Friday, December 14, 2012

Minnesota Snow

I took this picture on Sunday, December 9th, from the back of our church. We ended up cancelling services because of how bad the weather was in town. But, staff was hanging out at the building to let individuals who came out that our services were cancelled. This was our (my) first real MN snow and my phone captured the beauty.

Monday, December 03, 2012

A tear

On Wednesday, one of the teenagers asked me if I ever cried being separted from my family during this time of transition. The question caused me to reflect for a moment and to be honest, it took me off guard. I do not think that anyone has asked me that question over the last 2 1/2 months. My response was that tears have come but it has not been an all out cry like when I departed Indiana to come to Minnesota or when I left them over Thanksgiving to come back to Marshall.

However, there are "triggers" that cause tears. Some of them may seem odd, but they are neverless triggers and they cause a tear to come down my face. Matter of fact, since the question was asked, only 4 1/2 days have passed but there has been a trigger for my wife, my daughter and my boys.

Here were the three triggers that have occurred over the last few days:

On Thursday, my daughter called me on her way to chemotherapy to let me know that she had landed a duet in her Christmas choir performance. The joy that she had was so exciting to hear and the happiness that she had that Stacey may be able to call in or video tape it and I will watch it later was definitely there. A tear fell because I am not going to see the performance "live and in person". I definitely miss those moments. I don't think that I ever took them lightly and treasured each opportunity to see our kids performing but now that I am gone and missing sporting events, band concerts, choir events, musicals and more; wow, it is tough.

On Saturday, as I was preparring for the Cookie Walk, a tear came down my face for my wife. Stacey loves to cook and bake and if they were in Marshall, I know that she would love the event. She would have definitely made cookies and she would have been at the event with me. Stacey has always been there and supported me and has helped out immensly in my ministry. We have always been together and she helps my ministry in numerous ways. She is not there. I miss her being by myside. Yes, I miss her help greatly but more than that, I miss her presence and us doing life together.

It may be crazy, I know. But, a tear came down my face on Saturday evening around 6:57 pm. Here is the crazy picture that prompted the tear. I know it is crazy, but let me explain (below the picture):

Georgia fell 5 yards short. My tear was not because Georgia lost. I wanted Alabama to win. The tear came because I had a flash back to 11 months ago. Isaiah, Jacob and myself went to Buffalo Wild Wings and ate way too many wings as we watched Alabama win the National Championship. Jacob is a huge Bama fan. We lived in Alabama for 3 years. He chose Alabama. When we moved to Alabama, I told them that they had to choose either Alabama or Auburn. He was 4, he chose bama because of the elephant, but it has stuck for the last 9 years. Side note: Isaiah chose Auburn because Melissa Joseph had on an Auburn shirt the first Sunday he was at church. So, as Alabama celebrated and Georgia was "rejected"; a tear came down my face because when the National Championship game comes around, I will not be with my boys watching it. Connection-Relationship with my boys.

It has been 2 1/2 months since I have been in Minnesota.I love Marshall, I love St. Stephen and I love SMSU. But, wow, do I miss my family and I cannot wait till we are all together under one roof. If by chance you are reading this and are taking family for granted; please pause a moment and enter a moment of thanksgiving for the time that you have.

Ella, thanks for asking the question.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Verse Study: 1 Peter 5:8-9

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” 

The verse is a great reminder to me in the following manner:

- keep the 3 C's: Calm, Cool and Collective.

- no matter what is happening - keep the guard up - which is tough

- we are no alone in this journey

- sufferring won't last forever -THANK GOD

- God gets the last word

Maybe, firm grip on Faith is what really jumps out to me.

Martin Luther King Jr used this language in regards to faith:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.”
From a personal standpoint, I think that we have done this in my new ministry adventure. We did not and still do not have the answers on many issues regarding this move but we took the step.

The ministries at the church and the university are going great. It is tough with the wife and kids in Indiana and me being in Minnesota. It is very difficult in not knowing where we will live when they come. It is tough for me not really having a place to call home while I am here. I am still not sure if the finances are there to cover our expenses but I have faith and I hope that peace is there at times. Even though, I know that my stress level is through the roof at times.

We are so thankful for the opportunity that God has presented us and the individuals that are helping us through this journey.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Verse Study: Eph. 2:8-9

Ephesians 2:8-9 MSG

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”  
This passage to me is a great passage that begins to open up many doors to theological discourse. However, I am also an individual that likes to go simple at times and connect the passage to my daily life and the things that are occurring in the world.

This is the sentence that jumps out to me:

God does both the making and saving.

So, many times, I think that we (intentionally or uninitentionally) put it on us and not God. His love and grace is truly a gift to us. There is nothing that we can do but trust.

One of the challenging things for us is to JOIN him in the work He does. Too often, I see individuals with a mindset of we are going to go and do this ....... when we do not realize that God is already at work there and we are going and joining/partnering with the mission taking place.

With me working / serving / member in an ELCA, I love looking for components and aspects of Martin Luther. I think this quote can be a springboard from this passage An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans :
Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace.

I hope that I do not brag. I hope that I am always pointing to God.  Everything is from Him.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Verse Study: Romans 12:1

Romans 12:1

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”  

This passage really hits home to me. I have always loved the writings of Romans, ever since my Doctrine of Grace class in seminary. Chapter 12 in particular and the deviotional style writing of the message in this passage really jumps out to me.

Over the last six years, I have been working with/in ELCA churches and here are some words about Romans and Romans 12 from Martin Luther.

This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.
So, I wonder how many people have memorized it ? I know that I have not. However, as I read Romans and as I read and reread this passage over and over again, I could see the immense benefit if you would choose to do so. So, today, I am like the cow: I chew, chew, regurgitate and chew some more on it.

Luther shares this about Romans 12

In chapter 12, St. Paul teaches the true liturgy and makes all Christians priests, so that they may offer, not money or cattle, as priests do in the Law, but their own bodies, by putting their desires to death. Next he describes the outward conduct of Christians whose lives are governed by the Spirit; he tells how they teach, preach, rule, serve, give, suffer, love, live and act toward friend, foe and everyone. These are the works that a Christian does, for, as I have said, faith is not idle.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Fitting In

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to talk to some university students about fitting in. It was a great conversation that we had and their struggle on where and how to fit in with the university setting. They have not found their group yet and as the days passes; they see groups becoming tighter and not sure if they can squeeze into those groups and their not sure if there are others out there not in groups that they can form into a group.

