A Hidden Life Update
I am very grateful to all of you for your prayers and moral support as we launch this new venture. I wanted to take a moment just to update you on where things stand as of this moment.
Conferences behind me
Since the first of the year, we’ve done Three Hidden Life conferences at three different churches.
Paragon Church in Rio Rancho
The Journey Fellowship in Albuquerque
Christ Lutheran Church and School in Albuquerque
I want to thank all three of these churches for their hospitality and enthusiasm. It was an honor to be part of their continuing efforts to disciple and care for their congregations. I look forward to my continue relationships with Matt, Derek and Leslie. All Three of these leaders blessed me and have been enthusiastic about continuing our partnerships. In fact, one of them, Paragon, has become the new home church for me and my family and the Chronological Bible Study (The Journey) which I’ve been teaching for 7 years, will continue under their umbrella.
From these three experiences I learned several positive things:
There is a greater openness to unity and cross denominational partnership, than I had anticipated. Each of these leaders I worked with reflect a humility which gives credit to their intentions to lead their congregations to growth, by whatever appropriate means.
I am no longer the youngest pastor in the room. I was ordained at the age of 21 and for many years I was the supportive, inexperienced, zealous, and young pastor. IN many ways, I’ve never mentally shed that image…until now. As I partnered with these other churches I have begun to realize that, while I desire to maintain and appropriate expectation of learning from these earnest laborers, I am now on the other side of the coin, where I have experience, coaching, guidance, and wisdom to offer. Oddly, I had not realized this aspect of my ministry as fully as I do now.
I love to support people. Not just churches or structures or ideas, but people. I knew this and have long done this as a pastor, but now as I work with other churches, I’m finding my heart reaches out to the solo pastor, the overworked youth leader. I want to help. I want to encourage, and support. I think as I move forward with the conferences, learning how best to help the leaders while I”m there, and after I’m gone, is part of the ministry as well.
I feel God’s joy when I teach. Eric LIddel, from the great movie, Chariots of Fire, says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” I’ve had numerous opportunities to teach, possibly more since I was a pastor, and each teaching affirms that I am gleefully compelled to do so, that I am energized, strengthened and frequently learn best when I teach.
Opportunities ahead of me
In two days I get on a plane for Illinois. While there, I have several opportunities to share God’s grace and good news with different churches and groups.
Sunday Night, February 23: Harvest Time Bible Church
Monday Night February 24: Celebrate Recovery
Tuesday Night February 25: The Coalition: Community Youth Ministry.
Friday and Saturday: Hidden Life Conference with CRU
Sunday Night: March 2: Harvest Time Youth Ministry
I’m excited about these opportunities! If you’d like to come to any of these events, and you are in the area, just let me know!
After Illinois I get back for a few days and then hit the road again, this time for Colorado. I’ll be taking one of my two regular assistants (those being my oldest daughters) to what is shaping up to be my largest conference so far. Great Commission is the denomination which discipled me through my college years and beyond, and for which I pastored for two decades. They are family to me and I am delighted to have an opportunity to do the Hidden Life Conference for this pastor’s and leader’s gathering.
At the end of March it’s off to a Great Commission Church in El Paso where my good friend Steve Nelson pastors the Rio Church. Another incredible opportunity to labor with my brother in Christ on the Wall, discipling the flock.
These are just some of the upcoming events, but as you can see, March is a bit of a banner month for my emerging conference. Please pray for each of these opportunities. Pray that people are set free, lives are truly changed, that hearts and minds are moved to seek life only in Christ and no where else.
Pray also that each of these opportunities would produce more opportunities.
Today I attempted to line up some of my waterfowl by visiting with a CPA, who graciously donated me an hour of his time, and registering my business with the State of New Mexico. Currently I’ve opted for a sole proprietorship for simplicity. Pray that I would be wise about keeping these quacking birds in single file and that the ministry would not be derailed by missing any important details.
If you know of anyone who would benefit from having me in for a conference or other speaking engagement, or even attending any of these mentioned above, just let me know. In coming weeks, I’ll be introducing other possible resources from Bible studies to videos as well. And of course, continue to pass along my book. That and other items of interest from this blog are linked below. If you purchase them by going through these links, it’s an easy way to support the Hidden Life Ministry.
Chariots of Fire Premeditated Parenting
(By my Friend Steve Nelson, Pastor at Rio Church) The Hidden Life Celebrate Recovery Chronological Bible