Sunday, February 05, 2012

One Foot In, One Foot Out...

My blog has been silent for a while.  Why?  Because of a totally unexpected change in my life.  Here’s the story.  On November 9 I received an email from my executive pastor inviting me to a meeting with he and my senior pastor.  My initial reaction was “what have I done?”  I’ve been called to the principals office enough times in my life to know those kind of emails are not usually very good.

Back up with me for a bit and hear some of my heart for students.  You know I have been working with middle schoolers for 22 years and almost since day 1 I have regularly been asked some form of the question “what are you going to do when you grow up?” or “What are you going to do when you can’t do middle school anymore?”  (I know you know what I’m talking about)  Honestly, I have always been slightly offended by these questions because I have truly felt called to middle school and student ministry.  However, I have also always wrestled with the truth that for most, middle school is not a life-long vocation and sooner or later I knew I would be faced with a decision.

Back to the present day.  I’m called into a meeting with two of the three members of “the trinity” (that’s what we affectionately call our executive leadership team – and the only reason it was not all three of them was one was out sick) and I’m thinking I’m in big trouble.  Instead, they present me with an opportunity to take on a new executive role for our main campus.  As they begin to explain a role that was created for me and my gifts, I was immediately struck with two feelings.  First, I was not offended at all.  Second, I was really excited about the job description.  After several weeks of seeking wise council and reflecting on that council, it was clear that God had orchestrated this move.

As I look at the campus I am asked to now lead, I am excited to bring some new thoughts and ideas to the table of discussion.  I find my inner wheels turning quickly as I think about how I have been given an unusual blend of roles in this executive pastor seat.  From leading a gifted staff of “all stars” (and really it feels more like Phil Jackson coaching the Bulls or Lakers than anything), to having the continued opportunity to be hands on in student ministry, to being given the drivers seat for intergenerational ministry on our campus, I am jazzed at what we can do together.  Maybe most specifically trying to link all of these areas into one venture, I am looking forward to building a more seamless “cradle to grave” discipleship plan here on the Leawood Campus.  I am also thrilled to see our church leadership bring younger leadership onto the team and I believe the fresh perspective my colleges will bring to our overall church will continue to breath new life into our incredible body.

Let me wrap up by saying, I would not be integral if I did not admit I am a bit nervous about my new role.  Although I have been living in this organization for eleven years, I have been asked to not only take a new role, but, in many ways, I have been asked to take on a new vocation.  That’s a bit scary.  As my senior pastor reminded me, I am not adequate for this job, but the God we serve is more than adequate and our sufficiency comes from him.

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