Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Nov 21
2019

Meet Our Newest Elder Candidate: Marco Ribeiro

News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

On Sunday, we presented Marco Ribeiro to the church as an elder candidate.

Therefore, we are taking the next month to give you time to meet with him, ask questions, and/or express any concerns you may have. One of the over-arching qualifications for a pastor is that he must be “above reproach” (1Tim 3:1). While we have done our homework, this waiting period is an additional step to ensure all bases are covered and you have an opportunity to speak into the process.

The office of pastor (or elder) was created by God, for the leading, feeding, and protection of his flock, the local church. Therefore, we treat the testing, equipping and installation of such men with great seriousness – and joy!

Marco will not be on DCC’s pastoral staff (i.e. vocational pastor), but will serve as an elder in a volunteer capacity (i.e. non-staff pastor). Therefore, by necessity, the scope of his pastoral involvement will be limited when compared to a staff pastor. However, his service will be equally significant. As a non-staff pastor Marco will be involved with preaching, teaching, counseling, officiating weddings and funerals, elder meetings and practical leadership (which currently includes leading a Cornerstone Community).

Our aim is to raise up many non-staff pastors, like Marco, as it helps diversify and strengthen the elder team and, therefore, the church. Marco will be our second non-staff pastor.

Marco is a good man with integrity, love for Jesus, and for Jesus’ church. As elders, we believe he is called, qualified, and ready to be appointed as a pastor. However, we are taking this time in case you know something that we do not.

That said, would you pray for the Ribeiro’s in this season? Would you also pray for our church? It is a sign of God’s grace to us that we have men, like Marco, being raised-up to lead, feed, and protect Jesus’ flock. Let’s ask Him for more.

Provided nothing arises that would cause us to pause the process, which we don’t foresee, we will install Marco as a pastor on Sunday, December 15th. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.

What follows (below) is a short interview with Marco so that you can get to know him a bit better.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can email me directly at adam@downtowncornerstone.org.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam
On behalf of the elders of DCC

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Q: How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?

MR: I was an atheist at college and thought that religion was just a crutch for stupid people. I became friends with a guy who loved and cared for me in a manner disproportionate to our acquaintance, and was shocked when I discovered that he was both a Christian and intelligent at the same time. After a couple of years of interacting with him and other Christians I met, I had an experience where I felt a supernatural conviction of sin, and an amazing peace after I decided against sin. This experience made me become an agnostic, and from there it was another number of months until I finally surrendered to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before this point I was an inveterate liar, angry, sad, proud, sexually immoral, a blasphemer who cursed at everything. Jesus is still changing my heart on a constant basis, but the fact that I was so bad made the initial change rather dramatic, both outwardly and inwardly.

Q: Tell us a little about your family.

MR: Sara was one of the Christians I met at college during my long conversion process — we were in the same major. In her own words, she let me become a friend because I was so bad that there was absolutely no chance of romantic involvement. She got to observe my conversion and growth in the Lord while remaining a close friend, and we started dating a few years later. We got married and moved here in 2013. I am very thankful to God for giving me an amazing partner who I love deeply, a true companion who complements me well. In 2017, our first son (Samuel) was born, followed by our second (Lucas) earlier this year.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

MR: God, followed by my wife and kids. As it pertains to eldership, I am most passionate about seeing others grow in the love of God, being transformed by the Holy Spirit and becoming fully mature in Christ.

Q: How did you get involved with DCC?

MR: We were looking for a church when we moved here in 2013, and DCC was the first one we both liked. We quickly got involved in community and serving, and became members as soon as we had the opportunity (the membership class was longer back then). During this time, we have grown a lot in our love and appreciation for the church, and in our understanding of service and mission together.

Q: What are your current areas of oversight?

MR: I currently lead a community, periodically teach classes, and engage in personal discipleship.

Q: How did you determine you were called to be a pastor?

MR: Initially, being an elder was not something that was even on my radar. Pastor Adam invited me to participate in an elder development class, and I accepted. Through the class and afterwards (as he challenged me), I started to consider it more carefully.

Initially, I thought I had certain gifts that could be useful to others (I read a lot, I can teach a little bit, etc.) but did not think of myself as the kind of person fit to be an example to others. After many conversations (with Sara, the elders, other members of DCC and of the church at large), the desire to serve others in this way grew in me, and so did stronger feelings of love, care and esteem towards God’s people in the local church. Through this process, many people were brought in to assess my fitness and qualifications, and I have gotten much encouragement and suggestions for growth.

It is hard for me to say that I have ‘determined’ that I am called to be a pastor, as I know I have many areas to grow in. What I can say is that I desire to help others follow the triune God, that He has been working in me for a while, and that I have additional confirmation from many faithful men and women in the church, who think that I am qualified and can be useful.

Q: How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?

MR: We would love if anyone prayed the following and applied it to us:

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” — 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12

Also, please pray that we would be able to sort out our visa situation and get green cards, so we can stay in Seattle for the foreseeable future.

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Let’s be praying for the Ribeiros and our church during this time!