I think many of you remember it was my good friend Brian Newman who spiritually poked, prodded, and pushed me to pay attention to the leading of God about becoming the next lead pastor of Living Word. Way back when Pastor Steve was just beginning the transition process for succession, Brian Newman reflected with me about how I would be a good fit to follow Pastor Steve. I told him I wasn’t interested. Brian didn’t let the matter drop and from time to time would probe about how things were going with finding a new senior pastor!
When we had received another batch of resumes and were not finding anyone, Brian told me, “Maybe this is God getting your attention.” And so began a mentoring session where Brian helped me process this situation and the senior pastor role.
And as they say, the rest is history. Even if it is a short history, it has been a good history. And I am grateful to God for using Brian for his prompting and mentoring about this calling.
Here is a clip from his Sunday morning visit on January 1, 2017:
I love our church.
I love our staff. Wow, are they ever flourishing and making things happen. And Living Word is being blessed through them.
I love you guys. As Pastor Steve always said, the purposes of God and the people of God at Living Word are what it is all about. People are the purpose of God. You matter. That is why Jesus died for you. That is why we have a message of grace. That is why we talk about flourishing. That is why we talk about mission. You make a difference. Your stories are inspiring. Your generosity is growing. Your ministry involvement is increasing. We are becoming more mature as the body of Christ (see Pastor Aaron’s recent message).
Through the prophet Isaiah, God says he is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19).
God is doing new things, and one of the new things God is doing at Living Word is bringing new staff to help us advance his kingdom purposes (Matthew 6:9-10).
So, I’ll introduce you to our newest staff member.
And you probably already guessed it – Brian Newman.
This past Monday night, our Church Board, which functions as the search committee, voted unanimously to call Brian Newman to join our Living Word staff. We had been in a process of conversations and interviews, prayer and discernment, ever since last summer.
I cannot begin to express the joy I have in knowing that Brian is joining our team and family. And I am still marveling at the ways of God.
Brian and I have worked in various collaborations since 1996. Brian has been the Europe director of a missions organization.
He had a season of life where he was the lead pastor of a large international church in Amsterdam. He was an executive pastor in Colorado. He is the founder of the Isaac-Ishmael Initiative. He consults; mentors; preaches; writes; evangelizes; loves on Christians, Jews, and Muslims; works for reconciliation…
Brian is moving into the role that I left when I became the lead pastor. Brian Newman will be our Pastor of Leadership Development – locally, regionally, and globally. He will not formally begin that role until July. What I love about that is Brian Newman was one of my first leadership coaches who really helped me grow as a leader. He loves to mentor leaders. He really loves helping young leaders accelerate in their personal development. Brian will have his hand in many other things as well.
Brian knows our church well. We have supported him as a missionary. He has known many of our staff for several years. He has simply enjoyed every time he could visit and hang out with us and help us. He has been part of our church family for years. And now, he won’t have to return back to Denver.
Side note: Brian told me he was getting tired of looking out his windows at those ugly Colorado mountains and that he was looking forward to some east coast high humidity. I think we can accommodate that!
Brian is actually heading overseas for a conference, but I asked him to write a few thoughts for next week before he left. You’ll hear some more about his heart next week on Life at Living Word.
We believe The Best is Yet to Come. And what is wonderful is that every new day, that Best has Already Begun. Tomorrow will be more of the same.
More updates soon.
Our God is an awesome God,