Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I was talking with Shannon last night and we’ve been praying for a situation in the town where we grew up. We met in high school and attended one of two churches that had large youth ministries in our community. The two churches always had a good working relationship. But recently, one of them went through a big senior pastor change and they made a bad hire. The end result of the “search-hire-ask pastor to leave-search again process” was devastating on this one church and it’s pastoral team- causing it to go from several thousand in weekend attendance- down to around 500 I heard. Here’s some history.


  • Shannon and I attend in high school, our families serve there still.
  • We attended under Mark, our youth pastor who is still on staff, but in a different role.
  • I did 3 summers worth of internship in the high school ministry under Mark.
  • Current Senior Pastor, Larry, is our college pastor and also the youth pastor before Shannon and I’s time.
  • Both Mark and Larry are good personal friends and mentors to me.


  • Church is across the street from Shannon’s parent’s house and right next door to our old high school.
  • We have lots of friendships with people who were on staff here at one time- one of whom was Doug Tegner, who ended up being the high school pastor colleague across town from me when I served in Fremont. He eventually left that church to serve as the National Network of Youth Ministries’ president and I was invited to join him on a 3 year term of their Ministry Council.
  • Several years ago, Redwood made a bad senior pastor hire that caused the church to implode.
  • Doug went back to help serve in a role there with his wife, Leisa, on their team to help.
  • In the transition, lots of people leave, many find their way to Neighborhood.
  • Redwood decided a few weeks ago to hire their former youth pastor, Doug and his wife Leisa (who served at Redwood as a youth pastor colleague when Larry was youth pastor at Neighborhood) to be their new senior pastors.
  • Doug is also a friend and mentor to me.


  • Larry calls Doug and Leisa to come to Neighborhood on their weekend service before they officially start in their new position at Redwood in a few weeks.
  • Larry prays over Doug and Leisa a prayer of support, commissioning them as brothers and sisters in the faith to do the work of being Jesus to this community together with them.
  • Larry then speaks to the congregation. He encourages those who have transferred to Neighborhood from Redwood during this tough time to go back and support Doug and Leisa in the process of healing that community. They have found rest at Neighborhood, now they are encouraged to go back and rebuild across town at Redwood.
That’s beautiful. That took guts and a Kingdom of God oriented heart. I’ve never been more proud of my mentors than today. What an amazingly clear Word from God and embrace of the Kingdom work in a community. These stories need more press. This is what Jesus came to create in us. I believe God smiled last weekend. I sure did.


  1. Wow, I love hearing stories like that – if only all churches had such a kingdom mindset! What an impact on the world the church would be! Ran across your blog today and it’s cool hearing about what’s going on in your life! đŸ™‚

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