The Whole Story: telling the whole story of redevelopment

29 months ago at the request of my Bishop, I walked into Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Columbia SC to fill in after a pastor suddenly retired due to some health concerns. Later that afternoon, I met with the church council to discuss the possibility of contracting with them for long term. I recognize and own that I am not a “normal” Lutheran pastor, what ever that means. I am tattooed and have spiky hair, but deeper than my affinity for hair gel and ink there is a deep burning desire to bring discipleship back to the core of the church. We entered into a short term contract to test drive the relationship and see what God might be calling us to do together. Meanwhile, I started a second job as a corrections officer in a maximum security prison in South Carolina and began taking classes at the South Carolina Department of Corrections Academy. This is where our journey begins. God calling me out of my comfort zone, into the prison and into a church struggling to thrive, barely surviving.

 

This is the whole story, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly of Redevelopment. This is my story. I invite you into this journey of redevelopment and renewal, where as we explore all that God is doing in our midst.  I feel God calling me to journal and reflect on my experiences and the expression of redevelopment during this new season. This won’t be a perfect journey, nor will everyone agree with my tactics or my vocabulary. My hope in journaling this epic adventure is two fold, one that I am better able to reflect on my leadership and two – maybe, just maybe someone else might know they are not alone and you can do church differently. Culture change is long and slow, especially in the religious centers of our lives.

 

I never claim to be professional writer or grammarian… But what follows is a personal story of growth and development as a leader, pastor, husband, and friend…

 

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