“Ministry in this part of the country is different.” That seems to be the consensus of many church workers new to the Pacific Southwest District. Among them are numerous pastors who have moved from other districts, been assigned by the seminaries, or were raised up from within congregations for pastoral training.
The District invites its pastors and their wives new to the PSD to a two-day orientation each fall to develop relationships with each other and discover our unique mission context. Participants receive presentations from staff members about the partnership and resources available to them and their congregations. More than that, they experience Gospel encouragement for our shared work of ministry.
“It was helpful to have a positive look toward the future of ministry and to hear about the District’s willingness to follow God’s prompting even as we face an antagonistic culture, financial challenges, and church worker shortages. It was clear the Gospel was the center of the discussions and the reason for ministry,” said Rev. Mark & Barbie Airey, Crown of Life, Sun City West, AZ.
President Mike Gibson highlighted the District’s “missional edge”, offering five key insights for pastoral ministry, including heartfelt expressions about the priority of family. Hannah Hansen from Immanuel in Oceanside noted that the staff “modeled transparency and authenticity in sharing their faith and families, and their struggles in ministry.”
Mission Executive Dominic Rivkin described the momentum of our “100 in 10” initiative and detailed some of the initial projects. Rachel Klitzing, Executive Director of School Ministries, and Eun Chu Kim, Superintendent of School Innovation, discussed the impact of school ministry in the overall mission and health of our congregations, and noted the District’s emphasis on innovation as we partner to develop to micro-schools, a technical high school, and more. Participants also heard from Jim Henkell, the District’s new Ministry Executive, about “Gospel-Dominant Preaching” and the essential impact it has on our mission work. Presentations from Tyler Fewins, Vice-President of LCEF, Jon Niederbrach, Chief Operating Officer, and Aaron Lucas, Director of Communications and Technology, highlighted the wealth of financial, organizational, and technological resources made available to congregations.
Rev. Jean-Enock Berus of St. Paul, Los Angeles, commented that “everyone who spoke about their department and ministry gave me hope that the future of the church and its mission are strong. This orientation was very important to me.”
Participants also developed relationships over a barbeque dinner from the Holy Smokers of Christ, Costa Mesa, learning more about each other and their respective congregations.
Hannah Hansen shared, “It allowed my husband and me to connect with others doing ministry in a context similar to ours. We left with new friends and renewed vigor for the mission.”
If you’re a new, or relatively new, pastor to the District and were unable to participate in this year’s orientation, be encouraged to attend next year. Contact Maddie Gong in the President’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Enable more stories of transformed lives through Jesus
Untold thousands are still in darkness, lost like “sheep that have gone astray”. But this is exactly the mission our Lord has created His Church for – reaching the lost for Jesus’ sake in as many ways as necessary. This is the purpose for which our 300 churches and 150 schools were founded in their many contexts. And “the fields are ripe for the harvest” right now!
Your gifts are critical and enable us to continue and expand our shared work together, fulfilling the PSD mission of effectively resourcing congregations and schools for transforming lives and making the Great Commission REAL!
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