Many of you are aware of the recent announcement of my departure from the role of Arts Pastor as of the end of June.
This decision has been a while in the making. In the midst of my pregnancy with Clare, I realized that I needed to consider the possibility of not returning to the position after her birth in December. My experience speaking and performing at The Creative Church conference in Boise last summer also had me thinking about ways to make more time available to share the Bible-in-3D class that I’ve been developing and to create performances.
My biggest concern with leaving was that there was not an obvious new leader emerging from within HopeArts. Then Geno announced that Doxology would be rejoining Hope Chapel. I felt an immediate sense of stirring and excitement about what God was doing. After meeting their pastor, Brett Hart, at a HopeArts meeting, I began to wonder if God had brought him to Hope Chapel (in part) to lead our arts ministry.
A few weeks later, I met with Brett to discuss working together on hanging a visual art exhibit. The timing didn’t work out for that, but I discovered that things were already in motion for him to join Hope Chapel’s staff to lead our small groups and spiritual formation.
When it came time for me to discuss the timing of my departure with Geno, I suggested that he consider inviting Brett to lead the arts ministry. I felt very positive and very strongly about Brett, and here’s why: I could tell he’s a kindred spirit to HopeArts, to what we are and always have been about. He has experienced very personally the life of an artist, being a painter and crafter of books & words, the husband of an artist (writer), and the father/father-in-law of artists (musicians, visual artists, and more). He is also a wise shepherd devoted to following the Good Shepherd.
Not insignificantly, the fact that he has other roles that make him full-time staff with Hope Chapel is a tremendous boon for artists and the arts. Remember David Taylor? He wasn’t a full-time arts pastor either. He split his time with leading adult education, which included influence in the Sunday morning service. I am convinced that it is an excellent thing for the creativity of Hope Chapel and the health of our artists that HopeArts will be led by the same person who is leading our entire small group ministry and is influencing the spiritual development of our entire congregation.
Perhaps you find yourself surprised (or even a little suspicious) about the way Brett came to this position. Let me assure you, if there was any conspiracy, I believe it was the Holy Spirit’s doing! I encourage you to meet Brett as soon as you can. If you don’t have a chance to meet him in person soon, take a look at the Doxology website, which is still hanging out on the web and will give you a sense of the kind of community he leads people into. I think you’ll agree that Brett is of our tribe. Welcome home, Brett!
As for me, I plan to take a bit of “sabbatical” in July & August from church duty, and then to launch a Hope Chapel theater group in the fall. You can reach Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further up and Further in!