Life is filled with transitions. God’s creation has its seasons and and we all experience the various seasons of life and ministry.
I have always loved the fall. Summers have their unique opportunities but, for me, the heat and humidity create a longing for cooler days. Winters, growing up in New York state and Minnesota, were enjoyable to me, with all the winter activities such as skating, hockey and downhill skiing. Added to that were snow forts and snow balls that made for many good memories. For some, winter is difficult to embrace, but I still like it, especially when I can get my snow blower out and power through snow. For some reason I derive great pleasure in this, and in using it to clean off neighbors’ driveways as a way to serve them. Spring is always welcomed with the warmer, but not yet hot, weather. It meant I could get the golf clubs out again and, more recently, the start of spring turkey hunting with my sweetheart. We have always enjoyed and worked at sharing life together and this is just one more thing to add to our life experience. But if pressed for a favorite season, fall would be it. The cooler days, the changing of the leaves and the fresh opportunities for another season of ministry make it special to me. It is likely that you would write this paragraph differently. We all have our favorite seasons.
But I believe that it is good, and also pleasing to the Lord, to embrace all of the seasons and seasons of life and ministry that God presents to us. To trust Him for these. Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever state (situation) he was in. And that he had learned the secret of knowing how to thrive in any circumstance. That “secret” was that “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. The “all things” here referring to the many and varied circumstances of life. We can trust God for strength and wisdom for all of the transitions and seasons of life.
Missionary Baptist Church in Carlisle recently called Brian & Patty Johnson to be their new pastor and wife. The Johnsons previously served the Lord at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Algona. We missed their Installation Service as we were up in Minnesota on vacation, but were able to touch base with them and the church family recently on a Sunday morning. We popped in to say hello and to rejoice with them in God’s hand in bringing the Johnsons to MBC in Carlisle.
LeClaire Baptist Church (last exit off I-80 before you head across the Mississippi River) has called Nick & Jessica Oliver to be their new pastor and wife. They come from Faith Baptist Church in Fort Dodge after several years of ministry there and are excited about this new season of ministry. An Installation Service is planned for this month and we look forward to joining them for this special day.
Nevada Baptist Church recently called Kevin & Michelle England to be their new Associate/Youth pastor and wife. They were married this last summer and are excited about their new life together and their new ministry together.
Maranatha Baptist Church in Grimes has called Lance & Carrie Augsburger to be their new senior pastor and wife. Lance & Carrie served the Lord faithfully for several years as Dean of Students (and men) and Dean of Women at FBBC. It was a delight to be invited to be a part of their Installation Service in late September and to bring a charge to the congregation. Carries’s father, Pastor Craig Johnson (Grinnell), spoke about the high calling of a pastor. Lance’s father, Pastor Bryan Augsburger, brought the charge to the pastor. It was a meaningful service and a great way to acknowledge God’s direction in directing Lance & Carrie to MBC in Grimes.
Sometimes when God directs a church in calling a new pastor, it creates a need in a church for a new pastor. These transitions are not a surprise and do, in fact, offer a great opportunity for churches to trust God and see His hand at work in the process of calling a pastor. Many times I have the privilege of being invited to help a church during this time of transition. I love this part of the work that God has called us to do in and among our churches. I inherited a Pulpit Committee Workshop from Joe Hayes. It is basically a road map of the process of calling a pastor coupled with resources that are available. I have added a few things along the way over the past 3 1/2 years and have enjoyed encouraging pulpit committees through this ministry. Along with working with pulpit committees, I work with men as they seek God’s will in transitioning into ministry for the first time, or into another ministry if God would so direct. Sandy & I meet with the couples to get to know them better. We thank the Lord for these opportunities to serve our churches and ask you to pray for us, the churches and those seeking God’s will for ministry.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION:
Adel Rapids – Street Baptist Church
Fairfield – Faith Baptist Church
Wall Lake – Wall Lake Baptist Church
Indianola – Indianola Regular Baptist Church (Mike Craighead-interim)
Slater – Slater Baptist Church (Miles Grismore-interim)
Reinbeck – First Baptist Church
Danville – Faith Baptist Church (Dan McClure-interim)
Floris – Floris Baptist Church
Marshalltown – Center Street Baptist Church (Don Michaelsen-interim)
Algona – Hillcrest Baptist Church
Perry – First Baptist Church
Shell Rock – First Baptist Church*
Ft. Dodge – Faith Baptist Church
*First Baptist Church in Shell Rock is closing it’s doors after over 100 years of ministry. This is always sad news to share, but God has directed the church to seek assistance from Baptist Church Planters through their Church Care ministry. Please pray with them through this transition.
One final note. Sandy is enjoying her new ministry as the Interim Dean of Women at FBBC. She has transitioned out of working part-time at the Faith Bookstore to this full-time ministry at the college. This opportunity was completely unexpected, but fulfilled a desire of her heart to have more personal and continued ministry in the lives of others. It is a wonderful mentoring and discipling ministry that God is using in the lives of these students. Her years of experience in life and ministry have prepared her, but she is constantly challenged to lean on the Lord for strength and wisdom. She loves these girls and wants God’s best for them. It is also a great way for us to stay connected with the next generation of servant-leaders in our churches.
Please pray with us, and for one another as we trust God through the seasons and transitions of life.
Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)