In many ways, my adult life can be marked by two seasons: pastoral ministry and post-pastoral ministry. As many of you know, I had the honor of serving the church through vocational ministry for about ten years. My last Sunday as a Lead Pastor was September 26th. Although it was a difficult decision to make, stepping down has been incredibly healing and I am in a much better place emotionally and spiritually as a result. For more of my reflections on this, go here – Life Outside of Pastoral Ministry

In this post, I want to share a few personal updates with you:

1. I am preaching this Sunday!
Although I do not serve vocationally as a pastor, I still love teaching the Bible and pointing people to Jesus. One of the ways I do this is by filling in for pastors in the area so they can have much needed rest. This Sunday I will be at The Rescue Church in Flandreau closing out their series on the 7 churches in Revelation by teaching on Jesus’ letter to the church in Laodicea. If you’re in the area, I’d be honored to have you join me – The service is at 10am!

2. We are becoming members at the United Church of Garretson!
I still believe the local church is vital in Jesus’ mission of reaching the world with the Gospel. The tendency of many people when they are looking for a new church is to find one that meets all of their theological distinctives with charismatic pastor(s) leading the congregation. On the contrary, I am a firm believer that you should worship at the closest church to your home. As a result, we have been getting plugged into the United Church of Garretson and walk to church every Sunday (it’s a few blocks from our home).

This is a small Methodist church led by Pastor Brian and Pastor Julie Gregg. They serve the church on a part-time basis – Brian works full-time at the University of Sioux Falls teaching theology and Julie mentors youth leaders and leads a spiritual direction ministry. My family has found this church very healing for our faith. As a result, we are pursuing membership and will become members in January (Lord willing).

3. Ashley and I have joined the United Kids Ministry Team!
Ava absolutely loves children’s church at the United Church of Garretson – known as United Kids (Elijah, on the other hand, is a little bit shy!). Ashley and I have signed up to serve and help lead this ministry as a means of serving the church. We are looking forward to teaching kids about Jesus and playing a role in helping them grow in their faith. The kids are currently studying The Jesus Storybook Bible – an excellent children’s Bible. It’s one that I purchased for my kids a few years ago because it connects every passage back to Jesus.

That’s all I have for now – have a great rest of your week!

2 thoughts on “I Am Preaching This Sunday! (And a few other important updates!)

  1. Glad to see things are going well for you!

    I am currently reading “Crossing the Bar” by Jim Johnson. Former Lutheran Pastor who became the owner of a bar. He writes this…

    *”My journey has convinced me that the church must deal with this issue of shame. You can’t share the joy of the Gospel of Jesus with people who feel like they are being judged-that they are unwelcome, unworthy, and unwanted. To put it as plainly as I am able, the church must deal with how it is perceived by outsiders. To them, the message the church has most often given them is, “God accepts you just as you are-as long as you are just like we are!”*

    1. Hey Lyle – good to hear from you! I have not heard of that book but it sounds like a really good resource – I am going to check it out. Also, I love the quote. I am convinced that God welcomes us in our sin and then by the power of the Holy Spirit, makes us look more like Jesus and less like the world. Unfortunately, for many churches, sanctification consists of tithing and sharing social media posts about one specific church. I’ve heard far too many pastors appeal to “vision casting” as a means of isolating people who do not fit with the “culture” of the church. We are called to conform to the image of Jesus; many churches simply want people to confirm to the image of their hyper-attractive growth model.

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