Help Needed / Help Given

Today is an encouraging day for me. Most of my days in ministry are spent shepherding a needy flock. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do but my job is hard. I don’t think a motto exists that says “You can only love what you do if what you do is easy!”. Nah, I think you love what you do a lot of times because it came hard to you, not easy. Pastoring a growing church that is full of broken people in need of God’s grace is hard. Sometimes, it is just downright overwhelming. Honestly, it is always impossible…apart from the grace of Jesus. He has sustained me through the most difficult of circumstances over the past few years in this church planting journey. And His grace is always present; through the good times and the not-so-good times.

One fact that has been reinforced over the past few years is how important it is to lead Jesus’ church alongside other capable leaders. The concept for the plurality of elders serving within one local church is completely biblical (see Titus 1:5; Acts 20:17; 1 Pe. 5:1-5). Jesus did not design for His local churches to be led by one man. He designed for His local churches to be led by multiple (fully qualified) men. Thanks be to God that He has allowed this very thing to happen here in Tampa at Aletheia Church. This church is led by 3 pastors: Jon Halterman, Jimmy Trent, and myself. We all ultimately submit ourselves to Jesus who is our Chief Shepherd (1 Pe. 5:4). But He has commanded us to “pay careful attention to the flock” here in Tampa as His undershepherds. We have been chosen to lead His people at Aletheia. And we take this very, very seriously.

Something has become very apparent though this past year as Aletheia continues to experience growth: As the only vocational pastor at Aletheia, the demands on me have become nearly impossible to manage. Pastors Jon and Jimmy have only able to give so much each week due to their full-time 50 hour-a-week jobs. Not to mention, their first priority, their families, need to always be safe-guarded. This caused the demands on them to be great, as both of them on any given week would have to log in somewhere between 20-30 hours per week to tackle the shepherding needs with me here at Aletheia. Something had to give. I needed help. They needed sleep. 2013 and the early part of 2014 were just rough on us.

So, Jesus decided to drop a grace bomb on us. This came in the form of providing the necessary means to bring on another full-time staff pastor here at Aletheia. And it came in the form of the exact person that Jesus knew our church needed. My gifts are very prophetic and priestly. I am a visionary, big picture, proclaimer of truth, shepherd, type leader. What I needed was an implementer; somebody who could take the vision Jesus has given me and execute it. Jesus gave just that very person to Aletheia. The best part about it is that He was already serving as one of our pastors…ha! Yeah, I didn’t even have to go searching for my executive pastor. Jesus had already brought him. I just needed some money. Jesus brought that too. Thanks Jesus!

That is my story today. Jesus gave me an executive pastor. His name is Jimmy Trent. I’m blessed to serve alongside Him. He’s already making things easier for me and it’s day 1. Looking forward to the next 10,000, by God’s grace!

 

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