Advice I Needed To Hear As A Young Pastor

I have been in full-time vocational ministry for almost 10 years. Though I am still young (34) I don’t necessarily see myself as a young pastor anymore. I wish I had read Zack Eswine’s words when I started and I’m thankful to have read them today! If you are a young pastor just starting out in ministry, please take a few moments to read his advice and let it soak in:

“As you enter ministry, you will be tempted to orient your desires toward doing large things in famous ways as fast and as efficiently as you can. But take note. A crossroads waits for you. Jesus is that crossroads. Because almost anything in life that truly matters will require you to do small, mostly overlooked things, over a long period of time with him. The pastoral vocation, because it focuses on helping people cultivate what truly matters, is therefore no exception.” (Zack Eswine in The Imperfect Pastor)

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Pastors & Prayer (Reading Notes)

“The inner action of prayer takes precedence over the outer action of proclamation. The implication of this for pastoral work is plain: it begins in prayer. Anything creative, anything powerful, anything biblical, insofar as we are participants in it, originates in prayer. Pastors who imitate the preaching and moral action of the prophets without also imitating the prophets’ deep praying and worship so evident in the Psalms are an embarrassment to the faith and an encumbrance to the church.” (Eugene Peterson in Working the Angles)

A Time Of Transition…

This past Sunday I announced to our Crosspoint Community Church family that we would be leaving for me to take over as Lead Pastor at North River Church in Parrish, Florida. Here is the letter I read to our church family on Sunday:

Church Family,

It is with mixed emotions that I stand before you this morning. In June of 2012, I began serving as your pastor. The 3.5 years since have only served to confirm that God was in our coming here. You have been a loving, supportive, and gracious congregation. It has been a great joy for our family to live life together with you, to worship with you, and to serve alongside you these past years.

But now the time has come for us to say goodbye.

Last Sunday morning, I preached at, was voted on by, and was offered the position of lead pastor at North River Church in Parrish, Florida. We have been talking with this church for several months, and it became clear, as we continued in the process with them, that this was where God was leading us.

As I result, this morning I offer my resignation as the pastor here at Crosspoint Community Church. Our last Sunday here will be December 27th and we will transition that next week.

Even though we struggle with strong feelings of grief over having to say goodbye, we are excited about what God wants to do both here and in Parrish in the years ahead. As we have experienced God’s hand at work in our leaving, we can also trust that he will provide the right man to come and faithfully serve here for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We love you. And if you will allow it, we will leave Crosspoint Community Church feeling as if we have a forever-family in Dublin, Georgia. Thank you for loving Janie, Anna, Leah, and myself. We feel blessed to have been a part of this church family. Thank you for taking a chance on me, knowing that I had never been a senior pastor, and allowing me to serve you over the past 3.5 years. God has done incredible things…to Him be the glory!

I want close with the words of the Apostle Paul, in Philippians 1:27-28, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”

Thank you.

Thanks for your prayers as we make this transition!

Christian Leaders Should Serve (Reading Notes)

“Ambitious and self-seeking Christian workers, like the priest and the Levite, pass by on the other side of the street in order to devote themselves to a higher stratum of society. They are not willing to keep teaching the elements of the gospel to simple believers, or to endeavor to encourage backsliders onto the narrow way. They want a ministry more worthy of their powers.

Jesus, however, found delight and satisfaction in stooping to serve those whom most choose to ignore. His skillful, loving care caused the broken reed once again to produce heavenly music and fanned the dimly burning wick into a glowing flame. He never entirely crushed of concerned the penitent. It is noble work to care for those whom the world ignores.” (J. Oswald Sanders in Spiritual Discipleship)

Celebrating Crosspoint’s 1st Year Of Ministry

On Sunday, June 7th Crosspoint Community Church celebrated it’s 1 year anniversary of moving into a new facility and changing its name (it was New Vision Fellowship for 10 years). The year has flown by and I am incredibly grateful to have pastored such a wonderful group of people for the past 3 years.

Over the past year we have seen 25 people join our church, baptized 13, and paid down the note on our building $300,000! We have given over 10% of what is given to our church to local, national and international ministries. We also have 6 children that have made professions of faith in Jesus Christ and we are working with them and their parents as we prepare to baptize them in the coming months. God is at work in and through our church family!

We should celebrate all that God has done over the past year but I am convinced that he wants to do more! Statistics tell us that 80% of our community is unchurched and they lack a relationship with Jesus Christ. The mission field around us is huge and I believe the Lord wants to use our church to pierce the darkness and carry the gospel to our community.

Will you join me in praying for our church and our community? Will you ask God to open doors of opportunity for us to reach into the darkness around us? I am reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples in Matthew 9:38, “Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send our laborers into his harvest.” Let’s pray. Let’s go. Let’s see what God will do!