15 Changes 15 Years

I recently completed 15 years as the Sr. Pastor of New Life Church. I took a few moments to reflect on what I have learned from the experience. While it is not much of an exciting career path, it is a privilege to be sure, to be allowed by God and patient people to continue serving for such a long time. The 15 years have included births and deaths, exorcism, baptisms, court appearances, letters of recommendation, meetings, conferences, progress and losses, complaints, compliments, and more.

For Spring Break I want to share some of my reflections on the 15 years. Here are a few of the changes that have taken place in the past 15 years:
  1. The world was shocked that the World Trade Center had just been attacked. . . the first time!
  2. People were outraged that gas was over a dollar ($1.06) and a first-class stamp was $.29.
  3. The earth is home to a billion more people than it was in 1993.
  4. The internet is now useful.
  5. Dial-up isn't!
  6. West Linn High School was being remodeled. . . the first time!
  7. New Life Church was called West Linn Baptist Church.
  8. The church had only recently paid off the mortgage on their 1960's addition to building and had never purchased any other property.
  9. The church had been without a pastor for one week! The longest pastoral tenure had been seven and a half years.
  10. We had two services, one traditional and one contemporary.
  11. Freda Fox was still fourteen years from retirement and was the only church secretary to ever use a computer.
  12. The inside of the church was brown paneling.
  13. An elder was an old person who needed help across the street, not a church leader.
  14. The church had only one location.
  15. Our worship leaders at the Riverfalls campus were three and five years old.