There was also the common conversation about alcohol and parties and what do you do if you do not drink and you do not want to associate with the crowd or you do not want to hang out, just so you can be the DD.

Out of the conversation, I was reminded of the following;

Oscar Wilde “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
I am hoping that we can continue the conversation and that we can continue to be a place that creates a safe enviornment for individuals to explore and be themselves.

Friday, September 28, 2012

What A Week

It is Friday and another week is in the books. I cannot believe how fast it has gone. It has been an unbelievable week that has been filled from sunrise to sunset.

Sunday was a great day of worship and then after worship, I jumped over to the university to watch some football. After an hour or so of football watching, I headed back to the church to prepare for the Theological Conference. I joined 150 +/- pastors in Alexandria for 3 days of training and worship.

Then on Wednesday, we came back to a full evening of confirmation and high school ministry. In confirmation, I am a huddle leader for a 6th grade group. For our high school ministry, we had 11 high school students and we begin to throw out ideas for ministry and for our summer trip. Belize is jumping to the top.

On Thursday, it was catch up day for the church and the university with being out of the office for the first three days. I then went over to Esther's Kitchen (community dinner) for supper before I headed back to the church for our new members class.

Today was a little low key. I was in the church office for awhile and now I am over at the university (Campus Religious Center). The Cathloic Campus Ministry is here cooking desserts. Tonight, I am headed to the Marshall high school football game and then I am headed back to the center for a university game night.

What a week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Great First Week

It has been a great week in Marshall. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of getting to know individuals at the church and at the university.

Two of the simple highlights have been the high school group on Wednesday night and playing ultimate frisbee with 12 of the university students on Thursday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Marshall

Yesterday, I drove 806 miles from Fishers, Indiana to Marshall, Minnesota. Thus, the adventure has begun. Last night, i checked into the Comfort Inn. I stayed there last night and will be staying there tonight. I am not sure where I am laying my head after tonight. I might be sleeping at camp. I might be staying in a house of a former member of the church who is living in a different city or i may be staying in my office and showering at the Y. I am not sure - kinda odd but kinda exciting.

Today was my first day at St. Stephen and it was a great day. They have a traditional and a contemporary service with Sunday School in-between. they had baptisms at both services. There are numerous things that I saw or observed that made me glad that I am here. They are the following:

- education opportunities for almost everyone on Sunday mornings
- Sunday afternoon / evenings are "down time"
- children remain in the worship service for the entire time
- very active milestone ministry
- low-key / relaxed feel (tough to explain)
- the use of the lectionary

This morning, I sat in on the Junior High SS class that was led by an adult named Jeff who has been teaching and involved in youth programming for six years. Sunday School at St. Stephen is more low-key and fun than educational. They use it for their social component of ministry. Their transform/education/cathecism is on Wednesday nights. However, even though they had high emphasis on social - snowball fight - Jeff re-emphasized the Small Catechism and had them answering questions about it, the church and Martin Luther.

I am looking forward to confirmation. I am not the "main teacher" as I have been in the past. Instead, I am a small group leader with Brenda. That should be a blast.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Countdown Is On

In 11 days, I will be making the drive to Minnesota to begin a new ministry. I am looking forward to the opportunity. Yes, there is still uncertainty about not having my family with me for awhile. It is going to be very tough. Thankfully, we live in a time where we can connect through blogs, facebook, phone, text messages, skype and more.

Over the last few days, I learned that one of the things that will be added to my plate will be a huddle leader for confirmation class. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to partner with another adult and lead a huddle group. This will be a great way to hit the ground running. Speaking of hitting the ground running ....

I am going to partner with two aspects of the ELCA very quickly. This excites me beyond measures. The first opportunity will be my second day on the "job". I will be going with the church staff to a synod staff day. Then the second week that I am there, I will have the opportunity to be attend a 3 day Theological Conference provided by the synod and not only get great training but get to meet Pastors and leaders from all over the synod. This will be a great in-road to meet/connect/network as I begin building relationships to share the work of the campus ministry that is being done on Southwest Minnesota State University campus.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Starting A New Chapter

 In two weeks, I am embarking on a new journey. A new chapter in my life is being turned. As I begin to share with you what I will be doing and the impact that it is going to have on our family, I know that many of you will shake your head and numerous of you will not understand and a handful of you will be tempted and may even say, "that is the craziest thing that I have heard".

Before I share with you the next step, let me assure you that this decision was not made lightly. I am fully aware of the ramification. But, I have also weighed the options, have asked questions, listened to the critics and paid attention to all the voices that have asked, "is this a wise choice". My response to that is that I have prayed and listened to the inner voice, the whisper and I believe the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I fully believe that God has provided this amazing opportunity and has answered my prayer and without a shadow of a doubt; this is the step that I need to take. Now, I will be honest, I am not 100% why this is the place that God has opened and this may not have been the ministry or location that I would have put number one when this journey began almost 7 months ago. But, I do know that God knows a little more than me.

I shared the following quote on my Facebook wall last week and want to share it again. I then want to share with you the prayer that I have prayed multiple times a day for the last six months and then share where I am headed:

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising, which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
We are mapping out a course and it is going to take a huge amount of courage to do and we are hoping and praying that our friends and families will surround us with the love and the encouragement that we need to make this transition.

The Prayer
God, I am putting this job search into your hands. I am not going to limit where I send my resume due to location, ministry description or where I am wanting to land. I also am putting this into your hands by asking you to rain down the no's - no matter how many - till the right yes comes. I pray that there is one offer and not multiple; so this is your will and not my will.
There you go, that was the backdrop. Some may say that is a crazy prayer. Some may say that it is just a coincidence that you received all no's and one yes. Or some will point to the "job market" and say that is how it is working now-a-days. But, in my heart, I fully believe that God has answered my prayer. Numerous times though through this journey, I came out of the interview and thought, this is going to be the yes and was very excited because of the position or the location; but the no's kept coming till this yes rang true.

