For 33 years Bethlehem put bread on our table. They paid our salary. They didn’t muzzle this ox while he was treading out the grain (1 Timothy 5:18). They were the hands of God in meeting our needs. I am profoundly thankful. It was a sweet and powerful farewell last night — and included a special recommissioning from the elders for a final chapter of ministry beyond Bethlehem.
Now I’m treading out the grain at Desiring God. The muzzle is still off. I get my first DG paycheck today. My title in this new role is Founder and Teacher. My job is full time, divided over “Content Creation,” “Fundraising and Donor Relations,” “Board Leadership,” “Staff Leadership,” and “Other.”
For the first year, I’ll be working for Desiring God at a distance. The reason for this is to give the new leadership at Bethlehem greater freedom by putting 700 miles between me and the church. I have total confidence in this new pastoral team and want them to take responsibility without my intrusion or shadow. We will rent our Minneapolis house to missionaries on home assignment, and rent a house in Tennessee for the year.
Much More to Come, God Willing
But the year away from Minneapolis is not a year away from Desiring God. I’ll be working full time. That will include work on at least four book projects: a short introduction to the Doctrines of Grace; a new collection of short devotional readings; The Swans Are Not Silent Volume 6; and one or two books yet to be prioritized.
I hope to be blogging at least weekly, tweeting daily, doing Ask Pastor John five days a week, and speaking on the road over twenty times, with two international trips. I’m working on a new Bible-teaching idea for the Web that we hope to roll out during the coming year. And Desiring God has deployed me to be part of the Leadership Team of CROSS, the new Student Missions Conference this Christmas. I hope you will be a part of that!
Dreaming with Desiring God
We are committed at Desiring God to be creative and innovative in spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. We are dreaming of fresh ways to do conferences and to do online teaching, lest we assume that the past glories define God’s amazing future. We want to keep in step with what he is doing. We think it will be amazing.
Desiring God is a Web-based ministry. God has given us a weighty stewardship. For example, from April 2010 to April 2011, there were 11,868,100 visits to the Desiring God website. The next year, there were 15,659,539. This year, that number has grown to 19,151,371 visits — 61% growth in the last two years.
One reason for this growth is that everything is free and accessible. No fee, no registrations, no marketing tricks. Just 5,000+ free sermons, articles, audios, videos, and books. And best of all, the pervasive message that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. People are hungry for the greatness and joy of God — even when they don’t know it.
It is a deep pleasure and high privilege to work for Desiring God. God has been good to me through all my pastoral years. He is still overwhelmingly good. What shall I render to the Lord for his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. He is inexhaustible.