A Note on the Preaching Rotation

Matt Meisenhelter and I have felt a movement of the Spirit with respect to the preaching rotations between the two campuses. In order to communicate that movement and our thoughts, we’ve put them down each in our own words.

MM: Because Spirit & Life UMC had become such an exemplary and exceptionally fruitful new church plant, in 2015 our denominational leadership challenged us with the task of multiplying our success into a second worship location to better reach the broader Eastern Prince William County community east of I-95. This new worship location is now called the Spirit & Life Church, Potomac campus and complements the pre-existing Spirit & Life Church, Montclair campus.

The denomination supported us in this task by funding my salary package as well as providing a sizable start-up grant.

After a year of very hard work, our Potomac campus is now worshipping on Sunday's at NOVA community college and offers the Good News in two languages, English and Spanish! Nearly 80 people were worshipping at Potomac on Sunday's this Spring after starting as a small group of only 8 last July! Offering is still modest, but is on a solid growth trajectory.

MB: As part of this transition, I was brought into the Spirit and Life fold to pastor the pre-existing Montclair campus. I felt a calling to this church and this situation, though I knew this was not going to be your normal pastoral transition. Not only was I following an incredibly gifted and talented pastor in Matt Meisenhelter, but I was following the only pastor this church had ever known. But I truly felt God was calling me to this place and that God would be faithful to me and to the church if we would be faithful to Him.

MM: This transition has been expectedly tough, but we are making it work. In voicing our transitional concerns and challenges to them, our denominational leadership has repeatedly reaffirmed the vision for us to be one church in two locations to better reach the broader community. They have also offered an extension on Potomac's start-up funding beyond what was initially promised to help continue to make their vision a reality.

It has also become clear that I am now being called to focus fully on the development of the new Potomac campus and make room for Matt Benton to be fully in charge at Montclair. Montclair needs pastoral leadership 100% focused on it to recover from the challenging pastoral and multi-site transitions. And Potomac needs pastoral leadership 100% focused on it as it matures into its first full year of existence post-launch. This means me preaching full time there and making room for Matt Benton to preach full time at Montclair. While we have all enjoyed the preaching rotation, we are now in a new season which requires full attention of each pastor on each campus. I hope we can swap pulpits occasionally even into the future.

MB: I’ll give myself the final word. I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve gotten to preach at the Potomac campus. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the new people that have become plugged in over there. I’ve enjoyed being part of a multi-cultural movement of the Spirit and seeing what Acts 2 can look like in our present day. But I also have felt disconnected from the Montclair campus when I miss being in worship with you all on Sunday mornings. Matt M is right when he says there is a calling to be 100% invested in the respective campuses we are called to serve. I feel a deep calling to be connected with the Montclair campus in worship every Sunday possible.

Speaking for both of us, we hope that you’ll understand the movements we are responding to. We welcome comments or questions, either here as responses to this post or via email or offline. We ultimately believe this is in the best interest of each campus as they both seek to grow and mature. We hope you will join with us in continuing to pray for both campuses of Spirit and Life.

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