I just moved my office into the basement. No, we’ve not moved in with the kids…yet! I just retired and someone else is in the office I’ve occupied for 30 years. So, welcome to the basement! Actually, this desk, the leather couch in the living room and the candlelit breakfast table with my best friend and ministry partner, my wife Darlene, have become my safe places to process the questions of retirement like; “Who am I now?” (identity), and “What do I do now?” (purpose). What we’ve come to understand is that although our realities have changed, our calling has not.
In 1986, a small group of passionate people prayerfully decided to become a church. They asked me to be their pastor. God made it clear the answer was “yes” and for 30 years we led the church through all the callings, challenges and celebrations a growing church family encounters. What began as the Chapel in Sandusky, Ohio, is now the Chapel in Sandusky, Norwalk and Port Clinton, three small cities on the north coast of Ohio. Many people who’d given up on God and the church came and encountered the risen Jesus. They stayed and become involved in bringing other people closer to that Jesus.
Since retiring from pastoral leadership, Darlene and I have found that our call to follow Jesus and build His kingdom is as real as ever. We sense what we have experienced in ministry leadership can help and encourage others who are now in that vital role. We are travelling to Spain and Eastern Europe encouraging leaders there as member care volunteers. We are also helping another small group plant a church in the western suburbs of Cleveland, “deja vu all over again”!
So, why the blog? Several people have asked if I would put some of my thoughts coming out of conversations and teaching opportunities into a format they could follow. So this is it, a blog! Your questions, comments, experiences and insights are welcome to further the conversation.
“All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won
Will crumble into dust when it’s all said and done
‘Cause all that really mattered
Did I live the truth to the ones I love?
Was my life the proof that there is only One
Whose name will last forever?Casting Crowns