Beware the power trip

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

I read this verse this past Monday morning – the day where I was starting my second week as an XP. I have worked hard both personally and professionally for me to arrive at this point as an XP, a position that I believe fits my passions, gifts and call quite well.

But there are two temptations that God used this passage to reveal to me. First, there is the temptation to think that I’ve earned this or that I deserve it. Yes, I have worked (and will continue to work) hard to excel in my pastoral ministry. That does not, however, mean that I deserve this new position. God has seen, for the glory of his own name, to move me into this position. This is about him, not me. And second, with a staff now entrusted to me, I must be aware of the temptation of power. This position carries with it positional power to make decisions. I must walk in humility, trusting those around me and as their servant, helping them to succeed.

Yet, for both of those temptations, the antidote is to remember the overwhelming grace that has been extended to me in Christ and to consider others better than myself. “God, please, make me a student of those around me and give me the humility to lead as a servant. And through my ministry, I pray that you will be pleased to grow your kingdom and make your fame known to the ends of the earth. Amen.”

Interact: What area of life are you tempted to wield power instead of humbly considering others better than yourself?

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Seeing behind the curtain

Pastoral ministry is the call to faithfulness. It’s the call to press on and keep going. It means sometimes not really knowing how God is using you, but trusting that he is honored by your faithfulness. But, sometimes, God, in his grace, allows us a sneak peak behind the curtain. Tonight was one such night.

The last four days I have been in class as I start of my last semester of my Ph.D. program (which, by the way, is cool. Can’t believe I’m at the last semester). Then tomorrow there is an open house and the moving truck comes on Monday to move us to Florida. Tonight, in the midst of all that madness of school and packing and prepping to move, some dear friends invited us and some other families over to their house for dessert. Tonight, I got a sneak peak behind the curtain.

As we leave Delaware and head to Florida, what difference have I made as a pastor? Has God been pleased by my work? At the party tonight, had a chance to see and interact with several families from the church, many (most?) of whom went to us with New Orleans over the last couple of summers. Talking to them and hearing their stories, God allowed me to see how he, in his pleasure and for his glory, has used me to serve his church. And maybe the coolest part of the whole thing is that this was not only about me as a pastor, but Kim and I serving together. Through our faithful service, God used us to reveal his grace and his mission to these families. They are grateful for us. We are grateful for them. And I am grateful for those times when God allows me to see behind the curtain and capture just a glimpse of how he is using me to lead the church and grow the kingdom.

I’ll go where He leads me

Well, with the release of Glasgow Church’s weekly newsletter, Redemptive Presence, this is at last public information that I can share. Here is the article I wrote for the newsletter this week…

Dear Glasgow Church family—
These last three years at Glasgow have been incredible for Kim and I. We have been privileged to serve alongside of you in rebuilding New Orleans. You have entrusted your children to me everywhere from the soccer field to Kids’ Church. You encouraged me as I have grown as a preacher with the stories of how God has spoken to you through me. We have laughed with some of you and cried with others. We were part of one amazing
House Church and left that one to start an equally amazing Journey. And, most dear to us, you celebrated with us when our son, Jeremiah, was born. Thank you for your friendship and your partnership in the gospel. It truly has been our joy to minister to this wonderful congregation.
It is that joy that makes this article so very challenging to write, so I will just say it. I have accepted a call as the Executive Pastor of a PCA church in Sarasota, Florida. May 15 will be my final day at Glasgow Church as we prepare for this transition. While we are excited about this next phase of ministry into which God is leading us, we will miss each of you deeply. May God bless each of you and the ministry of Glasgow Church as together you labor to see the Kingdom of God go forth into a hurting world.
For Christ,
Steve Jeantet

So, there it is. On June 1 I begin the next phase in my ministry at Covenant Life Church in Sarasota. These last three years have been a great learning experience for me as God has used this time at Glasgow to clarify my unique pastoral call by focusing my passions, developing my skills and giving me the opportunity to grow. And now, as that call becomes clearer, God has presented an opportunity that matches my gifts, abilities and passion in ministry very well. It just so happens, it is in Sarasota. With that, Kim, Jeremiah and I are moving back to Florida. Please pray for us throughout this transition for our family, for Glasgow Church and their ongoing ministry and for the opportunities that lie ahead of us to grow the Kingdom in Sarasota.