Well, last week was my first week at my new job serving as Pastor of Coaching & Care at my church, National Community Church in Washington, DC. This represents a significant career change from the world of policy and politics where I managed websites and social media campaigns (fortunately, experience that will forever be helpful) to a world of full-time ministry. Not that it’s unexpected, however — I spent 2007 to 2011 attending seminary on a part-time, distance education basis at Regent University.
For those who don’t know (which will likely include very few of the people reading this post), National Community Church is a multi-site church meeting in movie and performance theaters throughout the Washington, DC metro area. It is also where my amazing wife (who recently authored a new book!) serves as the Pastor of Discipleship.
The NCC congregation consists in large part of singles in their twenties and thirties who work in politics in some capacity. We experience significant turn-over on a pretty regular basis, making for a very unique church environment with its own challenges but also its own exciting opportunities. We have the privilege to speak into the lives of people for what may be a few short months or years before sending them back out into other corners of the country or the globe.
In my role, I’ll be performing duties I’ve actually been doing for a couple years in a volunteer capacity, but I’ll now be able to devote my full-time attention to them.
My Coaching duties consist of recruit, training, and assigning Coaches to provide spiritual growth coaching to our small group leaders (more here). Our coaching system needs a bit of fine-tuning, but if it proves to be as beneficial to our small group leaders as I believe it can be, I hope to eventually offer it to all leaders at NCC.
The “Care” side of my portfolio includes providing pastoral care (and facilitating others’ provision of pastoral care) to those dealing with a wide variety of issues and connecting them with counseling resources where needed. I’ll also continue to coordinate programs dealing with relational and sexual brokenness like The River, which we’re offering this fall, and SALT, the men’s group we ran this past spring. I’m hoping to eventually start a Celebrate Recovery program (or something similar) at NCC and will continue to lead groups like the Theology of the Body group I led this past summer to help people obtain a healthy Biblical understanding of sex and our bodies. I’ll also recruit and support others interested in leading care and recovery-oriented small groups.
So what does this mean for my blog? Quite a bit, actually.
I’m planning to start a steady diet of books related to coaching, pastoral care, and other such topics and will post summaries or reviews (of a sort) here, partly for the benefit of my loyal readers, but also because I know that will force me to process the books more thoroughly than I might otherwise. It will also now be part of my job to ruminate, ponder, consider, introspect, reflect, and think, which will likely result in some blog posts, as well.
Let the fun begin!