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good morning friends how you doing if you’re visiting my name’s alex I’m one of the pastors here if you are a kid uh sitting in the audience uh I will do my best not to be boring I’m joking I’m definitely gonna be boring to you that’s fine you can sleep my kids would so we’re in this series on directions we’re talking about what it is in the midst of change to look backwards and then we talked about looking upwards last week it’s this idea that change can come out of nowhere every one of you have been through change this year some of you were expecting to be in school and you aren’t in the normal way some of you are expecting to not be working from home some of you are expecting like everything to be just as normal and then it isn’t we’ve been through the election cycle all those kind of things and and then we’re like well is

that even normal anymore all of us experience change in different ways and when we experience change man it can hit us like a train the train that we just talked about boarding it feels like we got it straight in the chest at times especially when we experience things like grief maybe some of you have lost someone this year maybe some of you are walking through grief right now man that is tough and that can take ages to process so we spent one week taking that very seriously and saying sometimes lament this kind of crying out to God is exactly the right thing to do and then in the midst of that hopefully we have this space to look upwards but upwards we weren’t really talking so much about about looking up specifically but looking godwards realizing that God has something to say into the situation that we’re dealing with so

we took this question what happens when we encounter change and then we started to to ask this one in week two how do we allow change to lead us into an experience of God how do we allow the change of experience to lead us into an experience of God and I would twist that question a little bit this week and I would phrase it like this how do we allow an experience of God to lead us into next steps now if you’re in a process of grief because you lost someone you may not be ready for next steps for years and that is fine sitting with God in that season and say I just don’t know what forward looks like is okay but for organizations for a group of people like us that are experiencing the change of having a new pastor of all those kind of things at some point there has to be this move to a forward direction and that’s what we’re going to process

today and I’ll start with a confession I have no clue where south is going actually that’s a bit of an exaggeration I have some clue about where south is going but I certainly don’t know all the directions that this community of God is called to follow we are on a journey together and we get to invite people along but but in actual fact that’s a day-to-day and week-to-week exploration as we say God well what do you have for us but how do we as a group of people that took a week to have presence to say God we are waiting for you how do we allow that to lead us into some next steps how do we begin to ask what does God have for us and so a few things as we sort of build this to start with I think that week of presence that week of asking God what what do you have it ends with this specific ask what is next ask what is next and then

expect ask what is next and expect expect that the God that you’ve heard from will actually do what he said he would do when you have a step of obedience expect that the rewards of that will actually follow through for those of you that are experiencing change in different ways in individual ways ask what is next for those of you who are uncertain about college choices ask what is next for those of you that are uncertain about how your business is going to grow into the future ask what is next for those of you processing a job change ask what is next for those of you thinking about getting married ask what is next for those of you that are struggling with parenting and how exactly that works and and I heard someone say once that you know at some point I had zero kids and six theories of parenting and now I have six kids and zero

theories of parenting uh it’s exactly the same running a church by the way but there’s this sense of like ask what is next if you don’t ask how can you get an answer as people were so keen sometimes to just rush ahead and just do I hate sitting still I’m an enneagram seven you can see by the way I stand at the front of the church and worship by the way that I preach I’ve always got some kind of movement going on and if that’s irritating to you I’m really sorry there’s nothing I can do about it I’ve tried but if you the tendency for me is to run to just move and yet that pause to ask what is next is so key but then to expect we’re going to continue with this community that we’ve been walking with this joshua community if you’re new to the bible this book joshua is the sixth book of the old testament and it follows this community that have lost

their beloved leader moses has been the text will actually say things like there was never a guy like moses man what a hard thing to have to follow what a tough thing for this guy joshua to come like into the situation and say well now I’m going to lead this community forward but there’s never been a guy like moses and we’re going to watch us as he does those very two things we’ve just outlined he asks what’s next they take this moment that we looked at in the first couple of weeks to pause they wait this side of the river they have this big river in front of them before this land that they’ve been promised and they just wait and then God says go here’s the text joshua chapter 3 so when the people broke camp to cross the jordan the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them now the jordan is at flood stage or during

