Today, I am writing while simultaneously “watching” my grandson Jude.  Jude is 19 months old and seems to be content pulling everything off my book case in my office and crawling through my closet into exciting exploration.  So far, I have heard no glass break and he is not crying, so in my estimation, all is well.

As I think about Jude and all the other wonderful children we have in our church, I want them to have a church life similar to, if not better than what we are experiencing right now. I want them to enjoy their place in God’s heart because of GRACE, comprehending their identity as sons and daughters of God and not mere sinners. I want them living in the knowledge that they have been given the gift of righteousness by the finished work of Jesus on the cross and resurrection, reigning in life through the King of Life who loves them.

I don’t want them struggling with dead religion and tradition.  I want them to say “yes” to God and “no” to religion.  I also want them to be aware of the distinct privilege to not only be intimate with God but living a Kingdom lifestyle.  I want them engaged in changing their world because the “Great One” lives within them and that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength.

I want my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all their friends in love with Jesus and walking with Him as He establishes His Kingdom everywhere.  When Father’s will is being established, the Kingdom of God has been expanded and extended.

Because Roi Lene and I have a profound love for our church, we don’t have retirement on our mind.  I cannot tell the future but as long as our health allows, we want to continue to contribute to our church, helping her become all that she is destined to be. In March, I will be officially launching into my new Associate Pastor/Founding Pastor job description.

Here’s what my new role look like…

  1. Mentoring our Teaching Team and coaching future Church Planters and leaders is high on our “to do list”. We have no interest in searching the world over for my replacement.  I believe Father has already placed wonderfully gifted people who will lead and teach with power.  God wants a TEAM of gifted, enthused Jesus lovers who teach and lead from their heart and handle well the Word of God.
  2. Advising our staff when needed. Right now, I attend all staff meetings and work closely with our staff and leadership. In a few years, Roi Lene and I will serve in the same way on an “as needed” basis.  Drawing from 40 years of pastoral experience will be helpful in the years to come.
  3. Helping develop a leadership team who will oversee Baby Boomer Ministries in HVC. From Small Groups to fun events to Care Ministries to Mentoring Opportunities, our older members still have purpose and power in God’s heart and we don’t want this great generation limping to the finish line. We want to finish well and help others finish well.
  4. Writing the book God has placed on our heart. This will be a collaborative effort between Roi Lene and I but we want to write an autobiography that will capture the essence of our lives with special emphasis on the last 40 years of establishing the Heartland Vineyard Church.

Know that you are deeply loved by God and loved also by your pastors and HVC leaders.  Our future is bright.