I Am Preaching This Sunday! (And a few other important updates!)

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!

Jesus’ Word to Suffering Christians (Revelation 2:8-11)

This past Sunday I had the honor of filling in at The Rescue Church as they are doing a series through the 7 churches in the Book of Revelation. I taught on Revelation 2:8-11 which is a letter sent by Jesus to the suffering Christians in Smyrna. Through this short passage, Jesus provides us with four anchors to keep our souls still during the storms of suffering.

(If you are reading this in your email, you may need to go to the actual page to see the message).

I will also be preaching again this coming Sunday (October 24th) at The Rescue Church in Flandreau. The service is at 10am and all are invited to join me!

I Am Preaching THIS Sunday!

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!)

When Am I Preaching Next?

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?”

Answer: Yes!

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

Sioux Falls Bible Study

Hey friends –

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).

Here’s a link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/Multiply-Disciples-Making-Francis-Chan/dp/0781408237/

Life Outside of Pastoral Ministry

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 2 Days…

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.

God Is Trinity (Revelation 1:4-8)

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)

The Unveiling of Jesus (Revelation 1:1-3)

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)

I Am Resigning from Pastoral Ministry.

Renovation Church Family,

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.

In Christ,

Tyler Ramsbey