Brothers and Sisters of the NCD,
First, I want thank you for a conference we will never forget. We were overwhelmed by your warm welcome, gracious spirit and enthusiastic support. I want to say a special word of thanks to DS Search Team for all they invested in Teri and me. Likewise, I am so grateful to the NCD Board of Directors for their heart for this district, for their thorough and sometimes challenging questions, and for their candor throughout this process. Thanks, too, to the NCD staff, and especially Tom Mouw, for the warm reception they gave our family. I can’t wait to work with the NCD Team!
In case you weren’t at the conference, I want to take a moment to summarize what I shared in my conference message.
-I shared about our journey over the last five months leading up to the NCD conference and my nomination as the next DS.
-I spoke of my sense that the district is not asking me to bring in a “bolt-on, artificial, slap-on-top, got-it-in-a-book” kind of vision. Rather, I hear you asking me to listen, gather, clarify, and champion a new, shared vision for how the NCD serves pastors, church leaders, and churches, both now and into the future.
-The heart of my message focused on five passages that shape how I serve pastors, church leaders, and churches. These passages are at the very heart of my ministry values. They are:
- Our Mission (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Speaking Truth and Hearing Truth (Proverbs 27:6)
- The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
- Sharing Life Together (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
- Calling Leaders to Rest in Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)
I closed by sharing our sense of calling to district leadership and specifically to the NCD. Also, I spoke of our intention to move our hearts to Minnesota. Please know that we are all in on this calling! We do not see this as a stepping stone to some other ministry within our EFCA family. Rather, Lord willing, we have every expectation of serving the NCD for years and years to come.
I imagine some of you are wondering about our timetable. Here is what we know so far:
- We are in the process of selling our California home and buying a home in the Twin Cities. Please pray that this process goes as smoothly as possible.
- My last workday with EFCA West will be April 30th, 2017. Please pray that I finish strong.
- We will be on vacation during the month of May, catching our breath and taking the time to say goodbye to Grace Bible Church in Arroyo Grande, CA, our home church for the last 15 years.
- My official start date with the NCD will be June 1st.
- We hope to have our family moved to Minnesota by July 1st.
Thanks again for calling us to serve the NCD. We are excited, hopeful, and just a touch overwhelmed. We can’t wait to get started, and we know that June 1st will come quickly!