This is indeed big news. At least, for my family and I.
On February 28, in two Sundays, I will preach “In View of A Call” at Fellowship Baptist Church in Marble Falls, Texas. For my friends who are not Baptist, what that means is I will preach that morning, and then the church will vote whether or not to ‘extend a call’ to me. In essence, they will vote on whether or not they want me to be their new pastor. I will then give an answer. That is the way most Baptists choose a new pastor.
It is a surprising, and exciting, turn of events. When I left Port Orchard in the summer of 2013, I didn’t know if I would ever pastor full time again. I intended to focus on writing. We remained ecclesiastically active, though, joining Fellowship and becoming involved, because church is an important part of our lives, and we believe it is God’s plan for the world. In July of 2015 our pastor left to take a position at Truett Seminary (Baylor University) in Waco. He is a wonderful man and was a great pastor, so I was mad at him for leaving. The church began looking for the next pastor. I wasn’t interested because I was writing about lake monsters and murderous mavens trying to kill Butch Gregory.
What I didn’t see at the time was the Lord’s gentle moving inside Mrs. Greenbean and I that this was his plan, and we had a part to play in that plan. The gentle affirmation and encouragement from the wonderful people at Fellowship was an important part of the process. It has been a unique time to be a member of a church first, get to know people, then hear the calling toward leadership come later. It has also been wonderful to create new friendships.
Those who know me know that I have spent a long time reflecting on this call. I wondered at first if this was merely me missing the ministry at Port Orchard, which I loved very much. I also thought about the “ego” part of pastoring. Those who pastor know what I mean. I also pondered whether or not I was ready for the paperwork-bureaucracy-admin skulduggery that goes with pastoring. In the end, I came to the conclusion the Lord was giving me a new challenge as well as a blessing.
We look forward to the future. Writing will still be an important part of my life (a new Butch Gregory novel is due out soon), living on the lake will still be a part of our mojo, and our family life will continue to revolve around our close connection to each other. Without a doubt, though, our lives are changing and we think for the better. Please pray for us and our church as we seek the Lord’s will.