The Wait Is Over

Wow, I’m so relieved. Our church just called a new pastor yesterday, which means I have a new boss. The Rev. Dr. William Mangrum. This guy and I get along so well together, too. It’s crazy.

Side note: In thinking about how to describe him, I almost just spouted off a bunch of labels. Emergent Village, Rob Bell fan, etc. Bad, Russell, bad!

Bill and I both love reading. He’s got a head-start on me though. One of the biggest logistical problems for bringing him here is what to do with his 15,000 books. I’m really excited to have a superior that is so well-read, and that can introduce me to new authors and titles that will challenge me in all aspects of life… personal theology, ministry practices, etc.

Bill’s a questioner. This goes along with being a bibliophile, I suppose. Why does this program/process have to be done this way? What practical relevance does the Scots Confession hold for us today? I also expect him to thoroughly question me, and the decisions I make about programs and curriculum and budgets. That’ll be great, because I haven’t had any real oversight in the past few months, and it’s driven me crazy. First, I miss things and make mistakes, and then when others pick up on those mistakes, there’s no one to go to bat for me.

Bill loves to be outside. So maybe, just maybe, Durango itself was a factor in his decision to accept the position here… Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll be at the point where I can join him on his ultra-marathons while I’m here in Durango, but we are already making rough plans for some climbing trips. He said he’s comfortable leading a 5.8 or 5.9 sight-unseen, so that’s fine with me because I’m not all that hardcore in terms of strength or technique, but I still really enjoy getting out on the rocks. I’ve been hoping to install an indoor training board for hand and finger strength, and it’ll really come in handy when gloves become an outdoor necessity in a few weeks. The original location for the board was going to be somewhere in my apartment, but who knows, I may move it to a communal location if my boss wants to use it with me…

Bill has at least a modicum of tech savvy, and realizes the possibilities technology holds for carrying out the work of Jesus Christ in our current era. Now I’m not expecting him to come here and make all sorts of sweeping changes in the technology our church uses (btw, most changes would fit in the ‘completely overhaul & upgrade’ category), but I’m excited to have someone who can agree with me that .mp3’s might not be such a bad idea for publishing sermons. Let’s get rid of the cassette tapes once and for all! I would be willing to settle for CDs though, as a step in the right direction. Also, I’ve gotta get him set up with a WordPress… I see more joint-blogging projects in the near future.

This is a pretty good start. I think you can see why I’m so excited. And I could keep writing.

Anyway, I imagine Bill and I will be emailing and calling back and forth quite a bit until his arrival in January. Now, I must say I really respect Tony Jones’ practice of not blogging about all the juicy details of his conversations with colleagues, so I’m thinking about how to apply that ethic to my blogging. But I will hold that in tension with my own excitement and try to keep you filled in on new developments between my awesome new boss and I.

3 responses to “The Wait Is Over

  1. Bill’s a great guy and a terrific pastor. I was acquainted with him when he worked with the college group at Trinity Pres in Santa Ana.

    God bless you, and if it wasn’t a mortal sin I’d be envious.

  2. Phil-
    Bill was flattered by your comment but he’s having a hard time placing a face to just your first name… I can’t put Bill’s email up here, but if you’d me like to pass your info on to him, email me at russell dot duren at gmail dot com.

  3. Yes, I also knew Bill when he was with the college group at Trinity Pres, Santa Ana. Great guy.

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