I was so excited to talk in more detail at our member's meeting about the new role that Joe Catoe is stepping into for our church in late January as our Director of Church Operations. I think this is going to be a major step forward for us as a church. Joe is a gifted leader whose strategic thinking, and compelling personal example, is going to take us forward into even more mission. I know that some of you might not know Joe's story, so I need to tell it as a testimony to God's goodness to us as a church.
Joe and his wife Kristen originally were from Frederick, Md. Yet, they have always had a burden for urban ministry with a missional focus. So when they came across my YouTube video about our church plant, they were immediately burdened to come check out what we were doing as I was describing a church that had long been on their hearts. I’ll never forget the phone call I received on a rainy Saturday afternoon about a young couple from Maryland that was driving around South Philly and wanted to meet with me. We met up the next day and there was an immediate knitting of our hearts. Angie and I were amazed to meet this couple who clearly loved Jesus and wanted to give their lives to seeing His name worshipped through us being made and matured as disciples of Jesus. We talked for several hours that day and deep friendship was birthed. Joe and Kristen were so committed to being part of our plant that they moved up here with no place to stay other than a 10' by 10' room in another church plant member's house. They moved in with their two kids, which had to sleep in the closet, because their quarters were so tight. Joe left a promising job in the political arena and completely switched careers. Their sacrifices to be part of what we are doing is truly inspiring. They have endured a lot of challenges in being here. From house projects that were much more than anticipated, to the loss of loved ones, we have watched them walk through these challenges with a commitment to be real and honest about their struggles. The Catoes are not fake. They know the freedom of Jesus that lets us cry real tears. Yet, in the midst of their tears they have demonstrated a resolute faith in the goodness of God and their experience of drinking deep from the well of His love has only grown. We are all deeply affected by their example.
Joe has background in marketing, volunteer oversight, running fundraising campaigns and new business growth. In short, he has a lot of skills that have been developed over the years that I am excited for our church to be able to benefit from. His responsibilities will be to create, measure, track, report and implement a strategy to execute the annual goals of the pastoral team, as well as, continue to develop the organizational infrastructure of Christ Church in ways that advance the church’s vision and mission. Basically, Joe's going to be doing a little bit of everything to make our church run and move forward.
Please be praying for Joe has he makes this transition at the end of the month. It is definitely going to be a challenge to work two part time jobs, especially as he has weekly quotas to meet in his other position. Please pray that God would strengthen him for the task ahead and give him wisdom. Please pray for a special grace upon his family during this transition. Please pray that God would use him to better position us to make, mature and multiply disciples of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God.
I love you Christ Church,
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