Over the summer, Emily and I had some decisions to make about this season of transition. We were invited to consider a pastor opportunity with a Vineyard church in Montana. We visited and loved the people and the church, but did not feel like right now was the time to make that kind of move with our family. We began making plans to stay in Cincinnati.
As of September, I entered a pastoral residency at Vineyard Church Northwest in Colerain Township, a suburb of Cincinnati, OH. This residency is designed to expose me to leadership in a large church (over 500) over the next year. My family has been a part of Vineyard Northwest since we closed the Mason Vineyard in April 2015. We have been volunteering in Kids Ministry, leading a small group, and getting to know and love a bunch of incredible people. But, this is a formal transition into a role where I will be participating on the ministry team and serving alongside the pastoral staff while learning as much as I can from and with them.
This will be a season of bi-vocational ministry for me, so I can continue to provide for our family. I will be working at Hauser Heating and Air Conditioning where I do a myriad of things – mainly managing the warehouse and supply chain for our installation teams and service technicians. One of my best friends in the world, Josh Hauser, is the business manager (his Dad owns the business) and they have been super gracious to me as I learn the ropes. I will also continue teaching Philosophy and Christian Thought at Indiana Wesleyan in their Adult Education Department.
My residency at VCNW will look like this:
- One-on-one leadership mentoring with Senior Pastor, Van Cochrane. Specifically sharpening skills in my own leadership. We will focus on things that help me prepare to lead a larger church in the future.
- Spiritual Direction – I will be doing Spiritual Direction with Dave King, our executive pastor who is in the Second Year of the Vineyard’s School of Spiritual Direction.
- A Ministry Practicum – I will be leading an effort to minister to the young families in Vineyard Northwest. I will work with the Small Groups Pastor, Laurie Cochrane to develop this ministry. See below for more details.
The primary practicum of my residency will be focused on Family Ministry. We have been coming alongside a Life Group of young families that has out grown a home and have begun meeting in the church on Wednesday nights. This fall, we will be expanding that Life Group into a Mid-Sized group or Missional Community with a team of 5 couples (and more as we grow). Emily and I will provide pastoral care to families and spur them on to greater and deeper things in the Kingdom!
We are super excited about what God is doing in our midst. We have an incredible community of young families forming. We have been meeting for a few months and already love one another. This fall, we will be expanding this community as we welcome in many more people in a focused church-wide effort to introduce the elements of our Young Adults Ministry, HOUSE GROUP, to the rest of the church. We will be meeting on Wednesday nights to explore these elements in four mid-sized groups (40ish people). Our FAMILY GROUP will be one of four groups. We will have bible discussion, worship and ministry while exploring the topic “Developing a Prophetic Culture.” If you are in the Cincinnati area and want to join us, come on…
Emily and I will also continue to help lead Healing on the Streets once a month and we are participating in School of Kingdom Ministry this year. So, we are booked solid, if you were wondering. Get in touch if you want to hang out, or better, join us at VCNW.
Love, Jason and Emily.