the harvest yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge the water from upstream stopped flowing so the people crossed over opposite jericho and when we talk about the jordan in flood season this is what we’re talking about I’m not convinced that you guys that grew up in the denver area really understand rivers or lakes you don’t really have that many of them here someone once said that lake in denver was spelt p-o-n-d uh because the lakes are non-existent but this is like a real river this is like this raging torrent and this is what they’re expected to cross and God says go across it it’s going to be fine but how easy is it to expect in that moment for him to do what he promised he would do and yet this community of people they confidently walk down to the river and it says that

the first moment that the priests put their foot into the water it stopped it built back up way upstream the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the lord stopped in the middle of the jordan and stood on dry ground while all israel passed by until the whole nation had completed crossing and dry land I want you to just embrace for a second the tension of that moment this group of people walk down towards the river it says that they crossed over in front of jericho that means that jericho was there this big city this fortress and let me just say as we get into some of this text you’re going to see like some stuff that might make you uncomfortable if you’re new to church if you’re if you’re old to church there’s a level of violence that seems more game of thrones than something we might expect in a religious text it’s tough

to read and and they’ll go eventually and they’ll sack this city jericho and it’s like we’ll have to process that a little bit together but this city right now is waiting there it’s like nothing that they’ve ever seen they’ve had some victories they’ve won some battles but they’ve not seen anything like jericho and they cross over in front of this city so everybody imagine this everyone watching them from the towers from the windows uh from the places you shoot the arrows from and there’s just this moment of them putting their first foot into the water and there has to be this question what if we look ridiculous what if we just get washed away by the water they’ve got this old story where where God parted the red sea you might remember it from from sunday school but what if it doesn’t work again that was 40 years ago what if the guard

who had some power back in egypt and in this wilderness doesn’t work for us now and they have to make this first step and expect that this God that told them to go will be faithful to them ask what’s next and expect and then reflect ask what’s next then expect and expect then reflect when God does what he promised you that he would do take this moment to say wow that actually worked you were faithful to what you said you led me in this direction I felt called to do this and when I did it you were good you were faithful this is what this community does watch this wonderful moment in the midst of crossing this incredible torrent of a river while the land is dry joshua says to the people I want you to grab a stone to represent each tribe now for me personally if I’m crossing a river that miraculously dried up out of nowhere I just want to get

across I’m like let me get to the other side and we can celebrate there I don’t want to be pausing around to pick out my favorite type of rock I’m not looking for different hues I just I don’t want to carry rocks across rivers that have miraculously stopped and yet these people do when the whole nation had finished crossing the jordan the lord said to joshua choose 12 men from among the people one from each tribe and tell them to take up 12 stones from the middle of the jordan from right where the priests are standing and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight the only way to read that text as far as I’m concerned is this the people crossed over got to the other side and then joshua said to 12 of them go back into the middle and get a stone just continue to prove that God is faithful they

had all crossed over 12 of them go back and then this is what they do with those stones so joshua called together the 12 men he had appointed from the israelites one for each tribe and said to them go over before the ark of the lord your guard into the middle of the jordan each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder according to the number of tribes of the israelites to serve as a sign among you they gathered from where they were from the middle of the river 12 stones and what they did is they would have taken them and they do have built them into this really rough altar we tend to think about altars as being these really pretty things maybe you’ve got a picture of what it looked like and maybe in different places it was but this was just 12 stones gathered together they weren’t worried about the shape what these stones were

supposed to do was remind them that in the midst of that step of obedience God had been faithful when they had acted in obedience God had done what he had promised they had asked what is next and that they expected God to do what he said he would do and the other side of the jordan for years and years stood a pile of rocks that said one thing to every one of their descendants when you ask God for something and he answers and you obey he will do what he said he will do in the future when your children ask you what do these stones mean tell them the flow of the jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the lord when it crossed the jordan the waters of the jordan were cut off these stones are to be a memorial to the people of israel forever ask what’s next and expect and then reflect take this moment to say God thank

