One of the many things I love about living in NYC is experiencing all four seasons. As winter finally gives way to spring here, I’m learning the truth that life has its seasons worth enjoying as well. I haven’t provided a big update for everyone, but here’s how we have been enjoying the journey through the changing seasons of career changes over this last year.
Last September, I resigned from my role as the Lead Pastor of Apostles Church Union Square. It was a hard decision to end that season of my life and ministry but it was the right decision for us. The last 7 months have been the most challenging of my life as I’ve never done this before. Occasionally, it has been painful and hard to move on from a church community that I loved and invested my life in for 6 years, but it has ultimately been refreshing, clarifying and healing.
Since September, I’ve helped non-profits develop their church partnership strategy and taken the many lessons I learned at Apostles to consult and help Christ Crucified Fellowship and other churches through coaching and consulting. I’ve also had the space and counseling to reflect on almost 7 years of ministry in NYC and almost 15 years straight of ministry in some capacity to the church in various settings.
Thankful for Apostles Church and excited for the future
In my reflection, I have learned the power of gratitude and I am grateful for the community of Apostles Church. They embraced me as their pastor and in many ways trained me in pastoral ministry showing me what the church could be. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to serve God through a local church in NYC, to learn how to make missionaries and participate in extending the love of Christ to our neighbors together.
I am a very blessed man and I am most grateful for my family. The last 7 months have given me more time and mental energy to give myself fully to them and I could not be more thankful. Change has a way of reorienting you around your priorities. We are enjoying life as a family in NYC and we have been blessed with amazing families to walk with on this journey.
The future will have its own journey and various seasons. Amazingly, God is providing opportunities for me to provide leadership coaching for pastors and consulting for churches around the country. Beyond that, we have been given the chance to learn the surprising reward of fundraising to be local missionaries here in NYC. We have gained a clarity on our passions and how we can serve God’s kingdom.
Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde and the hope between
I’ve also learned a ton about myself. My strengths, my weaknesses and the environments that are best for me. One of the stories that has resonated with me most over the last 6 months is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s a common story and common application to discuss the complexity of the human condition that has the capacity for greatness and also darkness. Each of us brings brilliant beauty to the world, but with it we bring our weaknesses.
This season of reflection has given me the freedom to face and make peace with the “Mr. Hyde” portions within me. A lot of my life has been spent avoiding, ignoring and at times hiding the emotions and thoughts within me. I used to feel guilty for even having certain emotions or thoughts, but counseling has allowed me to make peace with who I am. I’ve been able to be involved in great work for God beyond what I dreamed of, but I’ve also made mistakes. I’ve learned more about myself through the mistakes than the triumphs and in both I rejoice.
I can’t recommend counseling enough for everyone. Counseling has helped me see how God loves me (both my Jekyll & my Hyde) more than I could imagine. The gospel I believe is one where Christ has overcome for me and then invited me to attach myself to Him in relationship for a new identity, not Jekyll or Hyde, but son of God.
The gospel I have preached, taught and trained people in has been powerful for me in a new way, a deeper way that actually interacts with the complexity of life, granting freedom and peace in the large grey areas that black/white morality don’t have answers for and that lets me accept the reality of what life is.
I needed this season more than I knew and I’m thankful the last 7 months have shown me that. It has strengthened me for the next season, the next journey and we invite you to pray for us as we sort through all that God has for us. I’ve learned to love and appreciate who I am and what I contribute to the world and mostly to those I love.
Praying and Partnering for the future
As I mentioned earlier, the last 7 months have been uncharted territory for me. We are praying and asking God to make it clear what our future ministry will be.
He has given us clarity in this... NYC is home (we hope it always will be) and while we are here we plan to use our talents and passions in new ways here in the city. Building God's Kingdom is our role here where God provides opportunity. This "Kingdom clarity" (as it sounds in my head) is that I have the opportunity to make every person's life better, help every organization grow and help all reach their potential in this life. That's the starting point I have been given in my abilities to coach people and organizations to reach their potential by solving their problems with new strategies.
God has also given us clarity for this immediate season as we pray for our long-term future. These last 4 months we have been fundraising through Christ Crucified Fellowship, which has been the most refreshing community for us. We’ve been able to call their church home, I’ve been able to provide support for Pastor Rich and his leadership team. The generosity of others through fundraising has allowed us to continue to invest in the friendships that God has provided in our neighborhood and kids’ schools.
We invite you to pray with us, that God would provide peace, direction, clarity and opportunities to serve Him as we enjoy this journey. As you pray, consider joining us financially as a ministry partner and contact us through our prayer form and I will give you more information.
We will use this website to share updates on our family and all that God is teaching us. We share because we believe God desires to use our story and the lessons we have learned trying to follow God in NYC for the good of others. We hope it will be helpful for you and you can enjoy the journey with us.