Some people around West Ridge Church have noticed my title change, and a couple of other guys too on our church staff. Pastor Brian Bloye referenced the change in a service in August. This has led people to ask the question; ‘What is it you do again?” Like all Pastors I only work one day a week, 🙂 but here is what I will be doing. This is long for a blog post. It’s a little self-indulgent, but its my blog so humor me.
Since the Summer of 2007 I have been the Local and Global Outreach Pastor at West Ridge Church and the Director of Engage Atlanta when it began in 2008. Like many people on our staff I have had the opportunity to wear different hats. The life of the church the last couple of years has required a little extra out of many of us. During this time it has been clear that only so many hats fit on one head. Even a melon as big as mine. Pastor Brian and the Leadership at West Ridge have given me the opportunity to pray over what hats to wear, and I have understood God to be calling me in a bit of a different direction.
Going forward I will be serving West Ridge as the Pastor of Ministry and Leadership Development. What does that mean? It means that I get to work with the Ministries at our East Location (Family Ministries and Groups) and help set them up for success. Leadership Development is a new piece that will focus on creating a culture of Leadership Development among our ministries and help to create a clearer pathway of spiritual growth for our volunteers. I continue to be a Pastor, Leader, and Shepherd at West Ridge and serve the congregation towards becoming more fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Kevin Dunlap will be the Director of Outreach for West Ridge, Engage Atlanta, and Launch Atlanta. Formerly Kevin was the Administrator for West Ridge. I have known Kevin and Stephanie and their family for over 10 years. Global Missions is a huge part of his personal story. When Kevin sees the poor and the hurting his heart goes out. He has volunteered his own time (not vocational staff time) to serve in the Local Community over the years. He has a gift for seeing the plans of other leaders, like business entrepreneurs and Church Planters, and helping to make them even better than what was proposed. It’s a blessing from God to transition the leadership of this work to a friend who has the capability of taking this light years beyond where I have had it.
Being a part of Local Outreach, Disaster Relief, and Hope For Christmas has been a thrill. Serving and praying with leaders in Global Outreach has stretched and grown me personally like nothing else. It’s been a privilege to be a part of Engage Atlanta and the Community Makeover and helping to pull that off every year. I’m not yet done with non-profit work. One other quick thing I want to share for prayer and clarity.
When we filed Engage Atlanta’s non-profit paperwork in 2008 we included the opportunity for other churches to give to our work in Burkina Faso, West Africa. For a while this has been a subsidiary of Engage Atlanta, called Engage Burkina. As the work in Burkina has grown churches, businesses, and individuals from all over the country have been giving to help pull off wells, churches, classrooms at schools, sponsoring children, and other humanitarian aid. It has grown to the point of needing to be its own entity.
For that reason we have pulled Engage Burkina out from under the umbrella of Engage Atlanta and it is now its own non-profit, with its own board, accounting, etc. I am playing the role of Director of Engage Burkina as a separate non-profit. This non-profit started because of the work of West Ridge Church and the leadership of Brian Bloye. West Ridge will continue to partner and drive initiatives in Burkina through the Global Missions office and leadership of Kevin Dunlap, but may not partner with everything Engage Burkina is doing. Bottom line is that if you want to get involved in Global Missions at West Ridge, including coming to Burkina, Kevin is your ‘huckleberry’.
The rest of the leaders at West Ridge give me the freedom to work on Engage Burkina as a secondary role to what I do at the church. I am very thankful for that.
This change actually took place months ago. We thought it would be better as leaders to incubate things for a while and make a slow hand off. We all treasure your prayers and your partnership going forward.