Running the Race that is Set Before Us
When I spoke with the PNC during the candidacy process I shared with them that I view pastoral leadership like running a race. They were a little hesitant at first, because Deep Run has been through a lot of pastoral change over the past several years, and they admitted that some pastors have tried to bring change at too quick a pace. I can certainly understand that concern, and I appreciate Deep Run’s desire to find a sense of stability now that a called and installed pastor has arrived. So, I encouraged the PNC to view this race as a marathon, not a sprint.
Certainly, we want to sprint toward the open, welcome, radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ. But, as a congregation, we need to pace ourselves and the ministry that we provide inside and outside of the church. As your new pastor, there is only so much that I can do without building your trust first. So, sprinting toward major changes would be the wrong approach. My goal, instead, is to get to know you first. I want to get to know the current active members. I want to know your passions and current ministries as a congregation. I want to know your history, and to get a sense for the ministry you’ve done in the past. I want to know the saints of this church and the legacy they’ve left for us. And, I want to know your hopes and your dreams for the future.
I want to know you, and I want you to know me, so that you will truly trust me as your pastor so that we can run this race together for years to come. That is why I’ve asked the PNC to help me set up a series of gatherings so that I can meet many of you in a smaller, more intimate setting than our previous gatherings. You’ll be hearing about these opportunities over the next few weeks. My wife, Abby, and I are committed to getting to know Deep Run.
But, just like our son, Alexander, who is constantly on the move, we don’t want Deep Run to stand still. Scripture tells us that this call that we have as the church is to run the race that has been set before us. Deep Run has been around for almost 285 years. You’ve proven your ability to persevere in this race. Even if we might not always agree, my prayer is that you’ll see that I am committed to getting to know Deep Run, that I want to grow in pastoral love for you as a congregation, and that I desire nothing more than to help you know who God is and how much God loves us. I pray that you’ll keep an open heart and open mind, and that you develop trust for me as your new pastoral leader so that you’ll truly invite me in to be a “Deep Runner” in this race with you.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…
let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” -Hebrews 12:1-2
Peace, Love and God Bless,