Four and a half years ago I agreed to serve as the Executive Pastor of Heartland Church. I knew going in that life was going to change. But, in retrospect, I really had no clue about what the future held. I had no real appreciation for where God was leading me and my family.
At first, it was mostly a matter of trying to figure out how to juggle life as a full-time lawyer and part-time pastor and still have time for family and friends. Of course, I also had a lot to learn about how churches operate -- things like budgets and policies and personnel. But, as I would soon find out, things were about to change -- and quickly.
The first year and a half or so also presented more and greater challenges that I could possibly have anticipated. And, I was in all honesty ill-prepared for some of those challenges. Thank God for the support of my wife, John and Sherry Ferris and others during those times. Thank God that at the end of those challenges we found the church thriving in Carrollton! His plan, as it turned out, was far better than any plan we could have conceived.
What has been most surprising to me, though, is how God has drawn me into the ministry part of the church and not just into the business and administration. I have been caught completely off guard by God's willingness to use someone like me to minister to other people and occasionally even to preach the Word.
Its funny, but every time I thought that things would stabilize and become routine some new change or challenge would come along. In fact, if I have learned anything over the last four and a half years, it is that when you are really pursuing God's will, individually or collectively as a church, you should expect just about anything other than stability and comfort. We serve a God who is deeply interested in our personal growth, and personal growth always means change (and usually includes growing pains!).
And, this brings me to my most recent change -- and probably the most drastic yet. After a great deal of thought and prayer, Pam and I have decided that I will very soon switch from full-time lawyer and part-time pastor to full-time pastor and part-time lawyer.
Ten years ago if you had said that I would become a pastor some day I would have said you were crazy. Four years ago if you would have said that I would be a full time pastor in less than five years I would have said that was absurd. As I said, I have come to expect the unexpected, and try not to guess anymore about how God's plan might unfold.
As many of you know, I never set out to be a pastor. And, at times all of these changes in my life are still a bit unsettling to me. But, at the same time, I am convinced that I am called to this life. I am convinced that I am operating in God's will. And, that is a good place to be.
I am deeply appreciative of Pastor Dan's trust in me, and am excited about my continuing service at Heartland Church. For that matter, I am excited about all that God is doing at Heartland Church!
Pam and I are so thankful for the encouragement and support we have gotten from so many of you. You will never know what that means to us. Please continue to pray for us as we enter into this new season in our lives.
Good things are happening!!
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