My Ministry Development Journey

They make me want to be a better pastor.

  • In 2007, when I first arrived on the scene with my family at CalvaryDuncan, I was a deeply broken, beleaguered man with a great desire to be used of God. Over the next few years, as I was able to heal and grow, I became increasingly aware of what an amazing church I had been called to serve. There was and is so very much potential. But I am very weak in administration and organization. I began to consider the possibility of going back to school because, quite frankly, this church needed a much better pastor and I had to either become one or get out of the way so they could find one.
  • In 2012 I attended a Catalyst conference in the Dallas area. As I was walking through the exhibit area, I stopped at the DTS booth where the rep shared with me about the MaCL degree and that it could be accomplished without having to move to Dallas. After a few months of prayer with my wife and a few key leaders of our fellowship, I applied and was accepted to begin in January of 2013.
  • My desire in pursuing this degree was that I would grow in my understanding and stewardship of the Word as well as gain a much stronger skill set in organizational leadership. While there is still a great deal of room for growth, I do feel that I have grown enormously in both areas.
  • I plan to continue to pursue regular growth opportunities to stretch toward the pastor I long to be for the sake of these amazing people I so love to serve.

Overall Reflection Statement for Ministry Distinctive (100 word minimum)

For my competence in Ministry Development, I am submitting as my primary artifact my final research project. This was a requirement for my degree, but this project has been in the works throughout my tenure at CalvaryDuncan in terms of the needs identified, processes developed, and the overall ministry context. I believe that this document demonstrates my understanding of the congregation I serve as well as my personal strengths and limitations. It has been the product of more conversations and frustrations and celebrations than can be catalogued. As I approach the twelfth anniversary of my call to this position, I genuinely believe that this people and place of service are precisely the work for which God called me to ministry so many years ago.

Artifacts With Descriptions

Unleashing a Team Ministry Culture – a Project Summary: This document is more of an explanation of how I intend to proceed rather than the precise steps I am taking. There are several factors that I feel require a little more time and development, but it is a big picture understanding of how I believe we are being led by the Spirit to further grow and develop into a stronger, healthier, church operating almost entirely in lay-driven team ministry. Recognizing the time required to wade through forty-four pages in that document, here you can find the Project Summary video.

Reflection Paper: Personality Type And Religious Leadership – This paper was written as a reflection on this great book and how its insights helped me understand my own strengths and weaknesses. While it may seem obvious to some, understanding who I am not has resolved a great many frustrations of my ministry life.

Learning Reflection

As I developed and demonstrated Servant Leadership in other areas of my degree and ministry experience, I have learned that a recognition of the Story of Scripture brings a powerful lens of understanding that gives more clarity and insight into the Word than I could have imagined. This underscores the significance not only of pursuing a leadership degree, but also the decision to pursue it at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Lifelong Development Statement

As a result of the experiences documented by these artifacts, I will continue to develop in Servant Leadership by giving diligence to continue to read in contemporary leadership literature. The rigorous reading requirements of a DTS degree have been enormously challenging at times, but the disciplines I have developed (especially in the last 2-3 years) need to continue to be a normal part of my life and ministry. I have established a practice of trying to complete at least one book every two weeks with at least every other book being centered upon leadership. In addition, I plan to take a little of the time and expense I have been dedicating to seminary training to participating in at least one leadership conference each year. The other element that has not really been a part of my seminary journey but I see as an integral element moving forward is the practice of seeking a younger leader to encourage and help along the way while maintaining the relationship I have developed with my ministry mentor over the past year. I believe that these three practices will enable me to continue the course of growth into the future.

The Good Parts

Is it possible that the good parts are really the difficult places in life that shape our stories and give depth and gravity to the peaceful moments?

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Close the Gap

Every day we come across more and more evidence that things are not the way they are supposed to be. What can we do about it?

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Excruciating Love

Jesus stepped down into our mess and took our guilt and agony upon Himself so that I could have a better life… forever. We tried to do the same for two little lives that I still expect to see every time I look out the window at the swings shaken only by the breeze.

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I Choose You

If you have made one of those lifetime promises (that we usually call wedding vows), go back and listen to this great song again. What does choosing your partner look like today?

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Take The World

I’m enamored with the intimate stylings of Johnnyswim. In case you’re not acquainted, this is a husband and wife duo that makes some really great music together (and some absolutely beautiful children). Their song, “Take The World,” is a breath of courage to me in a season of weariness and desire to keep growing in my marriage.

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Like We Do

I don’t expect anyone to pattern their marriage after mine or compare theirs with ours. We have our own unique way of doing “I do” together. I’m not suggesting ours is better. I’m just saying it is ours… and it’s a work in progress, a relationship still growing, refining, reforming.

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Higher And Higher

My beloved has a way of encouraging me, helping me, motivating me to reach for more. Just like Jack Nicholson’s neurotic character blurted out in the romantic comedy, As Good As It Gets, “You make me want to be a better man!”

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