The Apostle Paul instructed that the church be led by a plurality of men. Jesus Himself is the Chief Shepherd of the church, while local Pastors provide leadership to His church. Paul's primary instructions on the topic of church leadership are found in 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1, but examples of how leaders were appointed and defined are scattered throughout the New Testament. The Apostle uses several words to describe various dimensions of a church leader's role. These include the words "Overseer," which can translate as "Bishop;" "Elder;" and "Pastor," which is used specifically in conjunction with the role of teaching. We believe all of these titles refer to the same office of leadership. At New Life, we use the terms Pastor and Elder interchangeably.
What does a Pastor do? Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12 that Pastors are among those who "prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up." This includes being able to teach (1 Tim 3) and encourage others with sound doctrine (Titus 1), and so such a man must also "not be a recent convert" (1 Tim 3).
Equipping God's children is a joyous task, but also a sober one. Paul's primary instruction about Pastors is that they be men of sound character. And where is a man's character more on display than in his home, and in the church he is serving in? Who better, short of the true Judge, to judge a man's character than his wife, his children, his church family, and existing church leaders? And so, in this light, New Life believes in training up Pastors from within the local church body, and equipping men for this role by giving them opportunities to serve among those that know them well. This is what Paul taught to Titus, in asking Titus to "appoint Elders in every town, as I directed you."
We recognize that this practice is distinctive from the more common one in most American churches of hiring a Pastor away from another church, or offering its leadership roles to young seminary graduates on the basis of a diploma, letter of recommendation, DVD recording of a teaching, or a brief interview. Many good churches are led by men with these kinds of credentials.
Kurt Jurgensmeier (e-mail | video | website) and Pete Grose (e-mail | video) serve New Life as full-time Pastors. They have been in ministry together since 1985. Kurt's primary responsibilities include Sunday teaching and the Renew (Counseling) Ministry, while Pete oversees Finances and College Ministry. New Life also has two Pastors who are employed full-time outside the church. Ray Damaso (e-mail | video) has been with New Life since 1990 and oversees the Worship Ministry. Brian Hagerman (e-mail | video) joined New Life in 2004 and is responsible for Communications and Sunday Morning Ministries. All of New Life's Pastors will teach and preach throughout the year, and assume various other roles to help New Life accomplish all that it can for Christ.
Pastor Kurt: email@example.com
Wife Brenda; children Jessica (Grose), Joelle (Garrett), Jenna, Joshua and Joseph
Pastor Pete: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wife Raylene; children Nate, Ben, Jon, Jenna, Zack and Jake
Pastor Ray: email@example.com
Wife Shari; children Miles and Maria
Pastor Brian: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wife Michelle; children Allie and Sam