Every now and then, it’s helpful to share a 20,000 ft perspective on certain challenges we face; kind of like remembering what we’ve prayed for, so that we can see how God has answered our prayers!
Back in 2014, during our first-ever Vision Campaign, I shared that part of our vision was that to “grow” the church (in depth, not in numbers), we needed to take our discipleship ministry to the next level. Part of that fundraising involved enabling the hiring of a Pastor of Discipleship. We took our time establishing the expectations of this new position, and then took our time putting together a search team, and then another 2.5 years to find the right man.
In late January, we welcomed Steve and Carissa Sage here to GRC as a pastoral candidate. He preached; he met dozens of ministry leaders and staff; and a few weeks later, we extended him the job offer which was quickly accepted! We shared this great news in a Voice of Grace and on a Sunday morning, but, as they say, out of sight, out of mind. Some of you still have not met Steve or may have missed that notice.
When he accepted our offer, Steve informed his current congregation in suburban Detroit, and the leaders there asked him to stay through April. He then fulfilled his annual obligation as a professor at Fuller Seminary in California, and today they’re closing on their home, and starting their drive East to NJ! They will join us for worship on Sunday, and Steve will officially begin employment on Monday, May 21st.
Steve’s new email is Steve@graceredeemer.com, and it’s active should you want to drop a note in his inbox to welcome them and/or to invite them over for a meal. Speaking of which, until their home in Hackensack is ready for move-in at the end of this month, they’re staying in an extended-stay hotel. It would be a rich blessing to them if many of us lined up to have them over for dinner! Please click on the Needs link or contact the office if you have a dinner night free to invite the Sage’s. We’ll be sharing more at the May 27th 10am ACE hour about Steve’s role on our pastoral staff.
I’m sure you join me in excitement at the Sage family’s arrival! Pray that their home sale proceeds without any problems, that their travel here is without incident, and of course, that the Lord would grant them sufficient grace in the midst of this incredible change of family, home, ministry, and friendship!
On a general note, I’m sure you’ve noticed many new faces on Sunday mornings since we moved here to Glen Rock. Let me urge you to be intentional about breaking away from your familiar and comfortable group and taking initiative to go greet someone you don’t know. My standard tips to avoid awkwardness: “I’m not sure if we’ve met. My name is ____. How long have you been coming to GRC?” If the answer is 10 years, then you can marvel at how you’ve never met! And if the answer is “This is my first time,” then you play a significant role in being the face of GRC to someone who’s unsure about our community, our worship, our beliefs. I trust that as you love and serve and welcome, you’ll represent Christ and GRC very well!
Grace be with you,
Peter Wang is Senior Pastor of GRC.