On November 11th, 300 voting members of Christ Memorial Lutheran Church called their third Senior Pastor, Rev. Jeff Cloeter. Mindful that Jesus is THE Senior Pastor of the church, I have accepted this call.
I follow a man who leaves a 37-year tenure of mission-centered pastoral leadership. Mindful this legacy, I know that I have lots of work to do. Before I embark in this role, here are ten things you should know about your next senior pastor. For readers who aren't members of my congregation, well . . . I'll let you in on this too.
10 Things You Should Know About Your Next Senior Pastor
Pastor Jeff Cloeter is:
1. A Fellow Sinner: I am in need of the same grace that I preach. Are pastors perfect? Ask our wives. They’ll tell you the truth.
2. A Husband and Father: I married my wife before I became a pastor. Next to God, my bride is the highest priority. I will sacrifice a lot for my congregation, but not my family.
3. A Younger Man: While I am older than I look, I’m relatively young for a pastor in this position. I was born on the seam between Generation X and the Millennial Generation. I have a love for all generations, a passion for bringing generations together, and a desire to raise up new generations to be the church.
4. A Man Who Will Let You Down: I am incapable of pleasing everyone in a church our size. I can’t fulfil every expectation or fit everyone’s mold. And I will mess up sometimes. I just want to prepare you.
5. An Introvert: I love people. That said, I need quiet time to reenergize. And I will never have the relational capacity of Pastor Greg. Is there anyone in St. Louis he doesn’t know?!
6. An Outsider Who has Made STL Home: When people ask me the “St. Louis question,” I confound them with the answer, “Sauk Rapids High School.” I bring non-native eyes to our community. At the same time, my family has made St. Louis home for the last 8 years and we love it. Go Cards!
7. A Pastor Who Cares About You: I love my congregation. Really.
8. A Pastor Who Will Challenge You: I will walk with you as you grow in Christ, speaking law and gospel. Sometimes that may challenge you (and you may not like me some days). I don’t want things from you. I want the best for you. All in Christ.
9. A Missionary Pastor: Honoring the missional leadership of Pastor Greg Smith, I will lead our mission with the words Loved and Sent. Get ready to be sent to more places and more people.
10. A Pastor Excited About the Future: We face many challenges and we have lots of work to do. But we have a phenomenal Christian community ready to march on. I am honored to be your pastor, and excited about what God will do with us.
12/1/2013 12:13:46 pm
So happy to hear it is official! We are so proud to call you our Pastor. Thank you for all your sacrifices. I am sure their will be many challenges ahead for you and your family.
Ted & Kristi Eberley
12/1/2013 12:26:58 pm
Awesome Pastor Jeff - We're up for the challenge with His (and your) guidance, so LET'S GO!
12/1/2013 07:53:24 pm
Ground work has been laid. Prayers answered. Ready to 'Go' LiveLoved
Sherry and Mark Amen
12/1/2013 08:40:24 pm
looking forward to working together and helping this happen!
12/1/2013 09:09:50 pm
Pastor, I am so happy you are our new leader. As you know or should know I am behind you 100% and hope that I can help you in any way I can. I love your fresh ideas and your natural ability to preach a sermon. The next few years will be very exciting and I am anxious to see where it leads us. God Bless you and your family!
12/1/2013 09:24:18 pm
So happy to hear this news! Love you and your family!
12/1/2013 09:48:40 pm
Love all of these.... Praise God!! So glad you will be here to lead us the next 30 or so years :-) And on #3, you are far wiser than your years..... and on #5, the answer is "NO", he seems to know everyone! HA! What a blessing you both are to the CM family!!!!
Carolyn L. Miner
12/2/2013 12:18:16 am
Having been on Staff at Christ Memorial for 27 years, I'm one who is thinking about retiring. But, Pastor Bill said my time isn't up yet and I agree with the other members that we have exciting years ahead of us with you as our Shepherd. No matter what my capacity - I'm thrilled to think about our Christ Memorial family's future.
Lloyd and Grace Fiehler
12/2/2013 03:45:41 am
We are so happy to have you as our Senior Pastor. As you said, there will be ups and downs and lots to learn but you are ready and we are ready. Thank you for all you have done in the last eight years and we look forward to the upcoming years. May God bless you and all of Christ Memorial so we can grow and spread the gospel.
12/2/2013 06:26:55 am
Wonderful news! Jeff, have no fear, the Lord will be your guide! Looking forward to growing in Christ and taking him out to the community under your leadership.
12/2/2013 12:46:54 pm
Congrats on the new position. We are here to help in any way we can. God's blessings, wisdom, and peace go with you in this new chapter.
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