According to Google Maps, it is 2068 miles from our old house in California to our new home in Minnesota. That. Is. A. Long. Way! 2068 miles…the drive alone sounds exhausting. (And our commute will actually be a bit longer, since our family is taking the scenic route through Austin, TX, so we can join other EFCA pastors and church leaders from around the world at EFCA One). Over the last few months, many people have asked me why we would make this move. Let me take a few moments, here at the beginning of my ministry, to share why we are moving from there to here.
Because God Has Called Us to the North Central District
First, our decision to move to Minnesota is the result of a deep conviction that God has called us to serve Him by serving the North Central District. A significant part of this conviction comes from an internal sense of calling, God’s leading in our hearts. More than that, our calling has been confirmed by those who know us best and solidified through the vote of the gathered pastors and church leaders at our recent NCD conference. These things come together to give us a strong, resilient belief that we are called to serve the pastors, church leaders, and churches of the NCD. I am thankful for this, since I imagine sometime in mid-January I will wake up on an icy morning and wonder, “What have we done?”
Because of Days Like Sunday, June 4th
My first Sunday on the job I visited two churches. The first was Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo. Rockpoint’s lead pastor, Roy Fruits, came to Minnesota about 15 years ago from my home church (Grace Bible Church in Arroyo Grande, CA). It was comforting to be with another leader who had made the move from California to Minnesota. That morning, Rockpoint hosted the Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir, a ministry they have been supporting for many years. During the service, they shared testimony after testimony of the saving and transforming power of the Gospel. Their stories took my breath away and filled me with thanks. Later, I went to Hope Church in Oakdale. I was blown away in their morning service by 16 baptisms. Sixteen. Wow. God is using our churches in powerful ways. I am so thankful for this. I want to be a part of it. I want to work together so we can see more and more of it.
For Our Joy
We believe in our calling to the NCD. We are excited about what God is doing within and through our churches. However, there is another powerful, life-giving reason we are coming. We fully expect that God will bring us joy as we serve Him in Minnesota in the months and years ahead. We want to be part of God’s work in the North Central District. We expect to see Him produce “fruit that lasts (John 15:16).” We know there will be ups and downs (John 16:33). And I am convinced that our NCD pastors and church leaders love God & His word, and genuinely want to reach the lost & shepherd the found. Serving leaders like that is a joy.
North Central District | EFCA