Ministry Passions

Some of the distinctive areas that I am most passionate in pursuing in daily life, relationship, and ministry...

Co-officiating a wedding with
ministry colleague, Rev. Leslie Dibble
Truthful and Hopeful Collegiality
From an early age my father lifted up the value of a liberal arts education and mindset: the ability to listen and learn from any and all contexts (even if I disagree!). Focused through a real desire to have the attitude and mind of Jesus Christ, this has translated into what I would call a "truthful and hopeful collegiality" that finds authentic friendships and community the best place to seek and speak truth in love. Even when differing theologically, I have found a freedom and invitation to share honestly as I listen and learn from friends of all perspectives inside and outside the church.

Lighthouse/Searchlight Church - missional ministry model In 2006 I began developing a metaphor for ministry with my local congregation - we would strive to become a "lighthouse" of welcome, guidance, and sanctuary in Christ; we would strive to grow as a "searchlight," carrying the Good News of Jesus Christ out into our nearby neighborhoods and community.

"Wednesday Night Out"
bluegrass at the neighborhood coffee shop
This has been a long journey - as our understanding of church and Christian identity has been transformed by God's Word and Spirit.  Our guiding question for ministry and mission is: "What is God doing in and around us and how can we/I be a part?"

Good Shepherd Youth
My Lighthouse/Searchlight website/blog chronicles much of that journey and features regular posts along the way. This has impacted every area and ministry of our congregation, including creative arts, youth ministry, local missions, and more. 

Pastor Robert teaching at a confirmation retreat
Teaching Church Models 
Over time, at Good Shepherd, we have had more and more opportunities to share resources with other congregations, sessions, and pastors. We have cultivated lay preachers among our ruling elders (and a few youth!), have had a regular stream of seminary and college interns, and have opportunity to "take on the road" much of what we do at Good Shepherd in both teaching and creative arts. 

Teaching "Biblical Theology of Worship" at
Bible college in Nicaragua
Worship, Music, and Creative Arts
There is too much to squeeze into one space!!  Here's what goes on every bulletin, and we mean it:
The style of worship at Good Shepherd is an intentional blend of ancient, traditional, and modern forms of liturgy, prayer, music, and communication.  Our starting point for planning each service is God's Word, the Bible.  Each week we seek to provide effective and numerous ways for worshipers to gather around, hear and respond, and go forth into the world with the good and hopeful Word of God in scripture.  We also intentionally gather as a family of believers of many ages and backgrounds, and so use all the means at our disposal to invite each worshiper into the presence of God.  It is our hope that each person present will not only worship God in Spirit and truth, but also in community.  It is a joy and a privilege to worship God with you this morning!
Our commitment to the arts and my own interest in worship, music, and the creative arts has been blessed and multiplied so that we have artists, actors, songwriters, screenwriters, and more.  We see creative arts not only as an integral part of our worship, but of our mission as well, and are seeking more and more ways to connect with our neighborhood, community, and world through the arts.  My D.Min. project was on the theology of worship and music and I've written other material on worship, including music for worship.

Technology and Ministry
I am a computer enthusiast!  And as with music, one of the things I most enjoy is exploring how this interest can be used in ministry for the Kingdom of God.  I am a blogger, twitterer, faceboooker, and more... I've designed our church website, created and set up our livestream ministry, and enjoy teaching and resourcing others to use these TOOLS for ministry.