God has opened a new and unexpected opportunity for me to serve, this time with an agency that Kimberly and I have to come know, respect, and love dearly: Frontline Missions.
The director of the mission, Tim Keesee, and I have been friends since my first day of college, when he taught my very first class as a freshman. Our paths crossed here and there over the years, but we got to know each other better once his son became part of our youth group at Heritage. By this point, Tim had left teaching to lead Frontline. And our friendship began to grow.
Frontline Missions seeks to “advance the gospel in the world’s difficult places.” Focusing on the 10/40 window, “Frontline Missions is serving in many of these countries by providing training, Gospel literature, and support for new church planting efforts. In addition, Frontline funds creative platforms such as education, business, and medical efforts to gain greater access to difficult countries in this region.” The agency is perhaps best known for its excellent DVD series, “Dispatches from the Front.”
I’ve been asked to serve in a new position, Director of Member Care and Mobilization. My task is to pursue a pastoral relationship with gospel partners around the world and help equip more to go. It is a tremendous opportunity for me to see Christ advancing his kingdom everywhere and to grow in my understanding of the blessing and challenge of cross-cultural work. And by his grace I hope to shepherd and care for those who are serving—quite literally—on the frontline.
This does not mean that I am leaving First. God has planted my family and me here, and we are thrilled with what he is doing in our congregation. If anything, serving as pastor here at First equips me for my work with Frontline. And I am confident that my Frontline responsibilities will enhance my ability to serve in our urban, multiethnic congregation at home.
So rejoice with us in the kind work of Christ who enlists jars of clay to show the surpassing greatness of his power. Just this morning, I was reminded by a friend what a privilege it is to “be graced to serve with a Bible in hand.” God be praised that Christ is building his church. By his powerful Spirit, may he utilize us all for the glory of his name and the joy of all peoples.