I’ve been a pastor for 35 years. Since 1998 I’ve been the Senior Pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire (Evangelical Free) in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Our church is healthy and vigorous, with average attendance of about 200.
While I sometimes fret over our numbers I have also learned the privileges of really shepherding an average-sized congregation. I know everyone’s name. I preach most Sundays, make hospital calls, follow up on visitors, and administer a boatload of details every week. Pastoring an ordinary-sized church was God’s gift to me because I’ve learned to be shepherd.
Before coming here, I pastored Chippewa Evangelical Free Church in Beaver Falls, PA, for 14 years, and before that was an Associate for several years. I’m the son of a rural church in northeastern South Dakota. My wife Susan and I have been married for over 40 years and have one son, Anders.
Another avenue of pastoral communication for me is writing. Some 50 articles, nearly 60 sermons (in print and audio), and over 200 sermon illustrations have been published through PreachingToday.com and Leadership Journal, both published by Christianity Today Inc. I edited the Pastor’s Service Manual, giving pastors the “apt word” they need for weddings, funerals, baptisms, benedictions, and many other functions.
At the urging of Moody Publishers I wrote Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (2012) which won Leadership Journal’s “Best of the Best” award that year in the category, “The Leader’s Inner Life.” That book gave me a chance to put into words my great love for the basic work of shepherding a flock of God.
I am honored to be an adjunct professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where I teach “Introduction to Counseling Ministries” each semester.
At the encouragement of the Elders of our church, and based on the warm responses to my early efforts, I am seeking more ways to encourage other pastors through speaking, continued writing, and personal friendships.