The past few weeks have brought some changes for our family–which is part of the reason the blog has a new look. I’m recovering from knee surgery, and my recovery time has provided some time to make the switch from Blogger to a hosted WordPress site. Here’s the reason for the change:
A few weeks ago, I accepted a new position at our church. By the first of the year, I’ll have transitioned to being the pastor of small groups and assimilation. Essentially, my job is to help our church be a church of small groups as well as to build systems and teams to make sure every first-time guest at any of our church’s campuses has an incredible experience so that they can hear about the amazing grace and love found only in Jesus. To be honest, it’s not a position I had ever really seen myself in until the opportunity was presented to me. However, I’m excited to get to work, because it combines too things I think God’s really wired me to do: build and equip teams of volunteers, and creating, analyzing, and tweaking systems. The end result of all that work is what really excites me: To help people who are far from God connect with Jesus and his Body so that their lives can be transformed.
I’m sure I’ll write more on this in the future, but my transition out of vocational youth ministry isn’t one I expected–at least not so soon. Just days before I was offered the position, someone asked me if I saw myself doing youth ministry for much longer. My answer was this: “If I find myself to be sixty-five and still doing high school ministry at Washington Heights, God will have been too good to me. I love what I do.” I meant it, too. In the past year or so, I had been discerning and praying with my wife Jennifer about whether I would continue to serve as a youth pastor and for how long, but if any change was coming, I thought sure it was years away. I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that’s really sad that next month I will no longer be a youth pastor.
With the change in my position, the content of this blog will obviously change. Since I started this blog in 2005, my writing has been mostly a way for me to (publicly) journal about the issues, challenges, and joy that comes with being a youth pastor. Going forward, I’ll write mostly about small groups, assimilation and first-time guests, and leadership. I do plan on continuing to serve in our youth ministry as a volunteer, so you’ll still get a smattering of youth ministry posts from the perspective of a volunteer.
If you’ve been a subscriber or frequent reader of this blog for the youth ministry content, there will be no hard feelings about taking me off your reading list or hitting the “unsubscribe” button if you’re an email subscriber. However, if you’re interested in leadership, small groups, and helping our churches become places that people who aren’t yet followers of Jesus actually like to attend, I promise I’ll do my best to make it worth your while.