As Pastor Nick announced last weekend, I will be filling the vacant Executive Pastor role beginning August 25. I can’t express how excited and humbled my family and I are about this opportunity. Throughout this process, my prayer was that the Lord would make His will crystal-clear to me. One morning I was reading in Mark chapter 10 the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man who cried out to Jesus as he was walking along the road. When I got to verse 49, tears of joy filled my eyes as I felt Him answer my prayer.
“And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him,
“‘Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.’” —Mark 10:49
The title of this newsletter has two meanings for me. First, I feel Hope Community Church is my Hope. Not in the possessive, mine-not-yours sense– please don’t get me wrong here. What I mean is this has been our church home for more than fifteen years. Pastor Steve officiated our wedding. Our kids have been raised here. We’ve participated in Bible studies. We’ve served in the kid’s hall and on the multimedia and leadership teams. We’ve been on God-Ops to Haiti and Romania. With all this comes a sense of ownership and subsequent sense of responsibility for this beautiful church — my Hope.
The second meaning is more forward-looking. My hope — and great expectation — is that the Lord uses me to bring people closer to Jesus. Within that, I have many smaller “hopes” I’d like to share with you.
- I hope you’ll pray for our family. This is going to be a big transition for us and a wonderful opportunity for the adversary to attack. Please pray for a smooth transition full of grace, peace and confirmation.
- I hope you’ll be patient with me. Full disclosure, this is my first time in ministry, and I imagine I’ll make mistakes and stumble from time to time. As I look back on my various careers in marketing, branding, communications and restaurants, I’m amazed at how our Heavenly Father has prepared me for this role at Hope. I also smile at His sense of humor, to use the restaurant business to groom me for service in His Kingdom.
- I hope you’ll be honest with me. When I do stumble, please call me out. Don’t be shy (not really a problem with Hopesters, I know!). When we try new things, please ask me questions and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions.
- I hope we never lose our focus of bringing people closer to Jesus. This is an exciting time at Hope. We’re growing, focusing on new areas of ministry and how to best serve our community. There are plenty of opportunities to lose our focus — Jesus — at the expense of something that won’t last. We are here to bring people closer to Jesus. That’s it.
Our family is looking on this next season with great anticipation. Thank you for your faith and trust in us. Thank you also for your prayers.
Grace and peace,