Well, 2015 didn’t go at all as I was expecting. Most years don’t, but it seemed like God worked above and beyond this year (and tested us constantly while He was doing it). Here’s my top 3 big things of 2015.
Obviously, the biggest 2015 change for us came in March when Caleb was born. Watching him grow has been one of the biggest joys of my entire life. The lack of sleep, repeated watchings of “Baby Genius: Nursery Rhymes,” and constant smell of poop throughout our house has been completely worth it. My wife and son are incredible, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’ve loved making the change from a family of 2 to a family of 3!
Obviously, the big recent news of 2015 was the planting of Genesis Church. It became obvious to Jeff, Ben, myself, and several others that Audrain County needed a different type of church. The Missouri Baptist Convention places Audrain County at around 70% unchurched, so we knew that with the number of churches that are reaching a different demographic, we needed to be different to have an effect on the unchurched population. I can definitely speak for the other leaders when I say that this was a big step of faith. We all quit jobs, started jobs, left jobs, turned down ministry jobs, changed insurance policies, redid our budgets, started new ministry approaches from scratch, built new ministries, and the list goes on and on. One of our trusted advisors even asked us if this would ruin our resumes if something went wrong. Yup, it definitely could. But we went out on faith, and obviously it’s going pretty well as we wait for our official launch on Easter. Oh, and by the way…it was one of the best moments of 2015 when I found out that both the guys that I had pastored with for years would be helping with the launch. I was also pretty thrilled when people that I knew had a heart for ministry began jumping in to help out with various aspects of ministry.
I think any of my thoughts about 2015 would be highly incomplete if I didn’t get to my short stint selling cars. Obviously, this was something we did in order to make Genesis work. Despite the long hours, this was a pretty enjoyable time. I worked with some great people that I am very appreciative of. I have been in vocational ministry for 9 years in February. While I got and am continuing to get great education, 99% of pastors will tell you that their best education came from experience. I’m pretty sure the other 1% haven’t gotten the right experience yet. It’s odd, but it seems like some of my best ministry experience came from car sales. It taught me a good deal about culture, relevancy, and how church needs to work to reach people. It taught me about what people think of God outside of the church walls. I’m incredibly grateful to God for giving me this experience and the people I worked with for getting me through it.