Melinda and I were invited to be a apart of the installation of Judah and Chelsea Smith as Lead Pastors at The City Church. City Church founding pastors, Pastors Wendell and Gini Smith have been so instrumental in our lives the last 10 years. I love and value them much.
Judah and Chelsea have been trusted friends. We’ve shared many dinners, lunches, and hang out times with these two, and I am so excited about what is happening in the Seattle region.
There were many of Seattle’s who’s who of church leaders there. People like Mark Driscol, Mars Hill; Casey Treat, Christian Faith Center; Jan Hettinga, Northshore Baptist, to name a few. Also huge leaders from around the nation and world, Nick Caine, Hillsong Church, Australia; Frank Damazio, City Bible Church, Portland, Dave Martin, DMI, Orlando, and Dick Iverson, MFI. In addition, letters were read from John Maxwell, Oral Roberts, Rienhard Bonke, John Bevere, Derek Prince and so many others. It was great to see a young man and woman, Judah’s 30, so celebrated and trusted.
The whole evening brought me back nearly 10 years ago when I was set in as the Lead Pastor of The Rock church. Our pastors, my mom and dad, less than one week earlier were killed in a plane crash, and it made the coronation at The Rock Church much different. Instead of cheers we had tears. Unlike this star filled event of last night, my becoming a lead pastor was born out of pain. Yet, as the theme, “by God’s grace” continued throughout last night I recognized time and time again how that grace sustains us all. That no matter the circumstance, it’s the same grace!
As I sat and listened to both Wendell and Gini charge Judah and Chelsea for their next step in minsitry I closed my eyes and imagined what it would have been like to hear my mom and dad charge Melinda and I. I have to say, as Pastor talked, a tear flowed from my eyes. What he said was moving and strong, tender and tough, inspiring and captivating.
And then it hit me, Pastor Wendell and Gini have been my pastors for nearly ten years. So as I listened to them talk to their son, I quietly remembered the countless conversation I had with mom and dad, all the talks about church and God, life and love.
As I lay my head on the pillow last night, I had this sense that, we too, have the best and brightest years ahead of The Rock Church.
Thank you Pastor Wendell, Pastor Gini and congrats to two of the most amazing people I call friends, Judah and Chelsea.