you you did what you promised you would do so a question for you what stops us taking next steps yes we talked about how you do take next steps but what is in your life in my life that stops us doing that so some thoughts first one it’s the mind the mind or getting lost in it over thinking it assuming that human wisdom will be the answer to everything let’s take a look at this jericho story as I said this people cross the river this city this castle this fortress is in front of them and then they go and attack it but they go and attack it in the weirdest way you could possibly imagine now the gates of jericho were securely barred because of the israelites no one went out and no one came in then the lord said to joshua see I have delivered jericho into your

hands along with its king and its fighting men march around the city once with all the armed men do this for six days have seven priests carry trumpets of ramshorn in front of the ark on the seventh day march around the city seven times with the priests blowing the trumpets when you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets have the whole army give a shout then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up everyone straight in can you imagine what it would be like to be one of joshua’s generals in that situation receiving that battle plan okay so we’re gonna go to the city yes okay I’ve got that step we move towards the city we send all our army in yeah and then we do what we seige it we use big sort of machines to throw rocks a day no no no we just walk around it and we keep walking around it and we do that every day for a

while and then after walking around it and nothing happening for seven days we’ll walk around it on the seventh day and all the stones the rocks the buildings they’ll all collapse if you’re a general how do you accept that plan that seems like no plan that I’ve ever heard of it doesn’t have any credibility and yet these people are slowly starting to learn actually God has done what he said he would do in the past maybe just maybe he’ll do it again joshua has learned this principle sometimes the situation can say no but God will say go and sometimes the situation would say go and God will say no and the difference there is the most important thing for next steps simply looking at the situation in human eyes does not give you or me all of the framework that we need we need something bigger and joshua has learned the hard way that

actually sometimes the situation looks great and the people have gone into battle and it’s been a disaster because God had said no this isn’t the right time check out this passage from numbers chapter 14 if you’re following texts early the next morning they sat out for the highest point in the hill country saying now we are ready to go up to the land that the lord promised surely we have sinned but moses said why are you disobeying the lord’s command this will not succeed do not go up but because the lord is not with you you will be defeated by your enemies because you have turned away from the lord he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword this was a situation these people were confident we can handle this hill tribe we’re fine it’s nothing like jericho would be in the future nevertheless in their presumption they went up

towards the highest point in the hill country though neither moses nor the ark of the lord’s covenant moved from the camp then the amalekites and the canaanites these two other tribes who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to homer two different situations one that looks great and God says don’t go don’t do it one where the situation looks terrible and God says go and everything works out great what would it look like for you and I to apply that in our life what it would he look like for that to impact our business decisions what would it look like I’m not saying just throw caution to the wind but if you sit and you say to God I really want to know what is next and you feel like he answers what would it look like for it to be more than just human wisdom that led you to that decision I don’t

know how many of you guys have been around at south for years one of the things I love to do when I come become part of a community is just ask some people some of the old stories how is this community shaped how is it wired like why is it the way that it is so I think we’ve got a few people anyone want to throw up a hand have you been at south for more than 10 years anyone tenure people we’ve got some tenure people in the back how about some 15-year people any 15 years yes thomas the friend is like yeah I’ve been here any 20 year people out there we got some 20 years any 30-year people there’s a couple yeah I see you carolyn yeah dell I see you 40 yeah 40 years 40 years there’s some people yeah I love it 50 years any 150 yeah okay carolyn we got you at the back for some people that have been around here for a

chunk of time and yet there’s some of us like me that one knew maybe even some of you that have been here one two years and so as I was preparing forward I sat down with carolyn and with dale some of you know dell and I said to them like I would I would love to know like how does the forward movement for south affect some of the backwards stories and you have to know if you join this community you join a weird community of faith we meet in a strip mall we don’t even have a real church building like in the normal sense we meet in a building that was a safe way this community is the community this was the bunch of like of I’m going to use the word in a good way weirdos because I consider myself one as well that moved out of a denomination and when the denomination said well if you you know you leave we’re gonna

