Connect with Sean
The church is not a place, but a people. Often a people drinking coffee. In all seriousness, I want to get to know you. If you are interested in Chandler, feel free to contact me and learn more: email@example.com
You can also check out my latest blog at www.plunge47.org
The short bio: Husband to Megan. Father of Four. Pastor of Chandler since 2010. (The Epic Bio is below.)
So this is the epic version of my bio. The actual version is filled with more diapers and homework. But both versions include coffee ice cream. Which, along with prayer, holds our family together.
Now the crucial details. My favorite baseball team is the Kansas City Royals (where I grew up). Throughout my travels, from SBU (where I met Meg), to Truett Seminary, and in Augusta as a Middle School Minister, I kept the hope alive! For years my hopes and dreams might as well have been stuffed in one of the kids’ build-a-bears. We came to Chandler in 2010, hoping to bring new luck and … we did! The Royals are World Series Champs!
As for Megan, she grew up in Tulsa and roots for the Royals out of love (or maybe because I share my ice cream?). She was a high school teacher before our children (supporting me through seminary, beauty and brains) and now she focuses on keeping our house sane. Plus she works as a teacher in Chandler’s Preschool and PDO (shameless plug for the program).
People often ask where we found our little ones’ names. I must admit we discovered Ivy’s (2006) name in The Village, a movie by M. Night Shyamalan (Not sure what happened, but his early movies are great – packed with truth!). Phoebe’s (2009) name is found in Romans 16:1, a deacon of the church. Darcy’s (2011) name came from a brilliant young lady in Augusta – not the “mister” in some unknown book! And little Ezekiel (2015) is named after my favorite prophet.
I promised an epic bio only to arrive at the end and realize all the epic events are happening at home – amid the diapers and homework! So if you need me, home is where I am heading. Contact us and we will invite you over for ice cream, but come prepared to do math facts.
Vision for the Church
In Ezekiel 44:1-12 the prophet approaches the temple and discovers the plumbing has ruptured and water is pouring out of the building. The water rushes out and flows to the East, a river growing wider and deeper as it travels. The scripture says wherever this water flows everything will live. Even more radical, whenever this water encounters salt water, the salt water is transformed into fresh.
The church has not been called to remain inside; instead Jesus is calling us out into the world. And in a reversal of logic evil will not corrupt us, but the love and grace of God will corrupt sin (as the fresh water from the temple purifies the salt water). Not by our own actions, but by the cross darkness HAS BEEN defeated! Our call is not avoid sin, but to plunge into the river and flow out to world. To love the world and live the victory Christ has provided.
My prayer is that our ministry at Chandler may be a place to dive and that it will bring a flow of blessing into the world!
Vision for Ministry
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24
Play by RS Thomas
Your move I would have
said, but he was not
playing; my game a dilemma
that was without horns.
As though one can sit at the table
with God! His mind shines
on the black and white
squares. We stake our all
on the capture of the one
queen, as though to hold life
to ransom. He, if he plays, plays.
unconcernedly among the pawns
As the poem describes, we continue to play a game of life with the hopes of capturing the one queen. We preach that God has no concern for status. That He is not concerned with our dress or house or job or abilities. And yet our time is wrapped up chasing after these things. We find our self worth in grasping these things. While the status symbols change as we age (from cars to retirement account balances), we continue to pursue. As though we could find joy. As though we could provide a future for ourselves. But while we pursue the “queen”, God “plays unconcernedly among the pawns”. While we pursue status, possessions, power for ourself; God seeks to love and sacrifice for others.
The pursuit of the queen is a perpetuation of the serpent’s lie (Genesis 3:4-5), but I have realized that I am only a pawn (Revelation 3:17). Driven this way and that by forces I can not control . But we have not been left alone. The Creator is prepared to pick us up and use us for His purposes. In His hands, submitting our wills and pride, we find our future. In His control we find joy. In Him we find salvation.
As Kierkegaard writes,
Imagine a big, well-trained obedient hunting dog. He accompanies his master on a visit to a family where, as all too often in our time, there is a whole assembly of ill-behaved youths. Their eyes hardly light upon the hound before they begin to maltreat it in every kind of way. The hound, which was well-trained, as these youths were not, fixes his eye at once upon his master to ascertain from his expression what he expects him to do. And he understands the glance to mean that he is to put up with all the ill-treatment, accept it indeed as though it were sheer kindness conferred upon him. Thereupon the youths of course became still more rough, and finally they agreed that it must be a prodigiously stupid dog which puts up with everything. The dog meanwhile is concerned only about one thing, what the master’s glance commands him to do. And lo, that glance is suddenly altered; it signifies—and the hound understands it at once—use your strength. That instant with a single leap he has seized the biggest lout and thrown him to the ground—and now no one stops him, except the master’s glance, and the same instant he is as he was a moment before.—Just so with me.
(The vision for my blog, www.plunge47.org, comes from this passage.)