May 15th will be the one year mark for me and my adventure in full time ministry. Yes, I am a Pastor, which is the last thing I thought I’d be at 40 years old. That is the beautiful thing about life. It is an adventure! When God calls, we can hang up, hang out or step onto the ocean and walk by faith, listening to God’s voice.
The #1 Question I get: “What is it like being the Local Outreach Pastor at Christ Chapel?”
Well, its a lot like surfing. Every morning I grab my surf board and paddle out into the waves not exactly knowing what to expect. Sometimes, I catch a wave and ride all the way into the beach. Other times, I take a tumble and get rolled by a few waves. Everyday is different. Everyday is a chance to take an adventure. I wake up and jump into the water!
The #2 Question I get: “What does Local Outreach mean and what do you do?”
I’m the Local Outreach (community) pastor. That means, I represent Christ Chapel Bible Church in the community. We are a church of 7000-8000 thousand folks on two sites. Most of my work is within Tarrant County but technically Local Outreach is the United States. I’m responsible for building relationships, helping people in need, solving problems, serving as an advisor to multiple teams and sharing the love of Christ with our community. The main function of my role is deploying hundreds of dedicated volunteers into service around our community. I love working with our volunteers. These people are rock stars! Whether someone is a CEO or a special needs kid, if you love God, people and want to serve, Local Outreach will launch you into an adventure of a lifetime. We support about 30 ministries in our area. Here are a few…
What does a typical day look like?
Well, I might meet with my men’s bible study group called Mighty Men at 6:30am. This group of gnarly dudes is made up of former homeless, ex-cons, business executives, IT developers, students, bikers, Army vets, and hitch-hikers. These guys are family. At 8:30am, I hit the ground running with my team. I could be preaching at homeless ministry or meeting with our Swahili pastor. Who knows? Sometimes, I find myself at a luncheon with the mayor or hanging out with some college kids or touring a ministry. Or, I may be down at the family courts or a parole office watching our ministry partners in action. You might find me meeting with a large national organization or praying with a family who just lost a loved one. I go to hospitals and have presided over a memorial service for a family friend. Everyday is an adventure. Everyday is different!
One day, I was a ‘celebrity reader’ (whatever that means) at a local public elementary school. Those kids love having visitors. I love their imaginations and questions. I’ve had the privilege of speaking for various organizations at dinners and galas. Oh yeah, I once put on a giant yellow Tweety Bird costume and ran around campus on a Sunday. People’s reactions were hilarious!
Hey, its not all fun and games. I also am responsible for a substantial budget, strategic planning and providing grants to partner organizations doing excellent work. My job is highly-relational. So, this is a challenge for an introvert. Sometimes, I disappear to quiet spot to read my bible and pray for wisdom and energy to make it through the day. I have an awesome team who are in the trenches with me. The entire 200 person staff is a huge team and happy to pitch in to help. They always do. It’s hard work but an amazing place and people. There is so much more that I experience on a given day that I could write a book.
The best part is that I get a front row seat to the best show in town. I get to witness the redemptive work of Christ in broken lives and see them experience freedom. When God moves, hold on! If you don’t believe in God, come hang out with me for a day, I’ll show you some God stuff that will blow your mind! When the Savior works through a person, the impossible happens. It is powerful stuff watching people share the love of Christ and have an impact. We are a church without walls. We bring hope to the hopeless. Its magnificent!
I can’t believe I get paid to take an adventure everyday. I’d do it for free (but, don’t tell my boss). BTW, my boss, Dr. Bill Egner was a rocket scientist before stepping into ministry. People ask me all the time about my boss. I guess folks are surprised that this rebel, entrepreneur would actually be able to work for someone else. The church leadership gives me a great deal of freedom in my role and they are willing to listen. I’ve become more teachable and relational as well. Interesting how God provides wisdom and humility to those who are willing to give him the reigns.
Finally, my sweet wife and family are a part of a highly supportive and loving family. Even with a booked calendar and some long days, I experience God molding me into the kind of husband and father he wants me to be. I love that for my family. Because I love them. If they were not 100% on board, I would not be taking this adventure.
Can someone pinch me?