take your building and your bank accounts this is the community that said fine we don’t need the building we don’t need the bank accounts when I asked dell how he came to be a part of south he said to me this and I asked if I could quote him it’s official he said uh he said well I was reading in I think it was christianity today how the church had been kicked out of its denomination so I turned to my wife and said that church must be doing something right we need to go there and that’s how we arrived here this is the community that has taken those ridiculous steps of faith who gives up a beautiful building over a principal and yet this is a community that learnt that when God said go sometimes it could look like no and God would say go and so they did that is who you joined and and then the question becomes like well well

is it still that community are we still a community that wants to take brave ridiculous looking decisions decisions that on the surface that don’t make sense are we still willing to take brave steps when we feel like the situation looks like no but we feel this pull of the spirit that says well God is saying go are we still willing to turn down great looking opportunities because we feel like God says now this isn’t the right time for that figuring out whether an organization changes over time is this fascinating thing there’s this beautiful philosophical problem called theseus’s boat imagine theseus this great hero of old sails he’s boat around the ocean around the world and during the course of the year he has to replace every single part of that boat just you know wears out and when he gets back to port after this year is it still the same boat

maybe some of you would feel like oh yeah it’s still the same boat like you know it might have changed the parts but it’s the same basic ship other people might say no it’s not the same anymore as south has changed out different parts as we have less and less people that remember the old days the question becomes for us are we still that same community and do we still want to be are we willing to chase after those values even when they feel uncomfortable because I’m sure that there were people that said I’m uncomfortable letting go of a building I’m uncomfortable being nomadic I’m uncomfortable having to meet in a school I’m uncomfortable parking in the field in a foot of snow because there’s not enough room for us to park in the parking lot those different decisions that this community has made some of them

must have felt uncomfortable and there’s times if we chase that vision for God’s community that you might feel uncomfortable and yet I’m not sure human wisdom always gives us what we need even the greats have been fooled by human wisdom this is steve jobs on a segway he was one of the first investors to be given a chance to like look at a segway and explore it and he was convinced segways would change the world he said this the segway will be to walking what the car was to the horse and carriage it would destroy you wouldn’t walk anywhere you right now should all be on segways I don’t know what you did with your segways but they’re not here I don’t see them in front of me but you should be according to steve jobs in all of his wisdom be coming to the building on a segway now pulling it out of your car lifting it out and you know

doing your thing and yet you’re not because he was wrong he looked at it from this human wisdom he just like it didn’t work and it will not work every time and we as a church community and you as a follower of Jesus I as a follower of Jesus I’m called to listen to this wisdom that is beyond human beings do not deceive yourselves if any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age you should become fools so that you may become wise for the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight as it is written he catches the wise in their craftiness and again the lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile there’s this idea that well actually no it’s it’s not just about human wisdom we have to be listeners we have to ask what is next and expect and then reflect another thing that maybe gets you caught up is this is is the past

maybe there’s this tendency to say not just that I want to honor the past but I I like I just wish we could go back to it it was so good in the old days things were different then if only we could capture that and that isn’t always as helpful as you might think yes there’s ways to pull back some of the old thing we just talked about that but actually just wishing you could go back very rarely works we looked at this quote in week one this is sauron kirkegaard the 19th century philosopher life must be lived forwards but under stood backwards sometimes wonder whether we wish we could flip that quote sometimes think that we’d like to kind of like live backwards and understand forwards we want to know every single decision before we move we want to know every outcome before we move and sometimes we want to live just heading backwards

we want to live back into the past because it’s safer there the mind can stop us figuring out what God has for us but also the past can stop us God has new things for south God has new things for you you are on a journey and journeys go forwards they’re moving and then another one the rush the rush or getting caught up in it one of the most important things that you see for this joshua community is the power of taking a first step it’s not about the whole journey in front of them they don’t know where they’re going I just said that about south at the beginning I don’t know all the places that God is calling south to go joshua did not know all of the places and all of the costs that would come up with this expedition this exploration this moving into this promised land he knows jericho’s in front of them and then there’s other stuff in the future

