Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Welcome, Jason Blair

A few weeks ago Chain of Lakes commissioned Jason Blair in worship as a Discipleship Intern.  We are very excited that Jason and his family have decided to share their gifts with our new congregation and the wider community.
I first got to know Jason when he shared his gifts as a guitar player in worship at Chain of Lakes.  Kristel Peters, the music director of our new church, knew Jason and encouraged him to play.  In talking to Jason I learned that he had received a MDIV from Bethel and was interested in new church development.  We had to talk—I invited him out to lunch.
I soon discovered that he and I look at the world in a very similar way.  Both of us are interested in making and developing disciples who combine the best of our conservative and liberal traditions.  Jason went on to say that he has an interest in starting a new church at some point in his life.  When he said that I couldn’t help but say, “you have to come to Chain of Lakes Church!”
We started talking about what he could do in our new congregation.  We have no money to pay him, but he was willing to come on as an intern.  We put together a position description that our Steering Committee approved.  His task is to help our new congregation foster intentional discipleship and missional community.  What does that mean?  We’re still figuring it out.
Eventually we hope that he could develop and implement a plan for discipleship at Chain of Lakes, and we hope that he could research and gather best practices regarding discipleship which he would relate to our demographic.  I could see him taking a significant leadership role in developing small groups at Chain of Lakes.
Right now we are enjoying his presence, the presence of his wife, Paula, and the presence of their two beautiful children, Breonna and Jordan.
In his bio. Jason wrote that “as a disciple, life is primarily about striving to follow Jesus and help[ing] others to do the same.  … “As a geek [he] makes his living supporting a computer network and those who use it.  As a musician [he] expresses the creative side of his spirit and shares it with others.  As a martial artist [he] trains to find the inner discipline to live out everything out.” 
Jason comes from a diverse theological background.  He wrote that “I was born, baptized, confirmed and raised in the Methodist tradition.  After discovering and embracing my faith in college, I found my way into the Evangelical Free Church … But in that tradition, I have been influenced by Baptists, Anglicans, Orthodox, Catholics, and many others to a lesser degree.  For that reason, Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17 lurks behind all that I do.”
In coming to Chain of Lakes Jason, Paula and their children left Grace Evangelical Free Church in Fridley.  This was significant to them as they had many close friends and colleagues at that place.  Coming to Chain of Lakes did not take place for the Blair family without grief. 
I have no idea what will result in Jason and his family’s participation at Chain of Lakes, but I do know that it is going to be a lot of fun to see how the Spirit works!! 

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