504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
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Friday, January 15, 2016

On Transitions

I have neglected my blog for quite awhile now.  I have been keeping up with two places--my 22 year career as full time faculty at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is coming to an end and my new career as a full time pastor at Dunwoody Baptist Church is beginning.  It has been all I do in the past year to keep up with both places.

I have finished the good-byes and the see you laters at the seminary--though I will stay connected through a part-time status--and it was more emotional than I predicted.  I have a great team there. The best of leadership is that your team is strong where you are weak, and that has so been the case. Much of me has been invested in the work of the Youth Ministry Institute (YMI) which is the youth ministry training and equipping arm of the seminary.  In my transition from leadership there, I feel a little like a person who has sold a house to a new owner, yet wants to tell him how to maintain the yard.  I know that whatever legacy I leave is just that--what I leave.  I trust that God will take my "baby" in the direction He wants it to go.

Humans don't like change, but I want to be an Abraham who is obedient to travel to a place yet to be known, yet to be predicted, not even close to being scripted.

I want to be Job--calling upon God (though grudgingly at first) in whatever circumstances come.

I want to be Daniel, Esther, Peter--trusting God for the absurd.

I want to be Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, knowing that Jesus is present in the fire.

I want to be a father in Mark 9 who cries out to Jesus to "help me in my unbelief."

I don't have it figured out as to what it means to be a pastor. I have discovered in my character flaw of acting first and thinking later ("ready, fire, aim") that my humility and wisdom need developing. I have discovered that the first chair is very different from the second chair, where I have sat for the entire 35 years of my ministry. I have felt a renewed love and admiration for my bride of 32 years who trusts me and trusts God to stay by my side in this transition.

I am thankful to serve a church that believes that my clay feet are ok for walking through this season with them. I am grateful for men and women who have faithfully served this great church both on stage and behind the scenes for the fifty years of its existence. I am strengthened by the members of the search team, leadership team, deacons and staff who continue to declare, "whatever it takes."

I am amazed that even through the painful journey of their beloved pastor's final years, they still have an expectation that Jesus desires people to be saved and discipled, that worship can be vibrant and deep, that missions start where they are and extend around the world.  I would ask you to pray for me for wisdom, humility, inspiration, and sermon material...Sundays are relentless for pastors.

Stay tuned.


  1. We pray continually for you and Judy and for our church. We are grateful to God for bringing you to DBC and can't wait to see what God has planned for us! Thank you Allen. Mary Rue

  2. What a wonder it has been walking with Jesus and y'all these years, dear brother! God bless, keep and guard you.

  3. What a wonder it has been walking with Jesus and y'all these years, dear brother! God bless, keep and guard you.

  4. May God bless this new season of your life and ministry.