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.
The Mercy Ministry Updates are a regular snapshot of our Mercy Ministries in DCC, where we are working to serve and uphold the value and dignity of God’s most vulnerable image bearers in our city. Each update highlights one of our focus areas, as well as provide a listing of upcoming events, and current prayer requests across all of our focus areas.
The Bible, as God’s inspired word, displays God’s good design and our radical need for a savior, found only in Jesus, and calls us to live out our new identity in Christ as we engage the world around us.
“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:17-19
In Deuteronomy 10, God tells Israel about his great love and awesome glory. But he does more than simply tell them; in his wisdom, God reveals his love for them and his power over all things by weaving into Israel’s story a sojourn in and rescue out of Egypt. Israel’s time in Egypt, and their redemption by God out of Pharoah’s hand, serve as undeniable, historical declarations of God’s love and might. These attributes are rooted in his character, and he weaves them into Israel’s story, and then he calls them to love the sojourners in their midst. The same is true for us as it was for Israel. God’s love for us and power for us are just as profound, bringing life to dead sinners, bringing those who were far off into unity with God in Christ (Ephesians 2). Like Israel, we were sojourners, apart from God. Like Israel, we have been given God’s love and grace in Christ. And like Israel, God calls us to live a life that is transformed by his love, a life that glorifies God in the way we love others.
Mercy Focus Highlight: Refugees
As a church we support and partner with several mercy ministries and want to share and highlight their on-going work.
Over 30,000 refugees live in Washington, making Washington one of the top 10 refugee-receiving states (representing 0.4% of WA population). Refugees arriving to the US often come with nothing but the clothes on their backs, often fleeing persecution and face political, cultural, and linguistic barriers as they seek a safe refuge and better life. For those that are provided entry into the US, restarting can be a very lonely and challenging experience. Organizations like World Relief Seattle aim to meet those refugees who’ve become our neighbors through practical material assistance, legal and economic programs, and meaningful relationships. Through partnerships with local churches, World Relief Seattle connects Christians to these arriving refugees in various ways, enabling the love of God to be tangibly expressed and received.
Join us this Sunday, 5/5, at 1pm, to learn more about what makes someone a Refugee, how they come to our neighbors in Seattle, and how we can serve them alongside organizations like World Relief. You can also join our Mercy Focus: Refugee group in Planning Center.
Not all events are sponsored or hosted by DCC, but serve those in our focus areas. See linked details for each.
Thursday 5/2 | Night of Prayer – We will be setting aside some time this evening to pray for REST’s ministry and for those who are being exploited in the sex trade. If you are interested in joining to pray, please email Micah at email@example.com for details.
Friday 5/3 | All Our Friends Fest – REST is hosting an upcoming art show and auction featuring many local artists. All proceeds will go to benefiting REST and the clients they serve.
Sunday 5/5 | DCC Info Session – Refugees – We will be hosting an info session this Sunday after the 11 AM gathering to grow in our biblical understanding of God’s love for the refugee and how that impacts us today.
Saturday 5/18 | A Night with NuHope – REST is partnering with NuHope for a fundraising event which will serve REST’s ministry and provide a fun opportunity for support!
Saturday 7/13 | Serve the City – Mark your calendars! This year’s Serve the City is scheduled for July 13th! We’ll have the gift of joyfully serving together at Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle!
Partner Prayer Requests
Please join us in praying for the people impacted and involved in each of these focus areas.
Homelessness and UGM
Pray for our city leadership, to be able to make wise and helpful legislation that ultimately serves those experiencing homelessness in Seattle.
Pray for those going through the UGM programs, to find healing and recovery through faith in Jesus. Pray that we would be a welcoming people to those who are struggling and homeless.
Foster Care & Adoption
Pray for more foster and adoptive families willing and equipped to take children with special needs, especially high medical needs. Pray for the families already taking medically fragile children that they would have a support community and receive rest.
Pray for the children to not be defined by their diagnosis but as a child of God.
Pray for mutual love and edification between U.S.-born and immigrant sisters and brothers in the American church.
Pray that the church in America will be unified in loving and caring for immigrants so that together, we can testify to God’s love for all of us through his son, Jesus Christ.
Sex Trafficking and REST
Pray for the growth of REST’s recently established Integrated Health Clinic, which provides medical, mental health, and chemical dependency care to those in need. Pray for the clients that will be helped and cared for through the IHC.
Pray that God’s truth and love would be made known on every street in our city, and that he will bring freedom and peace to those who are being exploited.
Pray for the youth currently in detention, that they would hear of God’s love through Christian mentors serving them.
Pray for the families of youth, to be safe and stable, so that youth leaving detention can return to healthy environments.
Pray for their abortion-minded clients; that they ultimately chose life for their child — pray for positive influence from family and their community that will support them and encourage them to continue in their pregnancy, and support them when children are born.
Praise that CareNet has been able to find a new facility, and pray for the plans to offer extended hours in Seattle through this location and the mobile unit!
Join the focus area city groups in order to hear more regular updates, events, and opportunities to serve.