“A Pastor…What’s That?”

I had this wonderful experience with a kid on my soccer team this week. He said, “Coach, what do you do for a job?” I answered, “I’m a pastor.” He gave me this funny look and said, “What’s that?” Keep in mind that this was in the middle of me trying to explain a drill to nine boys, most of whom were asking me questions at the same moment. I knew I didn’t have a chance to even begin to explain it to him right there, but it just confirmed to me that I was in the right place. It is exactly where I want to be and exactly the kind of conversations that I hope to build on in the future. I would love it if for the rest of his life, regardless of what happens, he thinks of a “pastor” as a person who cared about him on a rainy soccer field. My prayer is that he one day discovers that I was able to care for him because of the grace of Jesus in my life.

Here is an awesome video that connects in with this way of thinking about being “the church” and the role of “pastor.” I wish I could articulate it as well as Jeff does:

Moving Forward and Gaining Momentum!

I feel like every day we just keep taking small steps forward and they seem to come faster as time goes on. Here are a few updates from this week:

  • Grant approved! We received a $25,000 Mission Program Grant. What an answer to prayer (and a lot of hard week by our discernment team). Details here.
  • Website, Facebook Page, Email (Brandon@stanwoodtidelands.org) up and running!
  • Mountain View PC’s Session approved a bunch of proposals by our core team including setting up a bank account, approving Core Team members, and setting the date for our first worship gathering on Sunday, October 28 (time/place TBA)
  • We had our first informational meeting last Saturday, and we have another one coming up on Thursday, October 25, 6:00 PM at the Stanwood Library
  • There are some solid leads on possible spaces in the community for offices and worship gatherings. Already I’m dreaming about ways to incorporate these spaces as part of our mission in the community.

Website & Informational Meetings

We now have a website! www.stanwoodtidelands.org

I will continue to make posts to this blog – especially ideas and reflections as we move through the church development process. However, I will begin to move more of the news and announcements to the church website.

Meetings Coming Soon!

We are going to have two informational meetings open to the community and anyone interested in knowing more about what we are trying to start with Tidelands.

  • Saturday, October 13, 6:00 pm  (Stanwood Library)
  • Thursday, October 25, 6:00 pm (Stanwood Library)

Both meetings will be in the library meeting room. We will have some snacks, share a brief overview of the plans for the new church, and have a time for questions. We will cover the same information in both meetings. Even if you are not interested in being a part of the new church you are welcome to come to find out what we are doing. If you have questions please email Brandon@stanwoodtidelands.org.


One of many places I like to use for a temporary work space.

I’ve officially transferred over to my new position as “organizing pastor” of Tidelands. It is nice to finally be dedicating 100% of my work time to setting up this new ministry. I’m beginning to realize just how much of my office resides in boxes at the moment! I feel a bit homeless after having an office to go to every morning for the past 14 years, but that is not necessary a bad thing. I’m also experiencing a bit of the same overwhelmed feeling I had when I first experienced the freedom of my youth ministry position at Mountain View (“here is the job: now go for it!”). I had built up a bit of a routine and schedule in my life of ministry that became quite comfortable and now I’m starting from scratch again.

So far I’ve been able to spend a lot of time getting to know the Stanwood/Camano community better. I’ve been searching for a good place to hold our informational meeting and I’ve discovered that there aren’t many (any?) restaurants with meeting rooms around the area. Kristina and I are beginning to wonder where sports teams go when they have their end of season parties! I’ll have to ask my soccer team parents that questions this week. Right now it looks like the library meeting room may well be the way to go.

Today as I was driving around and dropping in at different places I realized just how much I am already falling in love with this community and these people! It has a lot of small-town friendliness mixed with tourism, commuter life, island life, and quirkiness. This is a good place to land and raise our kids. I am so grateful to God for leading us here and I can’t wait to begin blessing this community with the love of Christ! In the meantime, I need to try to get some floorspace cleared out in our shop bedroom so that I can set up a desk and unpack some boxes!