A little about the author –
Why am I writing this blog?
Reason number one? I want to offer hope to others! God’s servants need to know that His grace is meant for them, too. My personal experience has shaped me in unique ways to come alongside the many men and their families who have been “exited,” have fallen or are just plain burned out in ministry. I was in full-time pastoral ministry for 17 years. But because of sin, irresponsible choices and despair, my life spiraled out of control. Several years of imprisonment brought an end to my pastoral ministry, but it was the beginning of a new chapter of repentance and renewal. The subsequent years have been a slow but steady process of growth, restoration and renewed hope.
The other reason?
After working for 15 years in a variety of manufacturing environments, mostly in the quality sector, God opened the door for me to join PIR Ministries – serving for four years as the Midwest Regional Director and now as the Executive Director. PIR Ministries (Pastor-in-Residence) mission is to partner with God and the Church in the work of pastoral renewal and restoration, to cultivate new hope for healthy ministry lives. I represent a ministry that is rooted firmly in the local church and is intent on seeing broken shepherds (and their families) strengthened, healed and ready to explore what God has in store for their future (pirministries.org).
I have been married for 47 years to an amazing woman of faith, have one married daughter and we are grandparents to two wonderful grandchildren! I am also an ordained elder, regular teacher in a church family that believes in God’s redeeming purposes.
Because there is joy to be found in life, I play bass in the worship band, enjoy jazz music, hockey and my dog, Keillor. My wife has coached a high school equestrian team, and trains her horse, Tess, in dressage. She works as an administrator for a law firm, enjoys teaching, and is always eager for a good discussion over coffee.
2 thoughts on “About”
My father was a C. M.A. pastor. I graduated from Simpson College (University), attended Golden Gate Baptist Seminary and pastored in the Alliance at the beginning of fifty years of ministry. I returned to an Alliance Church in Stockton, California where I pastored for eight years before retiring at age 65. I didn’t actually retire from ministry but conducted a home bible study for eight years. At age 73, I officially retired and my wife and I moved to Winston Salem, N.C. I was an interim pastor with the P.C.A. (1990-’93) in Mobile, Ala when I first heard about you. I often wondered happened after the events of those days. I was happy to recently discover your website and your restoration and involvement in ministry.
I don’t consider myself an “exited-pastor” but my retirement from the Alliance was at the urging of the District Superintendent and my own sense that the season with the denomination was at an end. I was not burned out, fed up or discouraged with the ministry. But 2007 was the year the Alliance was all excited about Rick Warren and wanted the church to follow his example. Although Pastor Warren has a successful church and many great ideas for church growth, neither I nor the people I pastored felt comfortable being a “Warren Look-Alike”. For that reason I was asked to retire and the people, if they couldn’t support the new and improved model, were asked to leave. They were told they were a hindrance to church growth.
Fifty years of ministry has given me a heart for pastors, wounded or otherwise, and also for people who have been beat up and mugged by the church. While it may be important to fix, revamp and make the church a more caring, healing institution, I think the institution is inherently wrong.
Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel and he would build the Church. Instead, we have gone into all the world and built churches and modified the gospel to attract tithers and major donors to support our programs. For me, this begs the question: What would happen to the people in the mega churches if the churches were no longer tax exempt and their magnificent properties were taken away? Maybe the Christians in China would have a response to that.
My family and I attended a Southern Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama while I was waiting for a new assignment with the P.C.A. It cost 32 million dollars to build, had a 350 voice choir with a full symphony orchestra. The pastor preached the word to four-thousand people each Sunday morning. It was a fantastic, full-service church where all you had to do was put your money in and absorb the atmosphere. The pastor did a great job and reduced the church’s indebtedness from 32 million to 9 while he was there. But, take it away and what happens to the four-thousand?
My sense is that the Church needs to be busy preparing people for the day when all the bells and whistles cease and all they have each Jesus and one another. Patching the old and oiling the cracking wineskins is simply not an issue.
Am I anti-church? No. My wife and I attend a P.C.A church and enjoy it very much. But my reason for attending is not to sit and soak but to find people who have a passion, not for the new improved programs so often implemented but for Jesus and for one another. I know it’s hard to imagine, but there are actually Christians in the church.
I glad you like jazz. As a college student I lived during the Brubeck, George Shearing, Duke Ellington, Andre Previn era. I loved it. But someone asked me one Sunday how I liked the worship and a told them that I thought the drums were a little loud. Their offended response was, “I wouldn’t go to a church that didn’t play my kind of music.” I think she spoke for many folks in the church today who like the music, preacher, youth programs etc. but don’t have a clue about who Jesus is and what he wants us to be.
Because my dad, grandfather and I were in the gospel ministry, I love pastors. I have met many who weren’t discouraged with the ministry but who were thrashed and trashed by their denominational leaders. Not only are pastors wounded and discouraged, but many people have suffered at the hands of the super religious and don’t know where to turn.
Okay, long letter and said more that I probably should, but I wanted to let you know that your ministry to the wounded warriors is much appreciated. I also wanted you know that the institution, no matter how much you meek and tweak it, simply won’t accomplish the task. While the church is “increased with goods and has need of nothing,” we must prepare people individually for the day when none is seen save Jesus only and his family is all that matters.
Thanks for reaching out and for your kind comments. Your journey is not unlike many others. God has a truly amazing reputation for restoring what is broken…if we let Him.
I do love Jazz, and playing the bass is such a joy to me.
I hope you will stay in touch.
check out the PIR Ministries Website too… pirministries.org