Answering Some Questions About The Table Church
WHERE IS THE CHURCH?
The Table Church meets in two locations. The morning service is in the Gala Theater in the neighborhood of Columbia Heights. The evening service location meets in the historic First Congregation United Church of Christ, about half a mile from The White House.
WILL YOU PREACH AT BOTH SERVICES?
HOW MANY PEOPLE ATTEND?
Altogether, around 200ish
WHAT'S THE STAFF SITUATION?
In terms of full-time staff, I'll serve as the lead pastor; Jessica Breslin is the executive pastor and is currently serving in the interim lead role. There is a part-time worship director; two volunteer associate pastors; a church-planter-in-residence; and an incredible number of volunteer ministry directors and coaches.
WHAT DENOMINATION ARE THEY A PART OF?
They are non-denominational.
IN TERMS OF BEING THEIR PASTOR, WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
I'm excited about a lot! I can't wait to celebrate Eucharist with them each week. I can't wait to serve alongside a diverse leadership team. I'm excited to hear how God has already used this local church and hear their dreams for what they want to do next. I'm excited to lead a preaching team that wants to wrestle honestly with Scripture and follow it where it leads. I'm excited to get to know a congregation with hundreds of different stories and to shepherd them towards the Chief Shepherd.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST ANXIOUS ABOUT?
I'm a white male that, for the past ten years, has lived in a 98% white county that's majority Christian in rural Iowa.
I'm about to help lead a church on the east coast in the 8th largest metropolitan area that's 49% black and home to more than 170 nationalities and ethnic groups. It has one of the largest LGBT populations (by percentage) in the nation; one of the largest Muslim populations in the nation; and 1/4 of the population is religiously unaffiliated.
It's just a little bit different than northwest Iowa.
What does that all mean? It means it's imperative that I take the posture of a student and learner during my first months and years there. I do not and will not have all the answers. And I won't pretend that I do.
What I'm anxious about (and, in general, this is what I'm anxious about in all of ministry) are the mistakes that I will make. And how those mistakes will misrepresent Jesus and His very good Gospel. And how those misrepresentations will possibly push someone away from knowing how good Jesus is.
"Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly," (James 3:1)
No pressure, right?
But that anxiety is met with trust. Trust that Jesus, my perfect high priest, will take my attempts at serving Him and His people, and somehow perfect their imperfections. That will happen through learning, asking forgiveness, tough conversations, and by nothing but simple grace.