9600 E Mill Plain Blvd Vancouver, WA 98664  (360) 892-5520

The Purpose for our Preaching Plan

We’re going to have a guest preacher at Evergreen this weekend: me! I’m only partly joking because although this will be the last weekend in May, it will be my first time in the pulpit this month. Some may wonder why the senior pastor is preaching so seldom in a stretch when he isn’t even on vacation. There are three reasons.

First, last weekend I did not preach at Evergreen because I preached four times at the men’s retreat. Our theme was “Passing the Tests of Faith” and I came away super encouraged about the time we had. I saw many exciting indicators that God was doing some very important in the hearts of our men.

Second, I have been helping fill the gaps as we have been without a Spanish Ministry Pastor and a Youth Pastor for the last six months. I have been preaching once a month in both venues and have really been blessed by these unique opportunities. My recent messages in youth group were the first time I’ve taught teens in 25 years and I have been so impressed by how attentive our students are to the Word of God. Super encouraging! The other pastors and volunteer youth leaders have together worked really hard to open the Word of God to our Middle and High School students.

In our Spanish Ministry, I have been part of a rotation with three of the Spanish Ministry leaders to bring the messages in our Spanish service, which meets at 1:30pm on Sundays. Since I no habla espanol, I preach with an interpreter – a uniquely fun and challenging task. I liken it to trying to run in a three-legged race. Even with careful teamwork, it tends to be bumpy and it takes a while to get where you’re going. Needless to say, we are very excited to see these two positions filled so that we will be back at full strength in our pastoral staff.

However, the third reason I am not preaching as often is that we are in the middle of implementing a new paradigm for preaching in which we have two primary preachers instead of one. The plan going forward is that Pastor Ryan Aufenkamp and I will split the preaching responsibilities. We don’t expect a particularly predictable rotation, but the split will be roughly 50-50, depending on the other life and ministry factors going on at the time.

We have been moving this direction for a while now and see encouraging evidence this will make our church significantly stronger. Not only do I expect this will enable me to continue serving with good energy for another decade, our church will benefit from the gifting and insight God has given Ryan Aufenkamp. Ryan has a sabbatical this summer, but in the fall we expect this new rhythm to hit its stride. And with a full completement of pastors on staff, I am very excited for this next season of ministry. I hope you are encouraged as well.

Hope to see you this weekend!

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection