Navigating uncharted leadership watersSeveral months ago, I left my position as executive pastor at a local church. This seemed like a strange career move to a lot of people. I've had to explain myself over and over to other pastors and leaders, so I decided to write about the decision. I hope that this could serve as a help to someone else who might be discerning whether or not they ought to leave a leadership position or other job. Stepping into a season of transition can be overwhelming, and it's good to know that you aren't alone. Below are a few lessons that I learned -- and I hope that they help you.
My wife Kelly and I just got back from visiting my side of the family in Maryland for the holidays. We had such a great trip! It was a quick one (5 days), but we managed to squeeze in a lot of family time, my nephew's 3rd birthday party, and made time to get dinner with our friend Adam Mason in DC one evening. Here are a few photos from the trip!
I recently had a portrait session with Katie and Ethan in Carlton, Dundee, and at Stoller Vineyards.
Kelly and I recently took a trip to Jackson, Michigan to work on a photography + web design project for a church our friend Dr. David McDonald leads called Westwinds. Beyond having an amazing team culture, they were incredibly hospitable and a lot of fun to hang out with. We managed to fit some work into the weekend, too. Staff portraits, photos of all Sunday ministries, live event photos of Sunday services, and photos of the church.
First of all, let's get something straight. A list of 12 books can not replace a seminary education. The experience of thinking deeply, forming spiritually, and wrestling with theology for a season of life can not be rushed or exchanged. That said, I think that the following books are great entry points into seminary education
George Fox University hosted the North American Institute for Theological Studies Symposium at the main campus in June 2017.
In October, Leah Payne invited me to be a part of her Pentecostals in the Pacific Northwest panel at the Christ & Cascadia conference in Seattle.
My wife Kelly and I visited Cannon Beach, OR for a Doctor of Ministry student retreat in October. We love this place.
My friend Ethan and I took a trip to eastern Oregon and got a couple of long-exposure photos of abandoned school buildings and an abandoned house.
I spent a couple of days in Vernonia, Oregon with the Doctor of Ministry team this week.
I watched the U.S. Navy launch a rocket, carrying a satellite, into space via Facebook Live on my iPhone while laying in bed this morning.
"Participation in public life doesn’t mean that you all have to run for public office -– though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. (Laughter and applause.) But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If electoral politics isn’t your thing, continue the tradition so many of you started here at Michigan and find a way to serve your community and your country –- an act that will help you stay connected to your fellow citizens and improve the lives of those around you.” Barack Obama
Kelly and I took off for the Oregon Coast on Memorial Day to take a hike with some friends.
Kelly graduated with her Master of Arts in Teaching and starts this fall as a 5th-grade Teacher in Salem!
When I was 16 years old, one of my best friends was a guy named Matt. We met in our small-town youth group that same year but were long-lost brothers. We did all of the things that 16-year-old bros do together: hike, commiserate about girl problems, work out, and talk about what we want to be when we grow up. Most folks in our town knew Matt and me for one thing, in particular: we were the music guys.
I've been getting into photography more lately. Here are a few shots I got from church a couple of weeks ago.
Kelly and I got to connect with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, and extended family over the holidays. It's always good to spend time with family.
My wife Kelly and I took a weekend trip up to Vancouver, BC to visit our friend Vanessa. Here are a few photos from our trip.
I recently wrote an essay evaluating and critiquing the transformative aspects of Yvon Chouinard's leadership of Patagonia, a multi-million dollar outdoor lifestyle company. You can read it below.
I recently reviewed Four Views on the Role of Works at Final Judgement by Robert N. Wilken, Thomas R. Schreiner, James D.G. Dunn, Michael P. Barber, Alan P. Stanley, and Stanley N. Gundry.
Much of hooks’ thesis is bound up with the title of her book Where We Stand: Class Matters, which is a book about class divisions specifically between white and black people in America.
I've been serving the Oregon Ministry Network as a "Young Leader" member of our presbytery since January 2014. In March of 2015, we went to Kenya and Zanzibar to visit local ministry leaders.
Grieb superbly outlines Romans: showing that, for the Apostle Paul, the death, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ -- the gospel -- has fundamentally changed and affected all of Creation. Paul sets up the book of Romans as an apocalyptic narrative of God’s mercy and justice to all people.
“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom.” ― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
In Leviticus 19 the Lord is continuing the meeting with Moses. The law is in the process of being given to Moses for Israel, and we are chapters upon chapters deep into these laws at this point. Don't sleep with your family members. Eat this. Don't eat that. Here's what you sacrifice for this sin. Here's what you sacrifice for that sin. Into this, God interjects one often quoted line: You must be holy as I am holy.
I have moved a lot in my life.