It has been a long, and surprising process getting to this decision because of my calling and love for the people and ministry of Grace Church here in Rapides Parish. Since arriving nearly two years ago, you have received us with encouraging affection as we pressed forward together to grow deep in the Gospel of God’s Grace (Acts 20:24) and bear Gospel Fruit in all the places He has called us to – family, work, school and our neighborhoods.
You can find out more about where I will be serving by CLICKING HERE to visit the website of Harderwyk Ministries. I will serve as Teaching Pastor of the Celebration Community there. Harderwyk is one church comprised of three distinct and different “Worshiping Communities” with five services and three different teaching pastors. I will focus on preaching, discipling and pastoral care for one community, while studying, praying and planning sermons collaboratively with the two other Teaching Pastors. The vision is to provide supportive accountability among the Teaching Pastors, while keeping the separate communities small and close enough to share life as a “small church.” The Executive Pastor – sort of like a circus ringmaster in this setting – is a friend of mine for nearly twenty years starting when he chaired the Bible Dept at Montreat College where I taught in Western North Carolina.
At present, the Session – our Board of Elders – is at prayer and work to begin the processes that will establish a ministry plan for the interim period and a Search Committee for a new pastor. Expect to see more in the email newsletter, announcements, Town Hall type meetings and official Congregational Meetings when actual business needs to be conducted and decisions made. There will be abundant opportunities for everyone at Grace to pray, share input and to participate in a variety of roles in this process.