When I started pastoral ministry almost 10 years ago, I was hired by The Rescue Church as a Camera Team Lead -> iCampus Pastor -> Flandreau Campus Pastor -> Garretson Campus Pastor. Although I am no longer in vocational ministry, I am incredibly grateful for the mentorship of Jon Sanders & Sam Pickard.
This Sunday and next Sunday, I have the opportunity to fill in at The Rescue Church in Flandreau. This will be my first sermon since stepping down from ministry in August and it will be at the church were I preached my very first sermon when I was 18 years old – so I think it’s quite fitting!
Anyways, if you live in the area, I’d be honored to have you join me. The service will be at 10am at the Flandreau Campus.
(The picture is from my ordination service back in the day from The Rescue Church!)
It’s been over a month now that I have not served in pastoral ministry. As a result, people have asked me, “Tyler, are you ever going to preach again?”
I do not plan on becoming a “pastor” again (at least, not any time soon) but my goal is to serve area pastors by filling in occasionally so they can have a Sunday off. From my time in pastoral ministry, I remember how refreshing it was to have time off knowing that the congregation was in good hands for the Sunday service. Anyways, I’ll be preaching the following Sundays at The Rescue Church in Flandreau. All are invited to join me – their services are at 10am.
Sunday, October 17th Sunday, October 24th Sunday, November 21st Sunday, December 12th
I am considering starting a Bible Study that meets once a week over the lunch hour in Sioux Falls. We’d be going through the “Multiply” book by Francis Chan (which is really just an in-depth study on what the Scriptures teach about discipleship and following Jesus). The commitment would be the following:
– Purchase the Multiply book and read 1 chapter/week. – Read and reflect on the corresponding Scripture passages. – Answer the discussion questions. – Meet once a week for roughly 50 minutes to encourage one another and go through the discussion questions.
Send me a message or leave a comment if you’re interested. I don’t care what church you’re a part of (or if you even attend church). If you’re interested in learning more about following Jesus, I’d love for you to join me.
(No, I am not offering this online — only in-person over our lunch breaks).
My last day of pastoral ministry was Sunday, August 29th. Up to that point, I served in pastoral ministry for 10 years – from being on staff at a multi-site church to being a solo-pastor at a church plant. From the time I turned eighteen years old, my primary role in life was to serve God’s people with the title of “pastor”.
Numerous people have asked me over the past 4 weeks – “So… Tyler… how’s it going now that you are no longer in pastoral ministry?” Here are some of my reflections after stepping down from pastoral ministry –
1. Only having one job is pretty awesome. This is probably the first thing I share with people. For the past 10 years, I have almost always had multiple jobs in addition to ministry as a means of paying bills. For perspective, I made $12,000/year for the first few years I served in pastoral ministry. There was a point that I held down a total of three jobs in order to make a living. My only job right now is managing the IT Support Center at Southeast Tech – a position I absolutely love. It’s strange that I actually clock out at the end of the day – but really really good.
2. My relationship with God has improved significantly. As the Lead Pastor of a church, I spent 10 – 15 hours a week studying the text I was preaching on for that week. I would map it out, dig into commentaries, look at it in the original language – all so I would have something meaningful to present to the congregation. I absolutely love preaching – but it’s exhausting. It was easy to get behind on message prep which caused my devotional time to be pushed aside so I could finish working on my message. Now that I no longer have the pressure of weekly preaching, I have been able to focus on sitting at Jesus’ feet to receive from Him rather than produce for Him. The change is hard to describe unless you have served as a pastor – but it’s incredibly beneficial for my soul.
3. My family has loved sitting with me in church. As I shared above, I have been in weekly pastoral ministry since I was eighteen years old – including the entire time Ashley and I have been married. I rarely sat with my family during church – instead, my wife had to take care of both of our kids each week while I led the congregation. When I had a Sunday off, Ava’s favorite thing was having me sit next to her during church. We currently attend a small church a block from our house – the United Church of Garretson – and I have the opportunity to be with my family every Sunday — my kids and wife love it.
4. I am focused on being a missionary at Southeast Tech. The reality is, I still serve in pastoral ministry – it just looks different. I fully believe that all Christians are call to ministry in our homes, communities, and workplaces. God has called me away from church ministry to serve the campus of Southeast Tech. I lead a team of 6 people (4 of them being students) and have the opportunity to build relationships and point to Jesus through my work ethic, leadership, and attitude.
In summary, it’s going really well. I do not know if I will ever return to pastoral ministry. I have a deep respect for those who continue to serve in the trenches of pastoral ministry. One of the ways I am hoping to serve the church is by filling in for pastors around the area occasionally (once a month or less). I know from experience that it’s difficult to find people to fill in who understand the Bible and are committed to sound doctrine. If your church is in need of someone to fill in occasionally, I’d love to have a conversation. You can learn more here: Speaking Requests.
I quit my “dream job” after two days. I think most of you are aware that this week I started a new opportunity at SDN Communications leading a Cybersecurity team that provides resources for outside businesses. This was a significant advancement for my career and, in many ways, was my dream job – both in the position as well as the salary/benefits.
On the first day, I recognized almost immediately that it was not a good fit for me. I came home from work and Ashley asked me, “So how was your first day?” – and I was absolutely broken. I felt like a failure. I seriously considered leaving the world of IT completely and beginning a new career (again!). I cannot emphasize how angry at myself I was – ask Ashley about it if you see her. I felt terrible about the possibility of burning relationships with really good people at SDN – I also experienced an incredible amount of anxiety recognizing the reality that I may be facing the prospect of being unemployed while being the primary source of income for my family.
