Today marks the beginning of a new season for many people in our closely knit community at Roger Park Community Church. The Greenberg family of 5, whom we've come to know and love over the past 6 years in their Lead Pastor role, has moved to Florida to work and live near family. They leave behind their Chicago home of 15 years and a legacy of prayer, service and sharing.
Today, Tripp was unanimously voted in as Interim Lead Pastor at Rogers Park Community Church. Lead Pastor Keith Greenberg endorses Tripp as his replacement. The title Interim in this context means, 'Lead Pastor with a grace period'. Tripp will take on all the duties of Lead Pastor under a 'Tent Maker' or bi-vocational model. He will continue to work full-time at the medical waste company while we all, church and family, assess if this is the right direction.
Let's take a moment to look at Tripp in 2007, at the height of his good looks.
At the end of our time teaching English in Taiwan, Tripp and I volunteered in a Christian English program for kids at a local church. Angel, the young girl in the photo above, was my student and her father was the pastor. While volunteering, a girl from the church asked if we would like to receive prayer from a well-know Christian in the area. Tripp had reservations but felt it would be culturally rude to say no. The man prayed for Tripp in Chinese and the girl translated. The prayer included insight on two future events. One of the events became tragically true a year later, and the other that Tripp would be a pastor.
Tripp believes that prayer confirms feelings he experienced in a vivid dream in College.
"When I was in college, Jesus appeared to me in a dream, and showed me what he would have me do... Namely to be in the church, and point the people to Him. This is hard to explain, but it was the most vivid dream of my life, and has given me great confidence in my purposes. This experience has had a profound influence on me."
I wish Tripp would sit down and detail out this current grace period we've entered into as a family. However, he's fallen asleep watching football. He falls asleep on the couch most night while I work.
Today I feel that we're given a very unique opportunity to understand toiling (striving, working hard) for God. This toiling is not partnered with insecurity about whether or not we're doing the right thing. This toiling, according to 1 Timothy 4:10 and Colossians 1:29, is in the context of teaching the message of Jesus in the Bible, the living hope, to all who will listen.
This is good news for our family because regardless of whether or not Tripp leads RPCC beyond winter 2014, we will learn to toil well.