On Sunday, we began a new five-week series called First Things. If you have followed Jesus for any amount of time, you know that there are many things that go into the life of Jesus’ church.
But, what are the first things?
In this short series we are going to consider a number of foundational biblical principles for a healthy bible-teaching, Jesus-treasuring, people-loving, spirit-empowered, life-transforming local church. This study is built on the backbone of DCC’s new mission statement and ten core convictions.
Therefore, this series will be a little different. We won’t be walking through a particular book of the Bible. Instead, each Sunday we will have a distinct anchoring passage, along with other supporting scripture, that teaches the truth in view that week.
This is a fitting time for such a series in the life of our church. We are eight years old. Over the course of these years, the Lord has been exceedingly kind to us in what is one of the least churched and most secular cities in the country. In a word, DCC is a miracle.
Yet, since the local church is a living thing, it is helpful to periodically pull back and consider, “Who are we? Why do we exist? Why does Jesus have us here?” That is what this series is all about—and the role we all play in Jesus’ unfolding story in our favorite city.
Two weeks ago, we presented Justin Keogh to the church as an elder candidate.
Therefore, we are taking the next three weeks 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). This waiting period is our attempt 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!
Justin already serves on DCC’s staff overseeing communities, ministries of mercy, and our diversity efforts. That will not change. However, should this process go as we anticipate, he will take on additional pastoral responsibilities (e.g. preaching, counseling, membership interviews, weddings, funerals, and more).
Justin 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 installed 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 Keogh’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 Justin, 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 Justin as our sixth pastor on Sunday, June 16th. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.
What follows (below) is a short interview with Justin 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christ is all, Pastor Adam On behalf of the elders of DCC
Q: How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?
JK: I joined a youth group in middle school, and it was through a bible study that God opened my eyes to see Jesus as the only savior that I was desperately in need of. Following this initial year of study, I was baptized and grew to be a leader in my home church in various capacities through college.
When I think of myself outside of Christ, Titus 3:3 comes to mind: “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” It was in college, reading 1 John, that God reoriented my heart toward loving my brothers and sisters in Christ – which turned me from an extremely self-focused Pharisaical religiosity toward a community driven servant leader. God has continued to shape my life (and I trust He will continue to do so) in ways that only He could to make me the loving man, husband, father, and friend that I am today.
Q: Tell us a little about your family.
JK: I met Jen when we were both students at the University of Pittsburgh, through our church. Our first conversation was a long discussion on the refrain of Ecclesiastes: “everything is meaningless” (later in college, I wrote her a poem titled “You had me at meaninglessness”). We dated through college and got married as we were graduating in 2008. At that same time, I took a job with Deloitte Consulting which had a 100% travel schedule – so we were bouncing around the country calling Pittsburgh home until 2013 when we moved to Seattle. We took a sabbatical in 2015, through which God led us to become foster parents. I switched to a local position with Deloitte in Seattle, and our daughter Spiritual was placed with us in February 2017 – she’s now almost 3, and we’re in the process to adopt her as our own, Lord willing, this year. We plan to continue to foster/adopt for additional children as well.
Q: What are you most passionate about?
JK: Truth, which is found in a person: Jesus, who not only claimed to know the truth, but to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). I am passionate about our life together as a body and our service to our neighbors in the city. I’ve grown to cherish the local church, and in particular our unity amidst diversity, that displays God’s wisdom to the world around us (Eph 2:11-3:10).
Q: How did you get involved with DCC?
JK: We visited initially in 2012 with our close friends, Ben & Anne Johnson (now Deacons of Foster Care and Adoption, and also decade long housemates). We started regularly attending in 2013 and became members in 2014. I started leading the Capitol Hill Community in 2016, began pursuing eldership in 2017, and came on staff with DCC in January 2018.
Q: What are your current areas of oversight?
JK: My primary areas of oversight are our Cornerstone Communities and Mercy Ministries. I also oversee the Connect <-> Foundations pathway and lead the Capitol Hill Community.
Q: How did you determine you were called to be a pastor?
JK: A decade ago, I thought I was called to be a pastor. However, it was clear that I wasn’t qualified or equipped to shepherd the flock at that time. As the years past I thought I would leave my Technology Consulting career to be part of a non-profit. Then I started leading a Cornerstone Community, which showed me what it meant to care for others in the broad sense – not just socially, but emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I went through a study on biblical eldership, which further defined the role and made the calling clearer. At the end of 2017, as I was pursuing a lay pastor role at DCC, I applied for my current role on staff as Director of Communities and Mercy Ministries. I have never felt so uniquely called and equipped for anything as I have this past year. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” With the input of the elders, my wife, peers, and friends, I have felt more and more that God has been shaping me to shepherd as a pastor in DCC.
Q: How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?
JK: Prayers for patience and grace as we seek to grow our family through foster care and adoption. For wisdom and diligence as we take this next step in ministry. And that we would continue to grow in the knowledge, love, and trust of the Lord in this next season.
Let’s be praying for the Keoghs, our church, and one another during this time.