but right now his focus is on what is the first thing to do what is that one next step that I can take and sometimes we can become so obsessed with knowing everything about the future that actually that first step becomes harder and harder to take this is this wonderful story that pastor amy talked about during the kids moment this is Jesus and peter and this incredible moment out on the sea of galilee this moment that has never been replicated and probably never will be but who knows immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side while he dismissed the crowd after he had dismissed them he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray later that night he was there alone and the boat was already in considerable distance a considerable distance from the land buffered by the

waves because the wind was against it shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them walking on the lake when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified as you would be that is a reasonable response it is it is a ghost they said and cried out in fear but Jesus immediately said to them take courage it is I don’t be afraid lord if it is you peter replied tell me to come to you on the water come he said I love peter like what an absurdly ridiculous question what a um what’s the word I’m looking for audacious question if it’s you well tell me I can do the same thing you’re doing they’ve already started to grasp the fact that well Jesus has this thing he’s there’s something about him they’re not quite sure all the time but they’re just aware that he’s different and nobody else is walking on water and out of all the disciples in the boat

the 12 of them that are sitting there only one of them thinks that it’s appropriate to say Jesus if it’s you tell me to come to you on the water peter as we’ll read in other parts of the the gospels is he has some issues like sometimes his tendency to ask these kind of questions or make these kind of suggestions or or make these steps we’ll get him into trouble and yet they also take him into incredible joys as well because Jesus unbelievably says it’s okay come and then there’s the moment like a wonder whether peter regrets that question at some point because it’s one thing to say it and then there’s the moment where he has to lift his leg over the side of the boat and for the first time in human history for a a completely mortal being he’ll put his foot in the water and he won’t sink I’ve always been intrigued as to just exactly how it worked did he go down to

like his ankles did he go down to his knees did he’s water you know his feet sort of float on the surface but whatever happens he puts his feet into the water and he doesn’t sink and yet that first step must have been the hardest step it’s not about the rest of it it’s about that first willingness to sort of step into the future step into the next thing this is a picture of crystal lake up in michigan some friends of ours have this beautiful lake house up there which they let us borrow occasionally and the water is crystal clear as you would imagine in a lake called crystal lake seems to go with the name it would be very bad if the lake was murky when you got there and you can see for the first hundred yards out every single stone you can watch as the water ripples and then as you get further out there’s this moment about 100 yards out from the

surface where suddenly it drops away that bit where you can see where it’s dark blue it goes from about 12 feet deep to 170 feet deep and so when we were staying there they call it going out into the blue and I took a a paddleboard out there and I grew up surfing you know I never thought about how many how how deep the water was underneath me never really occurred to me I was never really worried about sharks and all those kind of things I just assumed everything would be fine and then going out on crystal lake on this paddle board as I slowly got to this part where it just suddenly drops down deep deep deep I suddenly got incredibly nervous I kind of like hovered at the edge of the light blue part and then I was thinking about turning back and I thought you know what no I’m never going to forgive myself if I turn back

and mentally I knew there was nothing down there it’s a freshwater lake the worst thing there might be is just you know a couple of you know freshwater fish but inside me I’m actually really nervous and I made myself cross over this sort of vague line there to go into the deep blue part because I didn’t want to go back and say I hadn’t done it I wonder if that’s peter’s moment a little bit that moment where he’s like I’ve asked now the opportunities in front of me and I can’t go back but he must have been nervous but he makes this decision I’m going to keep going I’m going to take that next step and that next step changes everything and next next steps begin they begin with first steps they begin with first steps one of the interesting things like psychologically is this when you decide that you want to go to the gym the number one thing

that will change whether you go or not is whether you put your shoes on it’s whether you put your shoes on putting shoes on is that first step that changes all of your next steps if you don’t put them on you’re probably not going once they’re on your feet you’re probably not taking them off until you’ve been think about that application just for us and next steps the something that we’re called to do that will lead us into the future the something that makes that future more likely and figuring out what that is for south and what that is for you and I individually in our personal lives that’s part of the key first steps of what lead to next steps this is elizabeth elliot she was the wife of a missionary called jim elliott in south america they had engaged with a tribe through an airplane that dropped some leaflets downtown this tribe had never been

