Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 |
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Things are beginning to wind down in my ministry here at Grace
Community Church as I start the transition to become the senior pastor of Mission
Road Bible Church in July. Between now and then there will some significant
“last-time” moments. I had one of them early this morning.
For the last 14 years I have met with a group of men on Tuesday mornings at 6 AM in the basement of the “J Building.” Getting up at 4:30 AM is one thing. But seeing 40 other men do it consistently is quite another. There have been a lot of guys who have been a part of those meetings over the years and this morning provided me the opportunity to look back and thank God for this long line of godly men.
It is impossible to describe the influence of these men and those meetings on me. We have studied, prayed, laughed, and shed tears together. These meetings have been my favorite part of ministry at Grace. King
David wrote: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) I’m not sure there is a better example of this verse than those Tuesday mornings.
We call the group of men who brave the alarm clock on Tuesdays the “A-Team.” The “A” stands for “aspiration.” First Timothy 3:1 says that “if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” The aspiration for godly qualification and spiritual leadership among these men has consistently cured my complacency and motivated my Godwardness. I’ve experienced true accountability and I hope I have provided some in return.
Today we heard from Austin Duncan who is the next Crossroads pastor. I am excited for him and all that he will inherit in these men. And I’m equally excited for what they are going to get from him.
I will miss these men, a lot. But I know they are going to have their own A-Teams soon. It has been one of the joys of my life to do gospel work with them.
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Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2011 |
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On Saturday I finished the last chapter of my book Uneclipsing the Son. It’s being published by Kress Biblical Resources and will released in June. I will always be thankful to Rick Kress for publishing it and to Brian Thomasson for doing some hard editorial work. Patti Schott, my secretary, did the unenviable work of typing transcripts of the sermon series that was the foundation of this book.
Now comes the proofing and typesetting. I can see the end of this project and want to thank those of you who prayed for it and encouraged me to turn those sermons into written form.
It should be up on Amazon within the month and will be officially released at the Resolved Conference in June.
I am praying hard that it serves those who read it and makes Jesus more desirable and the Christian faith more defined. Christianity is Jesus. That’s the simple message of the book. I hope you will consider giving a read.
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After a long and involved process, I have come to a decision about the next chapter of life and ministry. This past weekend I accepted the invitation of Mission Road Bible Church in Kansas City, Kansas, to be their senior pastor.
Kim, our sons, and I are overwhelmed by God’s kindness and favor in this opportunity. MRBC is everything I ever desired in a church to shepherd, and so much more. The four days we spent with the church during my final candidating trip were confirming at every level that God has called me to this ministry. We will be transitioning to K.C. in July and have lots to do between now and then.
Throughout this process our church family at Grace Community Church, especially the Crossroads Ministry, has been so graciously supportive and helpful. Saying goodbye to them will be unspeakably difficult. The love and care I have received from them has marked our lives in every imaginable way. And the guidance provided by our elders has been indispensable. There will be much more I will say about leaving GCC in a later post.
Why Mission Road Bible Church? First, as I have come to know the elders there, their godliness, wisdom, unity, vision, and commitment is remarkable. Specifically their commitments to Scripture, the gospel, and the centrality of Christ in all aspects of life and ministry are compelling. Second, the people are so kind and winsome and it is clear that this is rooted in their commitment to the Truth and the Savior. Third, the opportunity for gospel impact in the area is strategic. The church’s location is in a densely populated section of Kansas City where there are few expository pulpits. Fourth, the previous senior pastor left the church in such good spiritual health that I wanted to have my family be a part of its ministry. And fifth, we enjoyed such an instant love from and for the church body that it was obvious God is doing something special.
As with most churches, the final decision for choosing the next pastor of MRBC rested in the hands of the congregation. On Sunday, April 3rd, they voted on me as their next senior pastor at a special congregational meeting. Our family sat at a nearby Starbucks during the meeting and waited for the call. The phone rang and I nervously answered. Mike Walje told me that the vote was 100% from the members to affirm me and that they were waiting at the church for us to come for a time of Q&A. When we walked into the church the Hollands received a reception that I will never forget.
Please pray for us as we make this transition over the coming months!
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