What’s next for BRC

What’s next for BRC May 27, 2011

As many of you know May 29, 2011 will be my final Sunday as the pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, the church I helped to found 11+ years ago. The gratitude for who and what the people of MBCC have been in my life and the life of my family will forever be a reminder of what a faithful group of people can be together when it takes seriously living as the body of Christ.

From my March 16, 2011 letter to the congregation.

MBCC has been such a huge part of my life and the life of my family, that to think about church and ministry after MBCC seems nearly impossible. What you all have taught me about being a pastor has been powerful, the ways this community has helped to raise up Evelyn, Abigail and Analise have been profound and how you have walked with our family through difficult times will forever shape my understanding of what it truly means to be church. But now you are in a different time, a time of looking into the future, setting down roots in a community and rediscovering who you are to be next. It is this blessed anticipation of what MBCC is becoming that has so clearly spoken to me and reminded me that you deserve more than I am equipped to give at this stage in my life and ministry. [Read full letter]

We have spent the last few months saying our goodbyes which has been a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the roller-coaster of a life we have had as a congregation.  As I write this now, I can’t help but to smile at the memories of such crazy times we have shared. Whoever is called to pastor this community next is in for a treat!

One of the questions that has been asked of me is “So what’s next?”  Some are shocked that I would leave a paying job without having another lined up, others think there is some super-duper-secret plan that I have yet to reveal and others are just rolling with it.  As I have said before, my leaving is not only about a time for MBCC to call new leadership, but it is also about my own yearnings to dive into areas of life and ministry that I have not been able to fully explore. No secret plan, no ulterior motives, just a boy trying to be faithful to God’s call.

Still, I know there has been plenty of speculation, so as I end my time with MBCC and begin a new stage of life, I figure it is time to give a little more info about my future.  While I know that conventional wisdom has been saying that I might be called up to the Oakland Athletics as a slick-fileding 42-year-old phenom, Billy Beane has not called, so for the next year or so – and after some wonderful family time away this summer – here is how my “work” time will be spent:

  • 26.8% Blogging for Patheos – As one of their featured bloggers, I am hoping to concentrate more on blogging about pretty much everything. Take a read of my welcome post to see what it will be about, but if you think I express my opinons about stuff a lot now, watch out 😉 This represents a move away from my own blog to a place where there are some great conversations taking place about faith, spirituality and religion. I’m still posting on other platforms, but all content will originate from this new blog.
  • 23.6% Book Writing – Like so many folks these days, I too have the urge to write a book on life and faith. After starting and stopping, I’m going for it again. This is very much one of those, “If I don’t go for it, I’ll regret it later” kind of moves.
  • 22.2% Helping John Avalos get elected Mayor of San Francisco – Yep . . . getting back to my Sacramento politics roots, I’m jumping into a little campaign craziness.  I’m very excited about John, his progressive politics and the opportunity to be part of a true grassroots political movement here in San Francisco.
  • 22.1% Traveling and Speaking Humbled that the invitation are still coming, I am scheduled to speak at various conferences, retreats and gatherings a few times a month for the next year or so. On everything from social media to church culture to traditional preaching opportunities, I am looking forward to continuing conversations on life and faith. If you are interested in having me come out for an event, here is more info.
  • 15.3% Doctor of Ministry Program – While I am honored and grateful for my Honorary Doctorate from Austin College, I am also very interested in doing some deeper academic work around the theology and ecclesiology of social media. With this as my initial lens, I will begin by auditing a class at McCormick Theological Seminary this summer and then seek official acceptance into the Doctor of Ministry program in the fall.

Yep . . . I’ll be giving 110% 😉

So there you have it, my grand plans for the future: a little structured activity flavored with some welcomed uncertainty.  You are invited to come along by liking my facebook page or following me on twitter.  I would also ask that you  keep in prayer my family as we say good bye to the only church community that the kids have ever really known and transition into new rhythms of life and faith.  And last but not least, let me just say that my wife is pretty awesome for rolling with all of my self-inflicted chaos.

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you around the interwebs.

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18 responses to “What’s next for BRC”

  1. @55037e775409171f53c086b417e74150:disqus that is a GOOD question. McCormick is willing to be creative to look at how Social Media impacts theology and ecclesiology. With the particularities of my current situation, I might be able to see “local context” a little differently.

  2. How will you be able to do a DMin without a church context to apply your findings in? That seems to run counter to the point of a DMin. Seeing your gifts and heart, I wonder if it might be better to pursue a PhD instead?

  3. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

  4. Sounds good, Bruce! I’ll be keeping an eye on you and expecting interesting things. Blessings to you and those you love.

  5. Looking forward to following you in the next phase of your journey. Blessings to you and to your family.

  6. Bruce, I know we only know each other through wonderfully dear friends-in-common, but know that my prayers for you, your family, and your collective life and ministry are deep and sincere. Perhaps we will wander across one another’s paths in days to come. Every blessing …

  7. Blessings to you, Bruce. Trust tomorrow will be a day of celebration of the gift you have been to MBBC and the gift that MBBC has been to you and your family.

  8. Blessings to you – especially on this last Sunday at MB.  When are you coming back to Chicago?

  9. God has blessed you richly and your sharing has deepened my desire to search. I am blessed to have been a part of the body that elected you at GA. Thank you for being a good steward of the gifts and talents God has blessed you with. Peace be with you and your family.

  10. Even in the uncertainity of where your future path will lead, both short term and long term, it is so good to know with certainty that you are responding to God’s calling for you at this time.  I’m kind of where Eric is … sure and not sure.  Peace and blessings to you and yours at this time of transition. 
    God guard you on every side.God guide you in truth and peace.God gird you in faith and love

  11. I met you, Bruce,  briefly at Trinity Church in Stockton, where you preached several years ago.  I always thought I would drop by your church, MBCC, to see you and Miriam Dolin there.  Well, so much for procrastination…Sacramento politics could use a dose of your vision for an inclusive and progressive future as well as your seeming boundless energy. It seems you and your lovely family are about to jump right unto a yellow mini school bus driven by God himself. I am sure He doesn’t need a GPS for your journey…Bon voyage! David Rue

  12. Thanks for being such a good model of (trying to) listening closely to God’s call. I suspect that it is hard for people to leave the sense of security that they have developed out of familiar rhythms — especially with children on the younger end of the spectrum. Blessings and joy to you!

  13. @c91851923fc7fbc5ff98dfd547645747:disqus You me and Julia Roberts 😉  I think that this move has been much more jarring for people around me than for me. There have been fewer times where my “next thing,” in this case, leaving @mbcc:twitter have been so clear and not out of conflict, but out of hope. Now talk to me in 9 months if my plans are not aligning with God’s and we’ll see how calm I am then. Praying for you in your discernment!

  14. It’s the “just a boy trying to be faithful to God’s call” that gets me all choked up. I can relate to that, though on a MUCH less public scale than you, Bruce. 😉 I struggle with that a lot just within my current call. Some days I feel like I’ve done it, and some days I feel like I totally missed it. Such is ministry and faithfulness, I guess.

  15. Blessings coming your way…I know that tomorrow will be an incredibly poignant day for you and your family as well as your church family.  Looking forward to seeing you at Montreat this summer!  Until then, traveling mercies, Bruce!