Monday, May 16, 2011

A Big Move

I recently made one of the biggest decisions I have ever made in my life. In mid-August I will be moving to Richmond, California to join the staff of Living Hope Neighborhood Church as an Associate Pastor! This coming transition is both exciting and difficult.

I have been serving with Sunshine Gospel Ministries in varying capacities since the fall of 2001. I began as a volunteer and intern while I was a graduate student at Moody Bible Institute. I have been serving full time with Sunshine since January of 2004. I have grown up in ministry here so to speak. Sunshine has been so much more than just my employer these last ten years. They have been my family. I have truly been blessed to have served at such a great ministry with so many great people! In addition, Chicago has become a place that I love. It is very much home. I love my neighborhood, and I love the youth whom I have worked with. I think the hardest think about this transition is saying goodbye to the youth. I know that I will return and visit, and that I will be able to stay in touch via the telephone, email, and facebook, but it will be different.

Yet I feel compelled to take this step of faith and enter into a new season of ministry. Over the last few years God has been doing a new work in me, and leading me towards pastoral ministry. Although there is still uncertainty, it is time to prayerfully move forward. Living Hope Neighborhood Church is a multi-cultural, urban church. It is a three year old church re-launch. By 2007, the membership had dwindled to roughly 10-15 members. My good friend, Aaron Roy, moved to Richmond in January of 2008 to pastor this new work in Richmond. Over the last three years, this nearly closed church has seen God transform lives and neighborhood impact is taking place. There is a need for additional laborers to make disciples and develop leaders. Another good brother of mine, Curtis Zackery, and his wife Monique will also be moving to Richmond (from Franklin, TN) in August to serve with the church.

As Associate Pastor, I will be assisting with the teaching and preaching at the church: Saturday morning service, Sunday school, Sunday morning service, and small groups. I will also begin an elder ordination process soon after I arrive. My main focus will be discipling men. This will include, but will not be limited to, working with teens. We are hoping to engage the local high school, Richmond High, and Lord willing I will be taking a leading role in this. In addition to my duties at the church, I hope to begin taking seminary classes again at Golden Gate Theological Seminary. My intent is to pursue a master’s in “missiology” – the theology of missions.

Richmond is a city of approximately 100,000 people. It is located in the bay area, near the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. It is a diverse city, both culturally and socio-economically. It has similar challenges to Chicago, including poverty, homelessness, gang challenges, educational inequity, etc. Yet, as in Chicago, God is using His Church in Richmond to draw people to Himself and to spread His fame amongst the Nations. I am humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing there.

This position with Living Hope is not a paid position. I will once again need to raise financial support for my salary! I am excited to see how God will provide for this. I am asking that you would prayerfully consider supporting me in this new ministry adventure. My monthly support goal is $2,500. If you are already supporting me monthly, and you would like to continue to support me in Richmond, you can actually begin sending my monthly support to the church beginning July 1st.

Over the course of my time at Sunshine, I have been blown away by the team of people whom have come alongside me! I am once again in need of “teammates” who will support me both financially and with prayer. I would love to speak to you more about this opportunity, either on the phone or in person. Please let me know if you want to hear more!

Thank you for walking with me during my years here in Chicago! I look forward to continuing to be an encouragement to one another in this new season of life and ministry.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Radical Together

We are going to be reading this book together as a Youth Outreach team this summer. I am really looking forward to it.

I love two quotes from this video...

"(In light of the Gospel)Now it just makes sense to show that type of mercy to others!"
"We've got a King who deserves praise from every people group on the planet!"

I hope to begin reading this book while I'm on vacation, so I anticipate more "Radical Together" posts in the weeks ahead...