Resumes Facts

400 resumes sent (250 to churches / 150 to businesses)
Applied for children, youth, family, mission, outreach, senior, campus, and church camp positions
Resumes went out to 4 continents
Resumes went out to 37 different states
In person interviews in 10 different states
35 church resumes in Indiana WITH 13 close enough we would not have to move
75 churches did not even respond with a receipt of resume
Received 100 NO's from churches (God did rain them down)

The Yes 

I have accepted a joint ministry position. Lutheran Campus Pastor and Youth and Family Coordinator.

Both the church and the campus ministry is in the same town.

The Church: St. Stephen Lutheran (ELCA)
The University: Southwest Minnesota State University (Lutheran Campus Pastor)

While some of the responsibilities and expectations of this position will be specific to the campus or the church, it truly is a shared position with a solid foundation of partnership between the two ministries.

The church and the university is located in Marshall, Minnesota. Below is a picture of the small town (downtown) and below the photo is a little information on the town.

Marshall is a city in Lyon County, Minnesota in the United States. The population was 13,680 at the 2010 census. Marshall is a regional center in southwest Minnesota, and the county seat of Lyon County. Marshall is the headquarters for Schwan Food Company and home of the mustangs: Southwest Minnesota State University.

Below is an aerial view of the prairies and Southwest Minnesota State University

The campus is laid out beautifully and the buildings are very open and inviting. A little about SMSU:

Southwest Minnesota State University is a public, four-year university that is part of the Minnesota State College and University System. The school has a full-time enrollment of approximately 3,700 students and employs 148 faculty members.It is divided into two major colleges, the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, and the College of Business, Education, and Professional Studies. SMSU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Southwest Minnesota State University provides undergraduate education in the liberal arts and professional studies for the following areas: Accounting, Agribusiness Management, Anthropology, Art, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Culinology, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Science, Foreign Languages, Global Studies, History, Hotel and Restaurant Administration, Humanities, Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Justice Administration, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Rural and Regional Studies, Social Work, Sociology, Speech Communication, Theatre Arts, Wellness and Human Performance, and Women's Studies. The university also supports a Center for Rural and Regional Studies, and offers masters degrees in Business Management, Education, and Special Education. The most popular majors are Business Administration and Education.
The Transition

It all begins in the middle of September. September 16th is my first Sunday.

What About ....

There are a lot of these that can be listed. What I will put here and you can contact me about the specifics is that for at least the next nine months, Stacey and the kids will remain here. Thus, the kids can finish up their transitional years in school (8th and 4th) and Bee can remain at Riley for her chemotherapy treatment.

I currently do not have a plan of action for me and housing. I am going to play that by ear. Financially, I cannot afford two places.

God's Prompting, Ministry, and Family Interest

In the end, we feel this is where God is prompting us. We are looking at this as a very long term partnership with the church and the university. Thus, a small time apart is small (many families do it). The ministry is a great fit for my gifts, talents and passion. In all honesty, I am not sure that I could write up a better combination and ministry description that is in front of me. From a family interest, this is going to also provide the much needed health insurance (group) that my family so desperately needs. We are working on arrangements where we will get to see each other a few days each month.

Can't Wait

It is going to be tough being "separated" from the family.
It is a little unnerving, not knowing were I will lay my head down when I get there.

But, I cannot wait to begin the journey with the church and the university; it is a golden opportunity and I am blessed that they have asked me to serve in this position. Even though the last seven months have been draining and hearing all the no's was tough; I know that God answered my prayers.

The Church Building

Building on Campus 

Go Mustangs

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goyte: Naked Pastor

This is from the Naked Pastor. The song is very catchy and very popular right now and I think that this cartoon describes the feelings of many and that is a shame :(

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012: First Day of School

Jacob & Isaiah entering 8th grade

Bethany entering 4th grade

They are growing up before our eyes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tumors, Scoliosis, and Chemo ... What Gives

This post is going to be a little message to God ....
This post is going to be a little raw about my feelings
This post is going to be a little about not understanding
This post is going to be a little about what Bee's situation is doing to me


To the left is a picture of my fighter - Bethany. This picture was taken by my wonderful wife on her first chemotherapy day. Each chemotherapy patient at the hospital receives a gift bag filled with multiple goodies. It is to help them begin their journey. For Bee, this journey is 70 weeks, but this is not her first fight.

God, I really have no clue what is going on and what is happening. I know that you are big enough to handle it; so I will tell you that THIS SUCKS and I have no clue why Bee has to go through this or any of the other children in this world. I mean, come on; have you truly strolled the halls of the Children's hospitals and truly looked into their eyes and see the hurt and pain in their eyes and their families eyes. Many of them are struggling and do not know what is going to happen. These are kids.

As, I look at Bee, we found out that she had tumors at a very young age and have continued to monitor her. For information sake, from the time she was one till now; we had 14 MRI's or so to monitor the situation. Thankfully, we received the "no change" message until recently. For me, all the no changes may have given me false hope that she was going to fly through this and everything as going to be "fine".

Of course, monitoring the tumors and keeping a close eye on that was not enough. She also had severe scoliosis and it kept getting worse and worse. So, at 7, yes, 7 she had to have growing rods in her back and had to limit her activity for a year; yup; just what every 7 year old wants to hear. But, she came through it and even has gone through 2 procedures of lengthening the rods.

But, then came the news that we dreaded. Yes, there had been a false hope but at the same time; knowing the words could eventually come and they came. There is a change and we believe that we need to start a 70 week chemotherapy treatment. Yikes.

God, maybe you did not realize, but I resigned from my ministry position and am not making much money stocking shelves; especially when we are paying $419 a month to keep her insured. However, to shift from her a bit and to my wife; my wife needs insurance as well and we cannot get it. So, Ii am in a midst of a job search; we have some promising leads, but with Bee beginning the treatment; this makes the journey even more adventurous.

