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I'm a Pastoral Resident at the Austin Stone Community Church. This is my blog about everything I'm doing and learning.

People, Place, Position

For December, our main residency assignment was to spend time thinking, talking, and praying through this question; what people, position, and place do you sense God calling you to? 

Although I haven’t been as faithful to pray every day about this as I had intended, through a few conversations and time thinking through everything that’s been in my mind over the years, this is my response.

What people are you called to?

  • College or older. I really enjoy hanging out with younger kids, but haven’t had the experience in teaching and discipling them. When I think of pastoring a people, I imagine college students or older, being able to sit with them over conversation, or in a teaching environment, and having dialogue about their faith and discipleship.

What roles/responsibilities do I envision doing?

I’ve had a lot of conversations and spent time thinking through this the most. What I am gathering from a variety of sources – how God has gifted me, what I enjoy, what I’m good at, what others see in me – is that I’m called to being in a position that would allow me to work in these areas:

  • Executive Organizational Leadership – focusing on the church as an organization, figuring out how to grow and keep the church healthy. Being able to live in the world where I get to answer the question, “how do we do ____?”.
  • Community / Leadership Development – getting to pastor, equip, and disciple groups of leaders in the church.
  • Teaching – Regular opportunity to teach and train in a classroom or group teaching environment.
  • Counseling and Discipleship – Opportunities to personally develop and counsel on a regular, person to person basis.
There isn’t a whole lot I would say at this moment that I don’t want to do, but there are a few things.
  • Regular preaching.
  • Young children’s ministry.
  • A task only focused role (I want to disciple and be with people).

What place are you called to?

Place is difficult to determine for me. I’m trying to keep in mind that there are both gospel driven and preference driven reasons to feel called to a particular place. So, the types of places Bryn and I are thinking through are major city centers with diverse population, high need for gospel saturation (meaning largely unreached cities), a community who values outdoors and an active lifestyle, community events, closer density in housing. And, at the end of the day, I’m constantly asking Bryn (and myself) these questions – where do you see yourself living? where do you see us raising a family? where can we go to be on an adventure to see how God will use us? 

I’m very much wrestling through this, but one thing I do know, is that we deeply want to be in a place where we can feel settled. Not settling in the “let’s move to the suburbs” kind of settled, but more that we want to be in a place where we can put down roots, invest in the community, and develop deeper and longer relationships with people.

Anyways – here is the short list of where we are considering right now.

  • Austin
  • Seattle (Pacific Northwest) and possibly Canada
  • Boulder / Colorado Area
  • New Orleans

Will you continue to pray for us? Ask God to give us a heart and a desire for one or all of these areas as I think through what happens next after my residency.

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