Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Convergence and a New Job!

*I have no idea why blogger is formating my posts the way they are these days. I've tried to fix the crazy formatting, but it does it's own thing regardless of what I want, or how badly I want to fix it. Sorry!*

For the last three years Rob has been participating in a Pastoral Training program through Conservative Baptist Northwest, called Convergence.

Seven times a year he spent time prior to class reading books and doing other things to prepare for his class. He would leave early Thursday morning and spend all day Thursday, all day Friday, and part of Saturday participating in a class, or weekend intensive.

I never really blogged about it, because there was something about telling the world that my husband was regularly gone for days at a time that seemed irresponsible. Nevertheless, it's been a large part of our lives. We always missed him terribly while he was gone, but we learned to make the most of it. Titus and Leeann got to sleep in my bed while he was gone and that was something we all looked forward too. Many weeks Rob also came home with a present for the kids (and sometimes for me too!).

Secretly (or not so secretly), I'm grateful that he was able to have meaningful Pastoral training outside of seminary. I do not now, nor have ever had the desire to be a seminary widow. God bless the men who go, and the women who support them, but I'm glad it wasn't us... especially at this stage in our lives. Those who go to seminary typically spend a TON of time studying over the course of several years, and attend class regularly on top of it. And in our case it would have had to have been while our kids were very young and Rob was working full-time. That would have meant over the last 3 years any 'time off' Rob would have had would have been wrapped up in studying and travelling to class in Portland at least
once a week. By doing Convergence he still studied and took classes, but they were one at a time and all of the class work was covered in a long weekend. As hard as it was to have him away for those 3 days at a time I was always grateful that it was only a long weekend.

When he started this adventure in 2006 Titus had just turned 1 year-old and Suzy and the boys had just moved in with us for what ended up being 8 months. During his third year we had my siblings Hope and Logan living with us for 6 months too. I can't imagine having had the opportunity to do either of these things if Rob had been in seminary.
It's crazy to think of all of the life changes we've endured since the beginning of his training. Time flies!
The first week of January Pastor Denny and Pam, Rob and I attended Rob's graduation from Convergence. Three years of training culminated in a delightful dinner and fun night of encouragement and reminiscing.
Pictured above are Rob and I with Pastor Denny and his wife, Pam. Rob and Denny. Rob and me. And, Rob with his fellow graduates showing off their new swords. Yup, you read that right. They don't get diplomas to hang on the wall to remind them of what they have accomplished, but the get swords to hang on their walls to remind them what they are in the midst of. Kind of cool, huh? It's actually a real, heavy, genuine sword!
On another note, I've been very negligent not to have written about the fact that my husband has a new job! One month ago today, the church voted to go through with the transition and officially hire Rob as the Lead Pastor of North Albany Community Church. So, as of January 1st, Rob became the Lead Pastor and Denny moved into the position of Associate Pastor. Pastor Denny is an amazingly humble, godly man. He has spent 8 years building into and training my husband as a Pastor. Only a humble, godly man would step back and submit to the leadership of the man he has trained. He is nearing retirement age and has excitedly decided to spend the last few years on the job focusing on doing what he loves and what he's good at, while he continues to support and mentor Rob as he takes the lead.
So, now we embark on a new adventure. My husband is a Lead Pastor, and I am a Lead Pastor's wife! Yup. Who'd a thunk? A new journey and new excitements and challenges await us as Rob has taken on a new role. I'm excited for what's to come. It's fun to see my husband step up and take charge in ways he hasn't been able to before.
We've been here almost 8 years now. We feel very blessed to be continuing to work in the same congregation that we started in. The typical life-span of a first time Pastor is 2 years. It's not uncommon for a man to change congregations frequently. To be in the same place for 8 years is not heard of very often. To move from a Youth Pastor, to an Associate Pastor, to the Lead Pastor in the same church is even more rare.
Hopefully God will keep us here for quite some time. We love Albany, we love our church and we love the people. We would love to be able to raise our kids here. We'll see what God has in store, but I'm hopeful that it includes ministering to the people of NACC for years to come.


Jennifer & DW said...

Wow, that is so great! Wish we were there for the transition!

Kersh said...

Jeff here, give Rob a hug or high five from me. I've heard about the convergence thing from my parents, they like the end products.

alexanders said...

Congrats Rob!! Robyn, I can't think of anyone better fit to be a "Pastor's Wife."
Hannah & Tim

Eugene and Christie said...

Congratulations - that is so exciting!