So, Bee had the first chemotherapy session on Thursday and the first 36 hours were good. Then the side effects took place. God, I am sure you know how much Bee loves food and how much she loves the tradition of eating donuts on Saturday. She was in so much pain (jaw) that she could not eat. Then on Sunday, Grandma took her to the buffet (oh her love) and she could not eat; tears strolled down her face.

I definitely do not understand and comprehend why this is occurring. Why does a girl so young have to have tumors, scoliosis and be in a 70 week chemotherapy treatment program ?

I am a little jaded and numerous emotions run through my mind. It is extremely tough for me as her dad to go through this. I am sure ANY parent would say the same thing that watches their child struggle. If I am honest, I am also aching because she has the tumors, scoliosis and going through the treatment process because of NF. It is genetic disorder and I am the one that passed it on to her.

It was interesting and not by mistake (led by the Holy Spirit, I am sure) that the sermon we listened to on Sunday morning was from John 9. John 9 is about the blind man from birth. Disciples were arguing and Jesus answer is troubling - especially in some translations. Here are some of them:

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (NIV)

It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (NASV)

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (KJV)

Looking at those, it could almost be read - may needs to be read (yikes) that this was part of God's plan to bring Glory to Him. Hmm, that is just odd to me and if I may be real blunt: God, that is warped to think that you may have purposely created people for that ??

I know that many do not like the message version but, I like it a little better and it is easier to swallow. Here is the Message:

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?" 3-5Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over.

I can swallow this. Things happen. We do not need to research or debate things. Life occurs. However, within life, we can look at it through the lens of what God can do. I think this is precious. I fully believe that God has an amazing story. He has a story of restoration and redemption. We are part of this story.

I have no clue why Bethany is going through what she is going through. But, I can tell you that she is teaching me a lot. I can tell you that she is an amazing young girl with a tenacious spirit and she is willing and able to share her story. God will touch her, lead her and give her strength and she will share that. I will continue to scream that THIS IS NOT FAIR. But, I know deep down that God is with us and I know that we can see God working it miraculous ways. I can point to numerous things and go there is no way to explain what is happening; it has to be God.

In the next few days, weeks, or months, I may be receiving a job offer and that job offer  may not be in Indiana and we will be looking at being separated for the school year / treatment process. If we do that, I am sure many will not understand and maybe question us and that is okay. We are navigating these potholes as we come to them. There is no road map on how to do it. I am so thankful for friends and family members that have gave sacrilegiously for us to keep our head above water till we (I) have a job that can provide finances and insurance for my family.

David in Psalms 40 says the following

I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock

I think we are still in the mud, but are slowly being pulled out of the mud. I am looking forward to the solid rock and being hosed down and cleaned as we give thanks to God. To follow Bee's story / updates / leave comments / give financially; you can visit us here: Beating The Brain Tumor

Friday, August 10, 2012

8th Grade ... Here We Go

Yesterday, I took Isaiah and Jacob to preview day at their school. I cannot believe that it is now 8th grade. They saw old classmates, walked the halls, got their class scheduled, found their lockers and more.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Bee's Needs

We are using Go Fund Me to help us raise money for Bethany's medical expenses. We have already accumulated quite a bit and will have plenty more as we journey through the next 70 weeks. We will be using the funds for the following expenses:

- past medical bills for her
- Cobra insurance payments
- deductibles
- pharmacy prescriptions
- traveling costs to the hospital

If you want to donate, please visit Bee's Needs


Interview Questions

I am hopefully winding up my ministry search. It is my hope and dream that this time next week, I will be able to announce that I have officially landed a ministry position and what the job entails. However, in this post, I want to share with you 3 questions that one church sent to me. I interviewed with numerous churches and filled out quite a few per-screening questionnaires.  Some were very good and some were just plain awful in my opinion. The following from one church though (imo) was the best introductory questions ask. I think that after receiving the answers from the candidates, that they would definitely be able to narrow down the candidates. Here they are and combined the answers could only be 2-3 pages.

1. Please tell us about your self-understanding as a follower of Jesus Christ,
and how it relates to your potential role as Family Ministry Director.

2. Please give us as many examples as possible of the following outcomes
resulting from your past ministry leadership:

a. Numerical and spiritual growth of children, youth, and/or family
ministry. Please include details if possible.

b. Effective management of a large-scale ministry program that called
for visioning, strategic planning, long-range calendaring, and
responsible budgeting.

c. Effective identification, training, and oversight of individual leaders
and leadership teams.

d. New and meaningful relationships among families in the
congregation where you were serving.

e. Effective pastoral care (outreach, counseling, crisis response) to
children, youth, and their families.

3. What are your impressions of tour denomination? Are there
any aspects of our denominationst theology or polity that you would
struggle to support? What is your general approach to theological,
political, and social diversity within a congregation?

Killing the Sacred Cow

 The article below is not all about Killing the Sacred Cow, but it is an element. Here is the article:

What Changes Would a New YP Make at your Church

Over the years, I have seen many sacred cows; have you ?

What are some of them ?
What are some of them that need to be killed ?

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Casting the Vision

Antoine de Saint Exupery said, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
I think that this is such a valuable quote about leadership and vision casting. The greatest challenge that faces church leaderships today is building the right team to join you in the mission that has been cast.

One of the reasons that I went back to school after seminary and received a degree in Organizational Leadership Development was the reason stated above. We do a terrible job in finding leaders, training them and then integrating them into ministry.

This quote though puts a whole new spin on the perspective and how we should / could do leadership.

I like what Leonard Sweet says in the following sentence:

Great leadership is less trying to find people to "fit in" than finding people who can "fit together"

A few thoughts to think about and a few thoughts that I will be chewing on when I step into a new leadership role.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Portia the Port

Here is a picture of Bethany and her Granny in the chair. Bethany is playing bowling against Granny and taking Granny to the woodshed. Of course, it is not too fair to play Bethany no how good you are; she scores a perfect 300 almost every game. Anyways, we were in the waiting room waiting for the doctor to come in and give us the instructions of the day.

