Meet Your Next Pastor: David Parker
Community, Discipleship, News
As many of you know, last Sunday we presented David Parker to the church as a pastoral candidate. We are taking the next four 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 protecting of his flock, the local church. Therefore, we treat the equipping and installation of such men with great seriousness. David has completed a three-year development process that included reading, writing, hands-on ministry, shared life and an assessment interview with area Acts 29 pastors.
David is a good man with integrity, character, love for Jesus and passion for the spread of the gospel. He is also a good friend. I believe he is called, qualified and ready to be installed as a pastor of Downtown Cornerstone, however we are taking this time in case you know something that we do not.
That said, would you pray for the Parker’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 David, being raised-up to lead, feed and protect Jesus’ flock. Let’s ask Him for more. Provided nothing arises that would cause us to stop the process, which we don’t foresee, we will install David as a pastor of Downtown Cornerstone on Sunday, Sept 22nd. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.
What follows (below) is a short interview with David so that you can get to know him a bit better.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until the world knows,
“How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?”
I grew up in a “Christian home” where I was taught the scriptures from an early age. My dad is a pastor, and so “walking the walk” and “talking the talk” was part of growing up. Although I knew a lot of the right answers, the first 14 years of my life was no more than walking around with a bunch of head knowledge and pride. I did not grasp the seriousness of my sin, and thought (as the older brother did in the parable of the prodigal son – Luke 15:11-32) that my acceptance before God could be earned by keeping all the rules and being a good “church boy”. But deep down, I knew that something was deeply wrong with me, and was living in active rebellion to God and to my parents (Jam 2:14-20).
I met Jesus, or I should say Jesus met me (Rom 9:22-23), while working a summer job at a Bible camp. For the first time in my life I saw my sin and my own hypocrisy for what it was. I could no longer ignore the disconnects between what I said I believed and how I acted. I saw others at camp who had an authentic relationship with Jesus. I saw them struggle, but I also saw how they learned to trust Jesus through that struggle, and I wanted that in my life. Through the example of the staff and opening his word each day, Jesus opened my eyes to see my need for Him, to repent of my self-righteousness, and that the only way I could ever be accepted in God’s eyes was through Jesus’ perfect record accredited to me (1 Jn 1:7-9). That summer I began to trust Jesus, and I’m so thankful for his love and patience in pursuing me to this day!
Without Jesus I am nothing and this life is pointless, void, and empty. He has opened my eyes to see my false worship, and has set me free the bondage of religion and worshiping the fleeting pleasures of this world. He continues to redeem me from finding my worth in anything but Christ, and He is daily calling me to a deeper faith and trust in Him (Rom 12:1-2). Because of that, I want others to know the same life changing grace that I have received in the Gospel, and want to spend the rest of my life proclaiming just how good Jesus is (Isa 6:3-9)!
“Tell us a little about your family.”
I met my wife Michelle in high school. Although we were friends through high school, we started dating a couple months before we graduated, and got married a year later. This weekend, we’ll celebrate our 12th year of being married, and am so thankful for the gift of grace that Michelle is to me and our family! Last year we welcomed a new addition into our family! After years of infertility, waiting, and God growing in our hearts a desire to adopt, we welcomed our daughter into the world in September last year and officially adopted her into our family in December! She has been such a gift, and we are humbled by the grace that God has given us in our daughter. Although we’re still adjusting to life with baby, we enjoy getting out to explore the sights and tastes of Seattle and nearby mountains, and love the city God has put us in!
“What are you most passionate about?”
Jesus. Specifically, I’m passionate about making disciples of Jesus. I love being a part of what Jesus is doing here in this city, and getting a front row seat at seeing Jesus work in the lives of those He’s placed around me. I want to spend my days making Jesus look as good as He is, and pouring into others who want to follow hard after Christ; lovingly serving their families, missionally relating with their neighbors, and are passionate about making disciples. Out of this, my prayer is that more churches will be planted, communities will be transformed, and generations of men and women will be redeemed for the Glory of God.
“How did you get involved with DCC?”
I moved to Seattle 6 years ago with a desire to see people meet Jesus and help plant churches. I didn’t know what that would look like, and how it would happen, but I clicked with the vision of the Acts29 church planting network (based in Seattle at that time), and wanted to spend a season growing and being equipped in the context of a local church. I met Adam Sinnett in 2007 while working alongside him at a previous church. After spending 3 years growing as a disciple and leader, I began to pray about the next season, and invited others to pray with us. During that time, I learned that Adam was also praying about planting a new church in Seattle. My wife and I love Seattle, wanted to stay in this city, and so we began to pray with Adam. In the Spring of 2010, it was clear that Jesus was opening the door for us, and so I resigned from my current position, and started working with Adam in helping plant DCC!
“What are your current areas of oversight?”
I currently serve as the Executive Deacon of our church. This includes overseeing our finances, operations, and administration. Basically, I help keep us above board, out of jail, and planning for the next season as a church. Additionally, I currently oversee all our Cornerstone Communities and will be responsible for our discipleship pathways that are kicking-off this fall. I also help lead a community in Belltown. I’m thankful for the DCC family I get to walk alongside!
“How did you determine that you were called to be a pastor?”
To be honest, 10 years ago, being a Pastor wasn’t even on my mind. But as I continued to trust Jesus with my life, He began to grow within me a deep love for others and His church. As I grew, I questioned and wondered if eldership was on the path that Jesus was leading me on. Although I never desired to be a pastor, I wanted to submit myself to Him, and let Him shape my life, vocation, and ministry. Three years ago I threw my “hat in the ring” to test that pastoral call. It was a season spent opening my life to other brothers who could affirm and encourage that call, while offering me wisdom along the way. Jesus has used that process to not only refine me as a man, husband, and leader, but also to solidify His call on my life to be a pastor. To be honest, most of the time I feel inadequate to pastor others. It’s constantly a place of deep abiding trust in Jesus. But, I also know that I love his Church, specifically Downtown Cornerstone, and want to give my life for it. I aspire to be an elder so that more and more folks would be able to taste and see that the Lord is good!
“How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?”
Being in full-time ministry is one of the most rewarding jobs, but also one of the most draining. When your life revolves constantly around people, sin, brokenness, and the endless list of stuff to do, you’re tempted to forget that God is the one who is in control, and He’s already won the battle. My prayer is that I would continue to trust Jesus as I help lead His people, and that I would find deep rest in Him along the way. I would ask that you would pray for our family and marriage as well. 1 Peter 5:8, says that the “devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”. It seems like as our church has grown, so have the spiritual attacks of the enemy that usually come in the form of lies, in hopes to undermine our identity and faith and trust in Jesus. Please pray not only for protection, but when they come, that we would cling to Jesus’ promises, no matter what we feel.