reached by Jesus people before so they started to feel like the tribe might be friendly and might be willing to have a visit and so four guys went in a plane and landed with some gifts to meet the tribe and the tribe tribal leaders killed all four of them they all died and elizabeth elliot and the otherwise were left with this decision what do we do do we just go back home and they decided that the love of Jesus was so compelling to them that Jesus narrative was so compelling to them that they were going to continue to reach this tribe of people and when the tribal leaders found that the wives of the people they had killed had still come to reach them with this message well somehow that changed everything these leaders these these women began to work with these tribal leaders and and loads of them came to know Jesus for themselves but

there was this moment for elizabeth elliot left with the weight of this missionary thing that they were trying to do where she said she was just overwhelmed and so she asked God well what am I supposed to do and the answer she heard was this just do the next thing just do the next thing just do the next thing for us as we as a community as we follow Jesus on the journey he has for us for you as you figure out the journey he has for you in life what is the next thing what is the first thing that’s what leads you into the future a journey is a step as you expect and then reflect and then another step expect and reflect and then another step expect and reflect expect that as you ask God what is the next thing for us as what is the next thing for you that he will do what he said he will do take time to reflect take time to be grateful does this sort of like

psychological thing that happens in our brains bad experiences people say are like velcro they stick instantly they just stay with us you see a clip in a horror movie my wife is terrified of sharks I can say this because she’s not here so whenever we go in the ocean she believes that every shark in like 100 miles is like oh laura’s in the ocean here we go they all come and yet that’s probably not true but it stems I think from watching these like movies about shark attacks and stuff and if you’ve seen one you know that it can just glue in your mind negative experiences are like ah they’re just like velcro and they stick and yet positive ones are not like that positive ones are like those nasty teflon pens that were so popular at one time if you own nasty teflon pans feel persecuted you should go and sell them immediately they’re not good um

but they’re like these things that things just slip off unless you take a certain amount of time and the estimate is about 15 seconds to appreciate to be grateful the memory just doesn’t stay that’s what this is that’s what this thing is in that song we sang found of every blessing when it says raise my ebenezer that’s what this is it’s this ebenezer it’s this memory it’s this oh God came to my aid he stepped with me I asked and expected and he was faithful that’s this memory of like ah he was good he was good we’ve looked at a couple of spiritual disciplines to help us sort of process the last couple of weeks we’ve looked at the idea of lament and the idea of presence over the last two weeks I would say that for this week a good discipline for you for me for south is petition and we can do that through this psalm this is psalm 25 show me your

ways lord teach me your paths guide me in your truth and teach me for you our God my savior and my hope is in you all day long remember lord your great mercy and love for they are from old take a picture of it find it in your bible psalm 25 read it every day this week and make it your prayer as you’re figuring out what are the next steps for me personally God what are you calling me into what decision am I making show me your ways lord teach me your paths guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my savior and my hope is in you all day long show me your ways that’s what we’re asking God for for each of us what is your next step I don’t know but maybe there’s something that instantly comes comes to mind maybe there’s a decision that you’re trying to process something that you’re moving into but whatever it is ask what’s next

and expect then reflect and for us as a community too I rephrase some of the language to make it corporate show us your ways lord show south your ways teach us your paths guide us in your truth and teach us for you our God our savior and our hope is in you all day long remember lord your great mercy and love for they are from old show us as a community God where would you have a step next what audacious ridiculous decisions that we’ve made in the past might inform the ridiculous audacious decisions that we might make in a future what uncomfortable steps might you be calling us into that might change everything are we the people that still want the answer to that question what is our next step as a community of people we are called to enter into prayer to enter into asking God what is next and expect then reflect the next two weeks

we’re going to ask what type of community is this we’re going to look inwards and we’re going to look outwards and we’re going to process some of those questions together but one of the things I’ve loved about being at south so far is I’ve already got to see God move I’ve already got to see God be faithful as some of you will or most of you will know when uh I arrived larry boatwright was our executive pastor wonderful guy we got him really well but he felt this call to be somewhere else and so he moved to california and there’s this moment of like oh okay we don’t have an executive pastor anymore and some great people like jody stepped up into some of those roles uh I did some of those parts myself but but I was always in this sense of like no we need somebody who has some real just like some experience some solid on the ground sort