We had to be at the hospital at 5:45 for registration, the wait game and all the preliminary work that goes into surgery. Her surgery was set for 7:30 and it lasted about 90 minutes. The surgical procedure that she was having done was putting the port into her chest. The port is where she will receive her chemotherapy. Since, she will have the port for over 70 weeks and become very close to it, the port needed a name and she gave it the name Portia the Port.

I will be updating about here journey here but you can also follow her story a little more closely through my wife. She is sharing the experience through the caring bridge network. The link is here.

Bethany is a character and her spirit is unbelievable. Here is one small example from the day at the hospital:

The "child-life specialist" just came in to talk to Bee about her surgery and decorate her mask. She asked Bee if she remembered how she went to sleep for her last surgery, meaning breathing in the anesthesia. Bethany answered "talking". Lol. She laughed and laughed and said she had never gotten that answer before. It was hilarious.
Thanks for the prayers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chemotherapy for Bee

I put this picture up on facebook yesterday with the following introduction:

Dear Tumors: She may look cute and innocent but she is rotten & strong and she is going to kick your butt over the next 70 weeks.
More in formation coming later in the week when I get back from my interview. But this is what I put on facebook on Friday after we met with the oncology department on Thursday:

Yesterday was a day that I had dreaded for awhile. In a sense, it felt like a nightmare that you knew was true but hoping it was not or that it would be diverted that was coming into reality at the present moment. We sat in the doctors office and heard the news about Bee's tumor on/near her brain stem and that now is the time for chemo. So, my brave little Bee will begin 70 (yes 70) weeks of chemo very soon. Thank you God for my exceptional daughter and thank-you for creating individuals who are talented beyond imagination that will be treating my daughter.

The journey begins soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shoot for Mediocrity ?


It is a word that you hear frequently in the church world. We must do everything that we do with excellence. Sometimes, it comes in the following way: we are going to "eliminate" some of our programs and ministries, so that we are only doing a few things and we will do them with "excellence".

I have to be honest. I cringe at the word excellence when it comes to the church world. I do not think that it has to do with me not thinking that I can produce 'excellence". Rather it comes with my hesitation if that is what we should be aiming for and I am not sure if that is what god intended or Jesus aimed for in HIS ministry.

If we are going to shoot for excellence, that means that we are going to have to eliminate many people from ministry. Here are a few examples:

Jenny, I know that you love to sing but we just cannot have you in the praise team.
Jon, we have to move you off the AV, the sound is just "not right"
Alex, your "theatrics" are over the top; we will use someone else for the skit

We create an A-team, so we can put the best performers on the stage and ministry venue so we can create "excellence" and folks will go away impressed with how we execute and be encouraged to invite new people for this unbelievable experience.

This past Sunday, I went to a "downtown" church and they had a VBS kick-off. They may have had 10 kids. They had has many adults there grilling hot dogs, doing tattoos and a Tye-die project and playing the parachute game. It was so simple.  Yet individuals there were loving their time WITH ONE ANOTHER and everyone felt that they belonged. Any talent-scout or head-hunters would have quickly exited, I am sure -- not finding what they were looking for. However, it was beautiful.

I have a very loose connection with Karl. I have never met him. I have never talked to him. But, i am aware of his church community and love (from a distance) what they are doing. He did an article recently on striving for mediocrity not excellence and it got me pondering and thinking. The article is linked below:

Mediocrity is the Goal

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Campaign: 25-4-HN

Today, I am launching a campaign that I am calling 25-4-HN

I hope and pray that you will join me in this adventure and be one of the twenty-five that will step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Below is an explanation of the campaign and what 25-4-HN stands for.

HN is the abbreviation for Honduras. Recently, Stacey and I began sponsoring a 7 year old girl whose name is Gelsey and she lives in Honduras. She and her two sisters live with their parents and reside in the village of San Pedro Sula.

Honduras is a land of contrast. It is a place that is known for its lush subtropical paradise and  some of the most pristine beaches in the world. However, at the same time, UNICEF reports that over 70% of the country lives in poverty; Gelsey and her family being one of them. Their family income is just over $105 a month. They live in a one-room concrete block home.

Children International has a strong presence in the country and they are making a difference. One of the most difficulty aspects of the poor in Honduras is that they struggle to learn. The classrooms and resources for the schools in poor areas are inadequate. Couple that with the families need their children working and not in school; it is a vicious cycle that children and teens are caught up in. Reports are that over 25% of the population over 15 is illiterate.

Health care for the poor is almost non-existent. the hospitals do not have adequate supplies and there are simply just not enough beds for all the patients who need care. However, there is a beacon of light and hope. Children International (sponsored communities) is able to provide regular parasite treatment, training on disease prevention and hygiene supplies and these clinics are making a HUGE impact in the community.

So, I am kicking off this campaign for Honduras and I am simply calling it 25-4-HN (Twenty-five individuals becoming sponsors for children in Honduras). From friends that I meet on a daily/weekly basis, to those on facebook, through the blog world and more, I think that we can get 25 individuals willing to sponsor a child in Honduras by August 31st.

So, will you take the challenge? Will you be one of the twenty-five?

The sponsorship is only $25 a month and Children International is constantly at 85% of the funds going directly to the child (very minimal administrative cost). The $25 will go directly to a child. You will be able to communicate with them and receive updates. The small amount will help provide, education, health care and community centers where they can learn and play in a safe environment.

You can message me directly on facebook:

You can comment here in the comment section

You can email me at

Once you contact me, I will send you a packet with your child from Honduras. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of a child in Honduras. Below is a photo of a road and home similar to where a child that you sponsor may live:

A big dream .... for some of us who are part of this campaign to go and see the children that we are sponsoring next summer. That could be chapter two. But, first, we are on chapter one. I want/need 25 individuals to make an impact in Honduras. Are you one of them ?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Through Hands

In a recent article that I read, I came across this statement:

The fastest way to a person’s heart is through their hands.
When I look back at ministry and where I have seen growth in our students, I would absolutely agree with that statement. The article continues with this statement:

It’s serving that ignites a passion in the hearts of people. It’s what moves faith from the pages of Scripture and makes it real.
I think that many of us would agree with this, yet we continue to pour most of our time and commitment into worship., small groups, bible studies and educational opportunities. Now, do not get me wrong or the article; these are good things and help ignite growth but service is vital.

