This past Saturday, Kelly and I attended the memorial service for Stuart Briscoe at Elmbrook Church. It was a joy to reconnect with friends and former colleagues I hadn’t seen in some time and to celebrate God’s work in and through Stuart’s life. My first full-time vocational role in ministry was as the Pastor of Collegiate Ministries at Elmbrook after Stuart had already retired. Although I did see Stuart from time to time during those years at Elmbrook, I actually grew to know him more personally during my last decade or so at Eastbrook. During my first at Eastbrook, I reached out to Stuart to talk about transitions in ministry, specifically how to best follow a founding pastor. I asked him if he had any advice about how to fulfill my calling as a new Senior Pastor, and he shared his oft-repeated essential advice for pastoral ministry: preach the word, love people, and pray for the Spirit to move. Before I left, Stuart gave me a signed copy of his memoir, Flowing Streams. In recent years, I enjoyed other opportunities, both formal (see further below) and informal to connect with Stuart and Jill. Their down-to-earth manner, filled with commitment to Christ and a healthy sense of humor, encouraged me greatly. You can view Stuart’s memorial service, which was about two hours long, below.
Through all this, I was reminded of the Leadership Community gathering we hosted at Eastbrook three and a half years ago with Stuart and our Pastor Emeritus, Marc Erickson (no relation, believe it or not). Stuart began the night with a 20-minute message on three distinctly Christian aspects of the leader’s character. During the next portion of the gathering, I facilitated a Q&A with Stuart and Marc about the character of a leader. This led us to explore some important questions in our current era, as well as many interesting insights and funny stories from their own lives. I hope you enjoy this view into the lives of two pastors who have steadfastly walked with Christ over the years.
It was a privilege to host Stuart Briscoe and Marc Erickson at our quarterly Leadership Community gathering this past Monday night at Eastbrook Church. I hope you enjoy this view into the lives of two pastors who have steadfastly walked with Christ over the years. Stuart began the night with a 20-minute message on three distinctly Christian aspects of character in leaders. With the next portion of the gathering, I had the chance to facilitate a Q&A with Stuart and Marc about the character of a leader. This led us to explore some important questions in our current era, as well as many interesting insights from their own lives.
This weekend, we will begin a three-week series entitled “Rooted” at Eastbrook Church.
So many of us long to live full of life. Of course, the question is how we can really live that way. Psalm 1:3 says that those who live with God will be “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
In this three-week series, we will journey through Psalm 1 to explore what it means to be rooted, full of life, and bearing fruit in God. Let’s live like trees!
I am encouraging people to memorize Psalm 1 as part of this series. Take a moment to read the entire psalm here.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
We begin a new series this coming weekend at Eastbrook Church called “Life Verse.” God does something unique in all of our lives. There are things God speaks into our lives over time that mark us deeply. Throughout this series, we will hear what God has spoken into the lives of some key pastors and leaders around their ‘life verse’. At the same time, we will be challenged to consider what God is speaking into the core of our lives.
This coming weekend at Eastbrook Church, Pastor Marc Erickson will conclude our series, “Love Letters,” with a message on 3 John. I am really looking forward to this at multiple angles.
First, Marc brings such a wealth of insight from his years of studying the Bible and pastoral ministry. Second, Marc is a man of prayer and I know that he listens deeply to the Lord when he prepares a message and brings a message. Thirdly, Marc has been a tremendous mentor and encouragement to me as I have stepped into this role as the Senior Pastor of Eastbrook Church in the last year. Fourthly, I’ve never heard a message out of 3 John and Marc told me last night that he’s going to convince me this is the most important book in the Bible. What more could we want?!
We’d love it if you’d join us to worship the Lord this weekend on Saturday night or Sunday morning.