This past summer I celebrated five years of leadership in my church. When I started here in August of '06 I came in as the middle school pastor. I was in that role for roughly 16 months when I transitioned into the role of adult small groups in January of '08. I remember something my pastor said as he announced this transition to the body one weekend: "We may have other needs for Eric in the future." ...or something like that. While the exact wording has been lost, the implications weren't. I was filling a need for a time.
If anyone ever thought that developing and organizing a small group ministry was an easy endeavor, I have news for you. It's perhaps one of the most challenging things I've ever done. I can honestly say, however, that I've enjoyed the opportunity to serve in that role for over three and half years, and have learned a lot in the process. And I've been quite content in that role, as well. I believe so strongly in the power of community to shape us in our spiritual journeys, and have always sought the encouragement, accountability and protection of community throughout my relationship with Christ. So leading the groups ministry at church has been a fulfilling and exciting adventure on many levels.
In June I asked my pastor a simple question: "Where do you see my fit right now at PCC? Is it in groups or somewhere else?" His response was almost immediate: "Communications and missions." He suggested we meet for coffee later that week, and so we did. Out of those conversations, a little bit of planning, and a lot of praying, it was decided that I would once again change roles at Pathway, and would become the Communications and Missions Pastor.
Transitions always bring about unique challenges, but also a lot of excitement...I'm there right now. But I can honestly say that I'm so excited to step into this new role. In my previous career (before I went into full time ministry) I was in advertising as an art director. I've worked on print and web design, both of which have served me well in the various ministries I've been privileged to serve. Now I'll be able to put those abilities to use more directly and effectively for the church as a whole. In addition, I've long had a deep passion for the work of missions, locally and abroad, and have enjoyed the opportunity to lead several mission trips over the pas eight years (about once a year). The opportunity to develop these opportunities for deeper discipleship really gets my heart pumping with excitement. I'm truly thankful to serve in a church that has allowed me to serve in various areas of leadership, and am thrilled to use whatever gifts and abilities I may have to further His Kingdom. Who knows where God will call me next. For now, I'm definitely enjoying the ride.