Thursday, January 22, 2009

growth, change, departures

After the arrival of Stan Carter we added additional staff. There was no master plan to these staff additions but upon reflection, and without sounding too corny . . . okay, I'm going to sound really corny, but I think there was a Master's Plan. Yes, I did it. I sounded really corny just then didn't I? To all of you with a "corny filter" on your computer, you didn't get to read that line, but that's okay.

The staff additions, which WE didn't plan, helped facilitate growth in the ministry. Kent Odor was added Fall, 1972, Chris Adams moved into the house summer of 1973 but he was already pretty engrained into the ministry. These two additions changed the dynamics of the ministry in very positive ways. We had our first Muster Weekend spring, 1973 and by fall 1973 the ministry was busting. Not only was afo acting as house band when needed but traveling to other places. The outreach of the ministry had spread to Forest Park, Greenhills, Princeton and Colrain High Schools. We even had an opportunity to speak and play music at an after school assembly for Greenhills High School. Students still came from Mt. Healthy High School but it was exciting to see people from all these other schools. It was more exciting to see how many people were becoming Christians. We also began to receive more and more invitations to speak at churches all over Cincinnati. Anytime one of us spoke at a church we saw the youth group from that church the following Saturday night. There is no way to count how many people we were able to tell about Jesus but I am grateful that the ministry had moved outside the property on Coogan Drive expanding into all these other venues.

With all these high school students, Stan knew the responsibility of the ministry needed to move beyond the staff. He organized a team of students who began working on different aspects of the ministry including outreach, hospitality, and spiritual growth; all important aspects of any effective church or ministry.

By spring of 1974, Stan decided his time with the House was finished so he and Linda bought a home nearby and moved out. It was a great loss to us but just the first of two. The second loss occurred a few months later when Christopher Adams decided to move to the West Coast to be near his family and attend Pacific Christian College. This was the right move for Christopher especially since he could major in psychology at PCC but of course it meant the end of adamsfishyodor, at least for a few years! Stan and Christopher both added important leadership and wisdom to the Jesus House and their absence was keenly felt. The first summer without them the building seemed very empty to Kent and me. The first thing we did was ask Andy Wilson to move in for the summer while he was preparing for college the following fall. His presence was a delight.
(As three bachelors living in that big place we decided to at least upgrade the quality of our menu so we purchased a case of rib eye steaks from a meat supplier, put them in the freezer and ate steak all summer!)

I became the Interim Director of the ministry while we searched for a replacement for Stan. Kent took over scheduling and leading the Saturday evening concerts. None of us expected me to be the Interim Director for over a year! It was not the best fit for me and I did not do it very well. That was my first experience, but not my last, of being in a ministry position for which I was not adequately gifted. When Paul wrote about different gifts distributed to Christians, he was not kidding. It's interesting to me that the very time I was working outside my gifting, I was studying Spiritual Gifts at CBS with the incredibly intelligent and gifted Dr. Virgil Warren.

God is a provider, sometimes when you least expect it and often in ways that you and I could never plan. The staff of the Jesus House changed again the summer of 1975. The change began one morning in the spring when I walked through the administration building at Cincinnati Bible College and overheard a life-changing and ministry changing conversation. But more on that later...

This Week in History: Artists Who Performed at the Jesus House the Third Saturday of January
1972 - Bob Chick & Doug Youst
1973 - Grant Hammond
1974 - The Bozo Brothers (Kevin Boys & Andy Danzel. adamsfishyodor was in Athens, Ohio playing at O.U.!)
1975 - John Gould
1976 - Salt & Pepper
1977 - Rick Roberts
1978 - Paul & Dave (It was a night designated as, "Bring Your Favorite Atheist Friend" We were pretty radical!)
1979 - Andy Danzel, Terry Fisher
1980 - Cathy Snyder
1981 - Harriet Lewis & Hog (?) Don't remember who Hog was.
1982 - Tim Root
1983 - Share-it (An evening for the crowd to share their gifts.)

Hey, Terry!
I know you're probably finished with this entry but I have a question.
You're correct, I am finished but, okay, I have a few more minutes till I need to attend a finance meeting. What's your question?
Has the Jesus House ever expanded into additional nights of regular programing?
Yes, several times.
What were they?
At one point we had Family Night on Wednesdays. I described this in a previous entry. It was organized by Kent Odor.
Later we added Fridays.
What was it called?
When was it?
On Fridays.
What did you do?
We worshiped and had Bible study.
You mean like a church service?
Not exactly but close.
How long did that last?
About a year, maybe two.
Anything else?
Yes, for a couple of years we had the Jesus House Literary Society, which later received a name change to Third Sunday.
What was that for?
To read books and talk about them.
What kind of books?
C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Vanauken, and anything else we fancied.
That sounds like fun, why did it stop.
Because I joined the staff at College Hill Presbyterian Church and had responsibility for the singles ministry on Sunday nights.
Too bad.
Yes, but sometimes, even something that's really good comes to an end.
You mean like this blog entry?


Anonymous said...

You added Kent in '82 and Chris in '83? Good to know that their 10 years of labor were not in vain! :o)


revfish said...

Thank you for pointed out my mistake. I will correct those dates rapidly!