Sunday, February 3, 2013, we launched the Together Campaign at Grace Church. In the weeks leading up to the launch I talked a lot with my friend and director of communications at Grace Danny D'Acquisto about the history of Grace, going all the way back to the church's founding in 1854 to my first Sunday in September of 2011. We were taking ideas and language regarding church and holding them up to the past to see if there were similarities and where and why there might be differences. We started to notice similar language, going back to the earliest days of the church when the tag line was "The Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ."
As we talked, we realized that there was one person that really needed to be a part of the conversation, the man who served as senior pastor for 35 years and saw Grace through the largest period of growth and expansion in the church's history, Pastor Jerry Worsham. Jerry was the one who handed me the baton of leadership that Sunday in 2011 when I assumed the helm here. He is the person who knows the most about this church, my job, and the challenges I face in leading this large congregation.
So we started to talk to Jerry, and as we did, it became clear that this was a conversation that a lot of people needed to hear. So we asked Jerry if he would be willing to have the same conversations in front of a couple cameras so that more people could hear the stuff we're talking about.
He said yes. So I'm sharing it with you.
Before you watch though, you should know that when I took the role of lead pastor at Grace, all the things I read about leadership transition and many of the people I talked to about the position had me very concerned about my relationship with Jerry. After all, the thinking went, a guy who led the church for 35 years has quite a bit of influence and if I wanted to be seen as the leader maybe I needed to set some serious distance between us.
Let me say that if I'd distanced myself from Jerry Worsham it would have been a huge leadership mistake. Why? Because Jerry is one of the most amazing men I've ever met. His heart for the Lord is as clear as I've ever seen in anyone, and his desire to see me do well probably exceeds my own. Jerry loves me, he roots for me, he is quick to call me his pastor, and he is there when I need him. I love Jerry and he loves me.
I think you'll see all of that in this conversation. I can't wait to see what God will do in this season of Grace's history!
Pastor Jerry on the Centeral Focus of Grace Church from Grace Church on Vimeo.