This has been a season of transition at both Bethlehem and Desiring God. In both cases I feel more carried along than pushing or pulling. God is manifestly moving. May the Lord give me grace to stay in step with the Spirit, as he kindly leads us through these happy days.
I am overjoyed with the elders’ choice of Jason Meyer as the candidate to eventually take my place as the Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem. As I wrote in the transition questions and answers, there were times when I wept for joy — both at the process God designed, and the person God provided.
I thought, “God is actually doing this. God is loving Bethlehem. God is giving unity. God is anointing Jason. His hand is on him for this. This is no mere human process. God has been at work in this for over twelve years. (Yes, and in eternity!)” Thank you for praying.
My Future at Desiring God
You might wonder what my transition from Bethlehem leadership means for Desiring God. I asked myself, “What would be on a post-pastor business card?” One answer is: “Desiring God: Founder and Teacher.” If God gives me strength, I hope that is one of my roles till I’m not able to function any more.
In other words, transition at Bethlehem does not mean transition at Desiring God. Actually, as I told our church, one of the reasons for my transition is that there is an ever increasing pull on my life to be involved in ministry outside Bethlehem through Desiring God. Much of this feels strategic to me for the cause of Christ, and it seems to me that the Lord is saying: “You have led Bethlehem to this point; it is time to hand off the internal leadership labors to another; I have a few other things yet for you to do.”
This feels particularly timely and weighty as we begin to move ahead with our next season of ministry here at Desiring God — what we've called "Desiring God 3.0". Along with changes in my life and with the church, it's been amazing to see God clarify, lead, and provide for us at Desiring God as we've come to this clarified focus on the Internet as the main megaphone for our message. And as long as God gives me life and health, along with my role as Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary, the plan is for these next years of my life to be devoted to that mission as founder and teacher at Desiring God.
A Few Updates
1. Thank you to everyone who has helped "lighten our load" as we close our Web store. We were able to distribute roughly 75,000 resources in short order. This move away from having a store will free us up to focus on our core strategy of free content on the Web, to the world. Meanwhile, our books will still be available through Amazon and Westminster Bookstore and many other channels. As always, if you aren't able to afford a resource, you can request a book through our whatever-you-can-afford policy.
2. Last week we launched a Persian section of our Website. Along with Arabic, these represent our first major efforts online to reach the Muslim world. It won't be our last. Pray for us as we continue to invest in translations and technology to reach the non-English speaking world. God has been kind to us: In the last 12 months we've seen a 40% increase in Website visits from outside the United States.
3. On June 6th the Desiring God board will be meeting to approve a strategic plan for our next 12 months of ministry. Please pray for the wisdom of God in leading us to make effective and God-magnifying plans.
Under God, it is through your support that we can continue our mission to reach the world through the Web. Thank you for your partnership. Through all this transition, my life’s calling remains the same — I exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. Pray that I will spend and be spent for this till I can speak and write no more.
Your partner in the greatest cause,
and Josh Etter, Director of Communications
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