of experience of church but also knows some of the stuff that we do down here this strip and so God was incredibly faithful to us asking what is next and expecting and now we get to reflect as a community of people together so I’m going to invite steve schroeder to come up on stage with me for a second steve uh he’s going to just share a little bit of his story and steve is now on board with us as an executive pastor there is a microphone right there for you to grab so yeah round of applause for that and so I got to sit down with steve um you’d already have think you and tom had a conversation about you know maybe you’re helping out in the interim or could that be a permanent thing but we sat down uh just for a little while um just the two of us not long after I got here and um but that journey was not just starting there for you right there was

a little bit going on that might be helpful for people to know I’ve been on a journey with Jesus for so many years and I love the church we were in kansas I was a lead pastor there and after 34 years of being in pastoral ministry we sensed God nudging us to move to denver and to buy a business I’ve always had a little interest in business and we bought the great great harvest bakery in greenwood village which is unusual for a pastor because most of us have no experience with anything practical whatsoever so to run a bakery is a fairly impressive thing I’ll let that one go we loved running the business we learned a lot we grew a lot through that time we loved the bakery about january of this year and we’ve been attending south for at least three or three and a half years we sensed it was time to put the business up for sale and I didn’t

know what was next and I kept asking Jesus what you know what’s next for me I don’t feel like just sitting around and retiring and I heard him say I want you back in the church and I didn’t know where or what that meant and I was sitting over here that august 16 when larry was up here surprising uh surprised me with his resignation and I heard Jesus say surprise me too just this is what I’ve been preparing you for and I said really and I’d never put the dots together that all those years of pastoral ministry and then running a business would actually set me up well to qualify me to be an executive pastor where we’ve got a budget that’s similar to what ours was at the bakery I’m working with a similar size staff I’ve been a tenant I know what it’s like to have to pay rent and to work with leases I’ve learned quickbooks in the last four years sorry what’s

quickbooks I don’t know so we sold the bakery on september 23rd the day before you and I had our first meeting together and I was just shaking my head like Jesus you just wove all of this together so perfectly and I had no idea that he was doing that so you know we got to know each other and you stepped out on faith and said I think I can trust this guy let’s hire him and uh and it just feels right it feels like the right fit for the right time so to give some sense to the community of what I felt as we were praying as a group of people asking God what is next I had this sense of a few things we needed someone who had some real experience running a business as steve just alluded to some people that had actually done the thing which I have not done I worked on a golf course but that’s maybe not the most practical experience for

overseeing coffee shops and early learning centers and things it was great but not useful and then I also had this sense that we have a fairly young pastoral team as well I’m pretty new to some of this stuff we have a load of great staff in their 30s we have dan who’s still rocking it out in his is it 40s down 45 something like that and um but I had this sense that you know we wanted a uh someone who had more experience that as we passed to people some of you in your 60s 70s would would have some of that experience as well I wanted someone who’d been a lead pastor that wa that had sat in the seat that I sit in because it is different that thing about parenting about the theories that is true of being a lead pastor as well you have all these wonderful theories till you do it and then you’re like none of them work we’re just you know we

just go and listen to what God says and so when I met steve and sat down it was like box after box after box was ticked it was that thing that we talked about at the start ask what’s next and expect that God will be good in his promises and now we get to reflect as a community that God is the God who answers prayer that south has taken a step and now the thing is to ask what is the next one and so I’m delighted that we get to do that together stephen I am too I’ll be the old guy on staff dan and I yeah that’s okay it’s fine with me you said it I didn’t say it I just I just inferred it so what I’d love to do as we sort of uh move towards the close of the service I’m going to ask any elders that are present we’re just going to pray for steve as he starts this new journey with us uh if you have been an elder in the past and you would like to join us feel

free to come up as well and I’m going to allow the worship team to get ready to lead us in a closing song but we’re going to pray for steve together and be thankful together