This ties back into Sticky Faith: service (mission) helps faith stick.

One of the points that I try to keep sharing is that we are part of God's story. We are not isolated, we are part of the story. The story is one of restoration and redemption. Part of the story is serving and participating. The article continues with the following statement:

By not providing opportunities for students to engage in serving within our churches regularly, we potentially rob them of the most life changing opportunity we have as followers of Jesus, being a part of God’s story.
You can read the full article: Heart Change Through Hands Not Heads

Ministry Search

I am still searching for the next ministry position. We have thrown the net wide and deep. To date, I have sent out 210 resumes and they have expanded to 36 states. To the 14 states that I have not sent them to, I apologize. Mostly out of coincidence (I believe), Indiana (36) and Ohio (20) lead in the category of the states with the most resumes.

We have had some great interviews and there are some tremendous churches out there. But, the match has not yet occurred. We are still praying the following prayer:

God, rain down the no's till the right yes comes along.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Involvment in the Community

On Sunday night, I was watching the Secret Millionaire. I cannot remember the name of the individual, but he was a business consultant in Chicago-land.

The episode was really good and he blessed three great individuals/organizations.

He had two statements that stood out to me and one that I have been chewing on hard.

1. He went 40 miles from his home but commented that it could have been 40,000 (stark difference)
2. After a few days of serving: he felt part of the community

When I think back between Ohio / Indiana, I think that is where the BIG difference lies.

When we lived in Ohio, we were so much more involved in serving in the community and really connected to the town. That has not occurred much in Indiana. I think that alot of it does have to do with dempgraphics, where we live (neighborhood) and a whole bunch more.

But, from Wooster, I can tell you that when you live, serve and volunteer in the community that there is a great connection. I still remember Meals on Wheels, Bridges out of poverty, Salvation Army, Viola Free Medical Clinic and more .... loved serving/connecting with them.

Just thinking about the importance of connecting, loving and serving where you are at ....

Monday, July 02, 2012

Make A Difference

 I am partnering with an organization called Children International. Here is a little information on Children International:

Children International's mission is to help children living in dire poverty. Through the generosity of contributors, we provide needy children with a variety of programs and services to meet their basic needs, enhance their self-esteem and raise their physical and educational levels in a meaningful, lasting way. Since 1936, Children International has been providing assistance to children and families struggling in terrible poverty.

About Us

I am looking for individuals that would be willing to sponsor children in 11 different third-world countries. Their sponsorship is $25 a month. The $25 help cover medical expenses, education and a community center for the children. Children International is constantly at 85% of the funds going directly to the children; thus the administrative costs are very low.

Would you sponsor a child ?
If so, please contact me via my email account:
We can talk about the country, boy or girl, age and more.

Can I speak about Children International ?
Would it be possible for me to come to your church, business, social organization or .... to speak about children International and have a table set up with the children available for sponsorship.

We can make a difference

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Quick Trip to South Carolina

Wednesday night, I worked the night shift and after the night shift, I drove to the airport. I flew out to South Carolina via Baltimore. When I arrived in South Carolina, I was given a quick tour of the town and went to the church for a brief tour of the church building and then the interview. I really enjoyed the interview as it was more about stories. After the interview, I had dinner with the senior pastor and his wife and we talked about life and a little ministry.

I then retired for the night because I was going to have to get up at 4 am to fly back to Indianapolis. I received a phone call from Southwest at 3:55 to tell me that my flight was cancelled (weather-Chicago) and I needed to rebook. I was able to grab a 2 pm afternoon flight. The "delay" was beneficial because I was able to spend a few more hours in the town and looked at a few houses (drive by).

I got back into Indianapolis at 8pm. Then made a quick drive to see my wife and daughter for 45 minutes before heading back out for the next night shift.

The ministry position is an interesting position and I think that we could be a good fit. Now, it is a wait and see game as I wait to hear from Minnesota, South Carolina and North Carolina. I also have three interviews set for the next nine days.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anne Lamott on Sandusky

I have to be honest, I did not follow the trial. I was not glued to the tv to hear the verdict. I did hear the verdict and then I saw some discussion via facebook and the folks that I work with. Yesterday, Anne Lamott made some comments on Twitter and then took it to her facebook page.

Within 24 hours, 111 people shared her post, 928 people liked what she said and 322 people have made comments. Folks are interested in the story and the ramifications that it has in our culture.

I first heard Anne speak in 2006 and enjoyed her stories, her journey and the thoughts that she proposed and continues to prose for us to wrestle with.

On Sandusky, she begins with God's love and how he/she loves him. Here is what she wrote:

No matter how much we all hate this, God loves Jerry Sandusky as much as He or She loves our grandchildren. That's the mystery of Grace, that you just can't get God to stop loving you or anyone else. It's crazy love, way way beyond my comfort zone. That was the message of the stunning movie, Gods and Men, which is maybe the most profound movie about Christ's Love I've ever seen.
God just Loves, period. Go figure. 

God's love is mind-blowing.

She then touches on the words of her priest which touches on God's love but also the bravery of the young men in this case who faced the man who did horrendous things to them. This is what the Priest said;

As my Episcopal priest friend said today, "Yes, God loving Sandusky as much as S/He loves a child is what's so boring about the Divine Love. More interesting, dazzling even, is the bravery of the young men." Amen. 
She concludes with the following piece:

It's such a horrible tragic mess that I cannot imagine personal or collective healing without God stepping directly into it. I believe there will be enormous change and healing as a result of the tragedy, and the courage shown and the forgiveness that will surely ensue. I don't put anything past God. When all is said and done, His love and intelligence are sovereign over this earth.
People will cheer when he is killed in prison, which he almost inevitably will be. Forgiveness takes what it takes. The courage to forgive is definitely not my strong suit. 

The comments are all over the board. It is a tough subject. It is a conversation that needs to be out there. Conversations on protecting our children, conversations on safe sanctuary policies to protect children and adults, and then God's grace.

