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One Last Post

09 Jun Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on One Last Post
One Last Post
 

Embracing Seasons and Change

I had just finished my last seminary exam and was now off to work for the evening at the hospital. Being my last semester in seminary I was beginning to tire of the question, “So what are your plans for after graduation?”

I remember responding to people by simply saying, “I’m just trying to finish and still have a soul. I’ll think about what’s next after I’m done!”

Well, that evening at the hospital proved to be no different. Not long into my evening between various trauma procedures, my supervisor asked me if I would be willing to sign a contract for the following year. Not wanting to lose me, she made the offer. I was honored, yet sensed I needed time to be attentive to God.

I simply replied, “Give me some time, I’ll let you know in a few weeks.”

No sooner did I get the words out of my mouth, when my administrative assistant said, “Your wife is on the phone for you.” Now, Naomi would call from time to time, especially when the natives, Eli and Grace were getting restless. As I picked up the phone, Naomi simply said, “You’ll never guess who just called and offered you a job!” As silence fell over the phone, I simply asked, “Who?” Naomi, with great excitement went on to share that Jim Ayers, my college mentor and dear friend had called to see if I would be interested in coming to serve alongside him teaching and directing the Youth Ministry major at LBC.

Talk about not being on my radar.

For three years I had been preparing and focused on returning to a role in pastoral ministry within a local church. Yet, without a doubt, I and my wife sensed that God was inviting us into this new adventure. That was almost 11 years ago to the day.

If your life is anything like mine, you’ve realized that following after God is certainly not static. He is constantly reshaping, forming and drawing you into new adventures. Adventures which ask for change in you as well as those around you. It is with this background I’d like to share the new season that God is inviting me into within the broader LBC community.

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My Season of Transition

Fast forward ten years and now after having discipled, pastored and taught in the field of student ministry for nearly two decades, I have sensed God prompting me into a new season. This past spring while on sabbatical, I was approached by LBC leadership asking me to entertain a newly formed role as Chair overseeing all ministry majors throughout the LBC and Capital Seminary community. This newly formed role will provide vision and leadership to a new season of crafting ministry leaders here at LBC and Capital Seminary. Even as I write these words my excitement is mixed with a humbling weight.

Please pray for me as I enter and provide leadership to this role.

Student Ministry

It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since I said yes to Jim Ayers invitation and taught my first class in Student Ministry. I truly have loved this season. As I reflect upon this time, I am reminded of the dear times with students, special class moments, and watching students become leaders who in turn cultivated disciples in their own contexts. These were special moments.

With that being said, our best years for Student Ministry at LBC and Capital Seminary are still front of us. I am pleased to announce that my dear friend and colleague, Aaron Brown will take over the Coordinator role of the Student Ministry Majors. We have also begun a search to hire a new Student Ministry Professor to come alongside Aaron in filling his previous role. As I reflect on these changes, I’m excited about how God is going to use these leaders to reshape a new season of Student Ministry and disciples for His kingdom.

Please pray for Aaron and the Student Ministry teaching team as they transition into a new season of training and equipping future ministry leaders.

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Project Renovation

Not long after arriving at LBC ten years ago, I was tasked with evaluating the local student ministry networks. It didn’t take long to realize that student ministry in the Lancaster area was in great transition at that time. Prompted by the change of multiple key Youth Pastors and the collapse of multiple youth networks, a void had been created. It was in this environment that Project Renovation was birthed.

Nine years later, we celebrate God’s faithfulness to this network of local youth leaders. We’re grateful that the Project has been an opportunity to equip and care for the souls’ of hundreds of Student Ministry leaders in the central Pennsylvania area. It has been a humbling privilege to partner with so many people for the “resourcing of leaders and the renewing of souls.”

In a similar way to that season nine years ago, however, the Project finds itself prompted by a need for evaluation. Within the broader context of other transitions, the future of the Project is something that we’ve begun to prayerful consider. Over the next six months, our student ministry team will take time to evaluate and cast vision for a new season of student ministry equipping and networking in the Central Pennsylvania area.

Please pray for the leadership of Project Renovation as we evaluate and vision cast for the future.

Years ago I was struck by a quote I read from Henri Blackeby. He said, “You cannot stay where you are and go with God at the same time.” For so many who have been part of this journey with us, we look forward to this new season in what God has for us, as well as each of you. We look forward to going with God and trusting him as we embrace a season of change.

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Updates about the Website

As part of our transition in this season of change, we’ve decided to refocus some of our current efforts. Effectively, this means that we’ll be discontinuing the blog after this week. The website will be redesigned and all past content will still be freely available. This step will free us up to spend more time developing for the future. The website will still serve as a library of resources and as a communication tool as we announce future updates and developments. We’re all tremendously grateful for the faithful community that both regularly read and contributed to the blog. Thank you for being part of this small online expression of the Project community.

Rick Rhoads
Professor of Student Min at Lancaster Bible College
Rick is the Director of the Student Ministry Majors at Lancaster Bible College. He has served as an Assistant Professor in Student Ministry at LBC for the past 7 years. Over the past 18 years, he has served in various Student Ministry roles at Lebanon Valley YFC, LCBC, Calvary Bible Church, and Riverbend Community Church. Rick, his wife Naomi, and their two children Grace and Eli live East Petersburg, PA.