In humility, I reached out to Erik VanLaeken – the CIO of Southeast Tech (and my former supervisor). I told him I made a mistake and overestimated my leadership and technical ability to lead the team at SDN. I asked him if there was any possibility of me coming back to Southeast Tech. Long story short, we had a really good conversation and he was able to bring me back to my former position of managing the IT Support Center on campus. This shows the culture of the team at STC and the leadership Erik provides. To say I am grateful would be an understatement.
All that being said, I do want to make a few things clear – SDN is an INCREDIBLE company with a great culture. My situation was unique. If you’re looking for a great tech company, I sincerely encourage you to check them out. I had a really good conversation with my manager at SDN as well as the Director of HR. They understood & supported my decision. This shows the level of leadership at SDN.
To my friends at Southeast Tech – I am coming back and will not be leaving. In my drive (and arrogance/pride?) to climb the “corporate ladder” I left a position (and team) that I love and paid the consequences. God crushed my pride and my ego in this process… and that’s a really good thing.
I continued my teaching series through the Book of Revelation by teaching through Revelation 1:4-8. In this passage, we learn who God is and why it matters for us today. Specifically, we learn that the God of the Bible is the Triune God who is made known through the person and work of Jesus. As a result of this work, we have received a new identity – we are loved by God, freed from sin, citizens of God’s Kingdom, and priests to make God known.
The full message is below!
(If you are reading this in your email, you will need to go to the actual page to watch the message)
This past Sunday, I had the honor of beginning a brand new teaching series through the Book of Revelation. In this first message, I lay the foundation for a proper understanding of the book. The message is below!
(If you are reading this in your email, you may need to go to the actual page to see the message)
After a year of wrestling with God in prayer, seeking wisdom through professional counseling, discussions with my wife, and processing events alongside of our Elders – I am stepping down from pastoral ministry for a season of healing, rest, and maturity. After meeting with a professional therapist, I have recognized bitterness, anger, and wounds in my heart from the past year. I have self-medicated through workaholism – working on average 70 – 80-hour weeks between my full-time job, ministry, and schooling.
One of the passages the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention is Jesus’ words to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2. Although they gave the appearance of spiritual maturity, he rebukes them by saying they “have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” After almost 10 years of vocational ministry, I have become too busy doing things for Jesus and need a season of simply being with Jesus as a member of a church (rather than the one leading a church). I will be taking a few years away from ministry to walk in repentance and rekindle my love for Jesus.
Practically speaking, here is our plan to move forward:
This Sunday, we will be meeting at Tucker’s Walk at 10am for a church-wide discussion and a time for me to answer your questions. We will also process the viability and future of Renovation Church apart from my role as the Lead Pastor (NOTE: We are NOT meeting at Split Rock Park this Sunday).
Please know that this decision is firm. At this point of time, continuing in ministry would be disobedient to the direction I believe God is calling me to take in my discipleship journey with Him.
I have shared with the Elders that I am willing to continue in my role until September 1st. I do not know what future Sundays after this weekend will look like – that is a decision those who attend Renovation Church will need to make alongside of our Elder team.
All of us are called to love God and love people through the various seasons God has placed us in – I will continue this form of ministry by loving my family well, serving at Southeast Tech, and volunteering in Garretson.
I will become a member of another local church in our area. It is exceedingly dangerous to remove oneself from the protection and accountability of church membership.
I recognize God has given me a special gift in my ability to teach the Bible. I fully believe God will call me back to some form of vocational ministry, but I need a few years away from ministry so that my heart is right before Him first.
I am excited to announce that beginning this Sunday (May 2nd) and going all summer, we will be holding worship services outside at Split Rock Park in Garretson (the city park). The services will be at the Picnic Shelter. Bring a lawn chair and come worship with us in the beauty of God’s creation!
We will be closing out our journey through the Book of Acts over the next 3 weeks. After that, we will begin a verse-by-verse study of the Book of Revelation. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the Book of Revelation better (without the craziness of end-time charts and TBN preachers) – I’d be honored to have you join me. We will be studying it from a Bible-centered and historically accurate way (i.e. no microchips or predicting Jesus’ return).
(In the chance of inclement weather, services will be moved to the American Legion on Main Street).
This past Sunday, we continued our series through the Book of Acts by looking at Paul standing trial before King Agrippa. In this passage, Paul provides us an example of what it looks like to defend the hope that is in us in a respectful, humble, and clear way.
The sermon discussion guide can be found below the video. We will be meeting on Wednesday, April 28th at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss the questions – all are invited to join us! Connection info can be found on our website – www.renovationchurchsd.com
Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:
1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).
2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.
1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 25:23-26:32. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?
2. In the beginning of this passage, we see that what Satan meant for harm (namely, having Paul arrested and put on trial) God uses for the advance of the Gospel by providing Paul with an audience consisting of royalty and prominent leaders. What are some other stories in Scripture that highlight this reality?
3. The entirety of this passage is oriented around Paul making a defense of his faith. He is living out Peter’s instructions found in 1 Peter 3:13-17 – read through this passage. What stands out to you from Peter’s instruction? What are some practical ways we can live it out today?
4. Paul begins his defense by showing sincere respect for King Agrippa. What are some practical ways we can show respect and honor those around us when we are given the opportunity to share about Jesus?
5. Much of Paul’s defense is him sharing his story. He begins by sharing what he was like before he met Jesus, his experience with Jesus, and then the difference Jesus made in his life. If someone were to ask you, “How has Jesus change your life?” – how would you respond?
6. One of the roles Jesus gave Paul (and all of us) is to open the eyes of the spiritually blind. To fully understand what this means, read 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 – what stands out to you? Practically speaking, how do we open the eyes of those who have been blinded by the “god of this age”?
7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week?