Those who believe in God, may cringe to think about the possibility of him being in the Kingdom if her repents. Many cringe just at the thought of God loving him, how can that be. Then the final blow when we utter words like the following:

Sandusky is a child of God made in His image ....

A subject to wrestle with for sure.


This past week, I went up to Minnesota for an interview. I am still not sharing what churches / exact location. the church was a great church and it is a church that is in "transition" in the fact of defining who it is and the impact that they will have on the community. The ministry position was a "specialized" role in the fact that it would focus on middle school ministry.

I am not sure if we are going to be an exact match but I will definitely be interested in following their journey. If they would call and extend an offer and I would accept, I think that the potential for great things to occur and that the partnership would be a very good one.

During the 5 hours there, I had the opportunity to chat with the Senior Pastor. The conversation was casual yet focused on ministry and change. I then had the opportunity to spend 45 minutes with 10 of their middle school students. It was a blank canvas on what to do. It was an entertaining time. I then had a tour of the church campus and engaged in stories about the church and community. Following the tour, I had an hour interview and part of the interview was me teaching a lesson to middle school students. Following the interview, I had lunch with the "Family Pastor".

Overall, a very good experience. It has been interesting journey the last four months. We are still in time of discernment and it will be interesting to see where our next step will be.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gracious Gifts

This past weekend, we have received two gracious financial gifts.

These two gifts have now given us some more time to breathe and relax as we search for the next steps in our lives. The gifts will enable us to cover two months of rent and utilities which is an immense help.

Thus, I just wanted to thank those individuals (without naming them) for their AMAZING gift and say because of your generosity, we are able to have less stress in our lives for a little longer and we will not have to make a drastic change OR say "yes" to a job / ministry that may not be the best fit; just because we need the money.

Thank-you God for continuing to watch over us in this time of transition.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Equality: Men Take These Steps

My friend Kathy wrote a fantastic piece yesterday. Of course that is a little redundant in the fact that everything she writes is golden. But, she was sharing on equality and gave 5 actions for men to follow and do to help in this area and since I am a man and need to follow her advice, I am sharing the information with you.

5 actions for men:

1. “advocate” – i love the Greek word for this–parakletos–because it is used to describe the holy spirit and means “summoned, called to one’s side or aid”.  advocating for equality means coming alongside and using voices & power & influence on behalf of change, supporting women in all kinds of ways, and calling out injustices instead of remaining silent.

2. “invite” – ask and ask some more. invite your wives & sisters & daughters to show up more fully to dreams, to  friendship, to leadership, to heart-to-heart conversations, to partnerships, to life.

3. “risk” – actively risk your pride, power & control, reputations, comfort on behalf of change. these are all things Jesus tells us are worth losing as we follow him. put them on the line and trust God will show the way.
4. “submit” –  listen deeply to each other and respond humbly. let go of winning or being “right”. defer to wisdom and giftedness tempered by humility. lead and follow.

5. “encourage” – draw out your wives’ & sisters’ & daughters’ gifts and passions and give them love & tangible support to try what needs trying. celebrate what’s good, honor courage, affirm.

If you want to read the whole article, please go visit her article.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Homosexuality: God's Grace

This past week, the topic of homosexuality has been everywhere I have turned on my online sites. From Facebook status in my news feed, to Facebook group conversation,  and my youth ministry forum that I am part of. It continues to be a hot issue and an issue that is divisive.

I am probably too vocal and push it too far and maybe even play the devil's advocate to some extreme cases at times, but I do so and will probably continue to do so, so individuals can think and wrestle with their thoughts.

Part of me is still hurting because of Christ The Savior. I saw how this issue divided the church and how individuals who loved each other and worshiped together and served together decided in the end that we could not do it any longer because some viewed it as a sin and some viewed it as not a sin.

It is definitely not easy. For those who believe it is a sin, they feel that they must be vocal and stand up for it because they must stay true to the Scripture and to the Truth and not back down or be "soft". For those who believe that it is not a sin (and there are individuals who believe that it is not a sin and have come to that conclusion through reading Scripture, looking at word origins and praying), they feel like they are outcast and not 'biblical" enough and their voice will not be heard. The "conservative" then would not allow the "liberal" to speak because it is anti-scripture. It is scary but at times, I wish we had "open-spaces" where we could have Scripture read and we could be open, honest and raw and all voices could be heard on where we stand and how we got there and wrestle with the issue.

I, personally, love the "big umbrella" approach so as many diverse thoughts as possible could still be together and we can continue to love God, love one another and worship and serve together ---- no matter what are views are. Scary though, right ?

So, onto God's grace. God's grace in this story is not about homosexuality. It is about those outside of the walls of the church. It is my fear that there are individuals who will not hear about God's grace because of the fighting inside the walls of the church. Those outside need to hear about his Grace, they need to hear about the story of restoration and redemption and that they are part of HIS bigger story. But, it may not happen because of the in-fighting and the in-fighting extends way beyond homosexuality; that is just the hot-button.

I have friends on all sides. It is a sin. It is a sin that is worst than most. It is not a sin. It is a sin but we all sin.

I just hope that we can make sure that we do not hamper extending God's grace.

Should I hit publish ???

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I Am Done !!

Stick A Fork In Me, I Am Done with this job search.

Over the last 4 months, I have sent out over 225 resumes. These resumes have covered 4 continents and 37 different states. The 225 resumes have been a combination of ministry and secular positions. I have had approximately 20 interviews and with those, I have had face to face interviews in 7 different states.

During that time, I have worked one part time job constantly (32-40 hours a week) and one temp part job for 3 months, the hours there were 15-25 hours a week. So, at times, I have been working 50-60 hours a week while searching and I am spent.

Last month though as I entered into month 4, my energy plummeted because of numerous reasons:

- only working one part-time night job (32 hours a week)
- getting the wonderful: you were second --- five times
- not being able to find a part time morning/afternoon job
- running out of churches who have given positives
- being turned down on some business opportunities
- no's coming from a few places which could have kept us here in Fishers (kids sake)
- summer is here and want to spend time with the kids

The major frustration is that money is running low and with just the one job, it is rough and I would love to work a 2nd job and push it to 60-70 hours a week until I land a full-time position. But, I cannot land it. It is frustrating and sad to be turned down by grocery stores, department stores, restaurants and more.

