.  It has been a wonderful vacation and education for our children.  It has cemented our confidence in the provision and direction of God.  I wouldn’t have traded these past two months for anything else!

I don’t know how regularly I’ll be posting in the next few weeks.  If you’re in the Indianapolis area, please stop by and see us.  If you have any pieces of advice for a new senior pastor, please send them my way!  It is a wonderful privilege to serve the King of Kings.  All glory to Him both now and forever!

BREAKING NEWS…

Our “Homeless Tour” is now officially over!  Stay tuned for more details…

Another Senseless Tragedy…Another Sacred Opportunity

“I can’t do this!” Katie** exclaimed as she stood before her high school speech class.  Katie was a junior in high school in a new school preparing for state competition in the extemporaneous speaking category.  My wife, Katie’s teacher, continued to encourage and coach Katie along.  When the moment came, Katie placed 2nd in the state.

While most upcoming high school seniors are partying with their friends, working hard to earn money for college, or just enjoying their last few weeks before school, Katie tonight lies in a hospital bed.  Her condition at the time of this writing is serious.  This afternoon, she was shot…by her father. Continue reading

Breaking the Silence

After over three months of conference calls, interviews, site visits, and much prayer, I was honored to be able to candidate last weekend for the senior pastor opening at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Continue reading