Thursday, September 30, 2010

Upcoming Ministry Transitions

This has been long and coming, but after months of prayer and seeking wisdom, I am going to be transitioning roles within my church. Starting in May 2011, I'll become the high school pastor at Red Mountain Community Church, overseeing 9th through 12th grade. Mesa has had a three year high school system (10-12 grade), but is moving the freshman class into the high schools beginning next fall. So our current 8th and 9th graders will also be moving up with me into the high school ministry, while junior high will become a two-year ministry.

My good friend Dylan--our current 5/6 coordinator--will be taking over 5th through 8th grade ministries, making him the new 5/6 and junior high director. Also, my mentor/friend Mark will become the pastor of student ministries, having oversight and leadership of 5th grade through college. Our college director, Kyle, doesn't really have a job change in this whole process...but I like him too. :)

I've been doing full-time junior high ministry for over four years now (six, if you include internships), so this shift into high school ministry will be new territory for me. Here's what I'm excited about:

-Our student ministry team. I love that we have four full-time pastors in student ministry, each with our own unique gifts, strengths, personalities, and passions. Yet we're all united by the idea that the gospel transforms lives and that discipleship is central to our ministry philosophy. We're a messy team too, focusing more on our gifts and strengths instead of our individual job descriptions, blurring the lines between ministries and really viewing our ministries as parts in a greater whole. Case in point: I'm the junior high pastor, but I'm also discipling high school and college-aged people out of the Spirit's leading and my own relational connections.

-Long-term discipleship. I know nearly all the current high school students, as they used to be in my junior high group. With these upcoming 8th and 9th graders, I'll have had six years of shepherding them, as opposed to three. They all might get sick of me by their senior year, but I'm stoked about being able to pour into their lives twice as long as if I stayed in junior high ministry.

-Going deeper. Along with going deeper relationally due to having more time with these students, I'm also eager to go deeper theologically and spiritually. With abstract thinking in full swing and a wide variety of temptations, life issues, and weightier decisions, discipleship with high school students requires diving deep into one's heart and God's Word.

-Embracing the new. I'm one of the few people I know that really loves change. Of course, there's merit in having a stable philosophical foundation and values. Yet all organizations and communities need continual elements of change in order to grow and mature. Personally, I'm excited for the challenge. I'm treading in new ministerial territory, so I have to relearn a lot of things I thought I knew, as well as brand new concepts and practices for ministering to high school students.

Please be praying for me, my wife, our student ministry team, and our church family as we head into a new season of transition.


  1. Good stuff =) I know you guys will do great!!!

  2. I know you will do well, I work as a substitute teacher in a secular school setting and have worked with high school students a lot as well as middle school and sometimes with elementary students, you are blessed to be able to disciple and shepherd students that already have a connection with you. Keep up the awesome work brother, your family will be an amazing testimony.