So, I am done. Stick a Fork in Me. I am going to the couch and watch tv. Please do not bother me.

Now, everything is true with the exception of the last line. I am not done and I am not going to stop and I keep dreaming. There are shimmers of light. one of those come from Minnesota. I have a third interview in two weeks.

However, as I was stocking shelves at 3:30 am and was thinking about life and praying. I came to the image of stick that fork in me. I am no where close and do not believe that I would ever be at a place where I would quit --- not me. BUT, I can see where people would come to that point.

Searching for a job is hard.
Having no extra money to do things is rough.

So, where does this lead me .....

It leads me to think of those who are down and out and who have given up. I understand (in a sense) how you chose to give up. My heart goes out to those who have nothing to look forward to. My heart breaks for individuals who are in jobs that they really do not want to be doing.

It also has once again awaken me to the importance of you finding your passion, your love and serving/working out of. But, then, realizing, how hard it is if you are not doing what your heart desires.

Hopefully, you read through this and did not think that I am giving up. No way. It has been a long journey and I hope that it is coming to a close. If not, I will keep my head up and keep plugging along and keep praying the prayer: "God rain down the no's till the yes comes where we will be met with your will"

Of course, I joked yesterday that I may shift my prayer to God, just give me a yes. Also besides the prayer, I might be dreaming of a way to support those going on a same journey of not working where their passion lies.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Jeffrey Paul Greathouse

      8446 Traders Court – Fishers, In 46038 (330) 234-1317


Personality Strengths

-         Step up and get people, things, and organizations mobilized for action
-         Provide structure, direction and clarity of focus
-         Follow through to see that tasks are done correctly and results are seen
-         Finds flaws and corrects them in advance

Contributions to the Organization

-         Lead by planning, providing direction, and assigning responsibilities
-         Influence by modeling the standards and commitment they expect from others
-         Focus on structuring tasks so goals are met

Core Operating Values

-         Common sense practicality
-         Categorizing aspects of life
-         Scheduling and monitoring
-         Task-focused behavior

Career Objective

My goal is to partner with business that will enable me to use my education, gifts and talents to help them achieve their desired goals. I will cast the vision and ensure that the objectives are carried out and met.

Natural  Gifts

Leadership, Administration and Teaching


BA in Organizational Leadership Development (June 1999)                                                                                                              Wheeling Jesuit University: Wheeling, WV

BA in Christian Education: Emphasis in Church and Family Life (May 1994)                                                           Lincoln Christian College: Lincoln, Illinois

MA in Practical Ministry  Emphasis in Church Growth and Evangelism (May 1996)
            Cincinnati Christian University: Cincinnati, Ohio


Working Three Concurrent Part-Time Positions While Looking For Full-Time Position

Marsh Supermarket, Zionsville, IN
Night stocking: working 4 nights away – stocking shelves at the local grocery store

Metro Plastic, Noblesville, IN
Hurco machine operator – working on a Whirlpool washing machine project

Children International, Kansas City, MO (company headquarters)
Faith Partnership representative- connecting individuals to third world children

Minister to Youth and Families (June 2010 – February 2012)                 
Christ the Savior Lutheran Church: Fishers, Indiana  
Ø      Oversaw 5-12 grade; averaged 100 students and adult leaders on Sundays
Ø      Promoted big group/small group mentality for our confirmation ministry
Ø      Created inter-generational ministry into the midst of our ministry
Ø      Emphasized service focus believing that when students serve that they will connect to God on a deeper level and their faith will grow
Ø      Partnered CTS with Meet Me Under the Bridge to serve the homeless                      

Director of Youth and Family Ministries (June 2007 – June 2010)              
Zion Lutheran Church: Wooster, Ohio  
Ø      Oversaw ministry from preschool – high school
Ø      Promoted community involvement for our downtown church
Ø      Created a family service (Sunday night) for those not connected to the church
Ø      Increased Vacation Bible School participation by 50%

Transportation Coordinator (October 2009 – June 2010)              
Goodwill Industries of Wayne & Holmes County: Wooster, Ohio  
Ø      Oversaw the car sales lot (accepted car donation, set price and sold cars)
Ø      Coordinated Schedule for Work first Training Participants (Pick-Up)
Ø      Oversaw the car fleet used for Goodwill transportation
Ø      Driver for WFT participants (interviews, job training, and work preparation)

Ministers to Students (June 2006 – June 2007)              
Christ United Methodist Church: Lafayette, Indiana  
Ø      Oversaw student ministry from grades 7-12
Ø      Developed a comprehensive Sunday night ministry philosophy
Ø      Led the confirmation ministry program
Ø      Developed outreach nights to attract the local junior high / high school students

Director of Student Ministries (June 2003 – June 2006)                 
Discovery United Methodist Church: Hoover, Alabama  
Ø      Oversaw ministry to students in grades 7-12 (100+ students)
Ø      Created, Designed, Developed, and Administered a Friday Night ministry
Ø      Ministry night: dinner, worship, big group teaching / small group discussion
Ø      Developed ministry/mission opportunities for our students to connect in service
Ø      Created ministry name, mission statement, and philosophy of ministry

Minister to Students (June 2000 – June 2003)                 
Winchester First United Methodist Church: Winchester, Kentucky  
Ø      First UMC was a downtown church with a rich ministry heritage
Ø      Oversaw the student ministry for students in grades 7-12
Ø      Developed two ministries: junior high and high school ministry
Ø      Oversaw the Holy Week activities: including Good Friday Re-enactment
Ø      Developed and Administered a Rotational Ministry format for students

Community Involvement
Ø      Route Driver for Meals For Wheels
Ø      Board of Directors for Move the Mountain (Moving Individuals out of poverty)
Ø      Medical Record Filer for Viola Free Medical Clinic
Ø      Partnered with Meet Me Under the Bridge (Feed the Homeless)
Ø      Relay For Life Participant