2012 – year of change
After an entire year of blogging only once, I thought I would at least update the world as to what is going on with my life.
First off resolutions from last year … I did about 50/50.
Of the ones that I didn’t finish up, I was most disappointed over not getting into a sword fight as well as not doing video reviews on my favorite hobby (board games). I also didn’t strike it rich with the gold panning, but Rob and I should prevail … at least when we get to heaven … because I heard something about streets of gold.
I was surprised at how many I was able to accomplish from my list. I finished reading several books that I was in the middle of, ran two marathons, turned 40 and painted the outside of the house, even started my second masters degree (MBA).
Enough with that.
Many of you know that I used to be a pastor. God had allowed me to experience selfish stupidity and then step away from being a pastor. It was amazing to think how much of my identity was wrapped around that title/position. Not being a pastor allowed me to struggle with what was I really if I wasn’t a pastor. I have discovered quite a bit about who I am and have also been able to help others with similar discoveries. It is amazing to think what a powerful God could actually do with us weak fleshy things with bones.
God has also brought many new friends into my life that have spoken to me words of wisdom. Also reshaped former friendships and made them stronger.
Prior to me leaving the role of pastor, I had been struggling with a perceived call on my life to start a new church. It started with a desire to see young people know about Jesus and then finding out some things about the way people view the world and then understanding that many don’t believe in an objective truth, etc. Basically, I found out that the world had changed rapidly, even during my time! I was now on the outside looking in with being “cutting edge”. How could I see others come to know the joy that I have in my life that comes through a faith in Jesus?
God shelved me for a period of time to let me learn and reconnect with people and himself in a different way.
This past year I have been meeting almost weekly with a young man that has great maturity and evidence that God is working within him, his name is Chad. We started a friendship a few years ago through church where he was the youth pastor at the time. Similar paths of development ministry-wise. About two years ago, we went to a conference in Denver with another friend. We were smacked across the head with this idea that, from the moment we heard it, we knew right away that was something we should do. That was the only seminar that I remembered. In this past year, he had asked if I could mentor him during the course of a specialized training for church planters. As we met, it was evident that God began stirring in both of us a desire to reach people in the community in a different way than others have. In no way bashing our current church or any others, but it is a way that allows us to reach out to people that will not step foot in a church for whatever reasons.
I have been stoicly excited about this process because it has been a while since God had called me originally to start a new church. I had always struggled with “are you sure you want me” balanced with an unhealthy “of course it HAS to be me” (which is part of the reason why I was out for a while). Along with this notion for grasping at the wrong form of identity.
A few months ago we drew up the papers to be officially recognized as a non-profit organization. Chad and I are leading the organization (PAX) in it’s infancy and taking things a step at a time. We are meeting with a core group of people that God has placed together for us to reach out to the Salem, Keizer, Albany, Corvallis area. I am not gonna lie, I get really nervous sometimes about what God has in store for us and anxious to see how the finances would work out to bring both of us on to a paid position so that we are allowed to focus where we need to be focusing (if that’s the plan from God).
One of the incredible things about what is going on happened a few months ago. I had walked into our new church’s downtown office that we share with a friend, I had recognized that “Hey … I am a pastor again”. Some might not think of it as a big deal, but what had occurred to me at the time was that I wasn’t striving for this responsibility. It’s as if God laid it right in my hands. Quite different than before with this title … a lot different. I am trying not to use it to gain respect, that comes from God working within me. I even try shying away from having it on a business card. I am just like anyone else being used as a tool by God.
What do you place your identity or value in?
Currently Mer and I are still serving at our current church until June of this year. While doing see we are involved in both the new church and the current church. Me more so as I am helping with some foundational things at PAX. The next 6 months will be a very busy time for us as a family and we would really enjoy your prayers for wisdom and peace as we do our part in this role.
More to come as I can.