So, why not make me a Pastor of Young Adults, Communications, and Modern Worship?
And, let's help me get my Master of Divinity at Perkins while we're at it.
This church has helped me to learn. It's pushed me to grow. It's critiqued me in life-giving ways. It's helped me to fulfill God's calling on my life to be a pastor in the United Methodist Church.
Yet, and this is the definition of bittersweet, it's time for the next adventure in my ministry journey. Two months or so ago, an opportunity to apply for a church planting residency fell into my lap. Or, appeared in my Facebook feed, as things are wont to do these days. I filed it away as something that would be awesome to do, but sounded hard to pull off.
But, then I get a text from my wife ... "Did you see that?"
And, as a person who often hears the Holy Spirit nudge me through my spouse, I messaged the pastor of the church sponsoring the residency, wondering if they'd take an application from somebody outside of their conference. The response was that as long as I got the OK from my District Superintendent, absolutely.
I'm paraphrasing all of this, of course.
Well, one thing lead to another, and I'm now free to share some rather large news in the world of my family:
Beginning July 1, I will be a Path 1 Church Planting Resident at Union Coffee, an amazing UMC church plant across I-75 from SMU. Union is indeed a coffee shop, called to reach the young people in the area, the unchurched, the dechurched, a generation that the church earnestly wants to reach, but often doesn't know how. The coffee is delicious, the worship is quirky, the community is amazing.
I'll be pastoring at Union with the hope of aiding in their efforts to go multi-site and bring a branch to the Central Texas Conference the following year. There aren't any promises in this; it's yet another risky ministry move. But, in the Kingdom of God, as in many things, where there's no risk, there's no reward.
I'm beyond excited to accept a new role in ministry. FUMCA has been family to me, but it's time to strain forward to the next step. Thankfully, my wife, Leanne, will be able to keep going in her own ministry at another church in our current area. My kids go to preschool there and we often worship there as a family. In a way, we'll be building ourselves a new/old home church and keeping our home in Central Texas, where we're so looking forward to continuing our ministry.
Trusting in the providence of God has taken my family and I in so many amazing directions and we know that God will be with us, and our faith communities, through this next step and beyond.