This week on Real Church Stories, we're joined by Nathaniel Foote, the Lead Pastor of Grace Church in Lexington, OH. Nathaniel grew up in the Church and started as a Student Pastor in PA before returning to his home state of OH to serve at Grace Church in 2013.
Nathaniel, like many other student pastors, went into ministry thinking that he would be in student ministry for the long-haul, but God had other plans. When Nathaniel first started at Grace Church, it wasn’t as the Lead Pastor, but through a course of events of other leaders stepping away, God made it clear that He was leading Nathaniel into that role.
Listen in to learn how Nathaniel has navigated that transition, along with some encouragement for you going into this week:
Some Key Takeaways:
1) Sometimes in ministry, we find that God has a different path or plan than what we had in mind. In the midst of diligently fulfilling our current roles and responsibilities, it’s important to pay attention to how God might be moving us to serve and lead in new ways. Perhaps God is ready to move us to something new before we’re even considering it.
2) As a pastor, we need to be aware of the expectations that are placed upon our spouses. Spouses can sometimes feel like they are expected to serve or lead in the same ways as a spouse of previous pastor. It’s important that we are aware of these expectations and that we work to manage them in a way that allows our spouses to serve as God leads them.
3) We need to have people inside AND outside the church who can give us a fresh perspective. It’s very easy to get caught up in how we do ministry and totally miss details or shortcomings that are staring us in the face. When we have others who are outside our situation, they are often able to see things we miss.
In a couple weeks, I'll be sharing my next conversation with Heather Robertson, Co-Pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Pekin, IL. From times of walking alongside a family that has lost a child to leading community events, Heather’s passion for people has led her to develop various ways for individuals to discover who God has created them to be.
Subscribe (and Leave a Review!)
Be sure to subscribe to Real Church Stories on whatever platform you prefer! You can also keep up with this podcast and other resources from 95Network by using the form below:
The Real Church Stories Podcast is a ministry of 95Network. As a nonprofit, we rely on the support of those who believe in our mission to resource small and mid-size churches and support pastors. If you have been impacted by this podcast or our ministry, would you consider supporting us?
Joe Thompson is the pastor of Smithfield Christian Church in Smithfield, VA (Hamtown USA). Joe grew up highly involved church and knew from middle school that God had called him to ministry. Since graduating from Johnson University (Knoxville, TN) in 2002, he has been involved in student ministries in VA and NC and now as a lead pastor in VA. Joe also holds a Masters of Arts in Religion from Kentucky Christian University (Grayson, KY). Joe has been married to Beth since 2005 and they have two kids, Brennen and Allie. He also loves family trips to Busch Gardens and woodworking.