Surprisingly, the webstats are telling me that people keep visiting this update page. So, for those of you who just need more of my rambling for some reason... here is a link to my church's website. It has links to audio of my sermons as well as my articles in the church newsletter. Also, seriously, keep checking back at this site every couple months because I have some funny plans for it.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Okay, it's been a month since I've updated this site. I'm pretty sure that everyone I know has heard the news, but in case you haven't, Judson Memorial Baptist Church has called me to be their pastor. I'm incredibly excited to begin ministry there. Erin and I are moving to Lansing the first week of November...my first Sunday is November 6. Our other big news is that we made an offer on a house a couple weeks ago, which was accepted. Pending a couple of additional inspections, we plan to close on that the first week of November (yes, that's looking like a busy week). I will probably not be updating this page again, but I'm bumping around a few ideas of where I can go with www.pastorzach.com. Check me out in a couple months; I'll hopefully have some interesting stuff going on here.

Soli Deo Gloria,


I never doubt that God has a sense of humor. I mean, just look at the duck-billed platypus. Weird. Or what about Oompa-Loompas? Wait, those aren't real. Anyway, I sometimes wonder if God just likes to mess with people from time to time. Not that he gets bored, but he did create us and He has every right to play “cosmic pranks” on us if he wants to.

Take, for example, the controversial James Ossuary––the bone box that allegedly contained the physical remains of St. James. Although adequately packed, it suffered a crack while being transported to Ontario. And the crack is right over the most controversial part of the inscription: the dalet-yod in “d'Yeshua.” Ha haaa! ZING!

Or how about an example that doesn't highlight the fact that I'm a huge geek? The church I'm candidating at has a policy that they will only seriously consider one candidate at a time. Likewise, ever since our first interview, I have not been considering positions with any other church. So what happens? The church profiles start arriving in the mail. The caller ID starts showing “First Baptist Church of so-and-so” and, even after disabling the contact me page from my website, I'm getting e-mails from churches who got my name from a professor or a pastor I know.

Do I think this is happening because I'm a hot commodity? Quite the opposite. Every time I pass up a chance at an interview, I think the same thing: if this candidacy doesn't end with a call, I'm going to wish I had strung a few of these churches along. I feel like this is a freak accident that these churches are contacting me and I'd better take advantage of it while it's happening.

I think God is trying to teach me something here: I'm not “in control” of this process. The tendency of my flesh is to want to cover all my bases, have a good backup plan. I believe God is telling me to chilleth out. He has a place for me. I'm praying that I already know where that is, but even if that doesn't pan out, I don't need to sweat it. If we sincerely pray, “Here I am; send me,” He'll put us right where he wants us to be.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Apparently, the background check was uneventful. In the past week, a few of my references have dodgily asked things like, “So, if someone calls me, is it appropriate for me to tell you?” Yeah, I know they called you. I'll be heading to the church for a candidating weekend mid-October. I'm looking forward to it very much. The funny thing is: I know for sure which sermon I'm going to preach, but I can't decide on a children's message. I've heard of this object-lesson where you actually soak yourself in lamp oil and then set yourself on fire. It sounds impressive, but if it were to go wrong, I'd probably seriously damage my credibility with this particular church.

We had an awesome time last Monday at the Talking Points event. If you 're into the whole postmodern/emergent church thing, you should definitely download those sessions and check them out. My main man Mike Wittmer had some praise for the movement, but some serious questions as well.

Finally, this week brought on a troubling self-realization. A friend of mine told me that he “hadn't read my blog in a while.” I thought he had me confused with someone else for a minute. Then I realized that he was referring to this page...and then I realized that he's right; it is a blog! All the telltale signs are there: the dated archive, the excessive hyperlinks, the rattling on and on about stupid things no one else cares about. I'm one of those people. A blogger. Kyrie Eleison.

Soli Deo Gloria,


I preached to a relatively full sanctuary on Sunday. What a great time of worship. I don't even think most of the congregation noticed the search committee filling up a whole pew. Erin and I also had a great lunch with them after the service.

The time has come now for them to do a background check on me. If anyone reading this happens to know much about the legal system, I could use your expertise: Say someone is picked up for insider trading when he's fourteen years old. Then the feds start throwing around accusations that this particular youth may have also been dabbling in international arms dealing...but nothing sticks. Would any of that show up on a criminal background check? A friend of mine wants to know. He's, uh, writing a paper about it.

BTW, I've stopped with the excessive hyperlinks, because I no longer find them funny. Just kind of annoying.

Soli Deo Gloria,


“I wait for the LORD; my soul doth wait
And in His Word do I hope.

My soul waiteth for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning
More than the watchmen wait for the morning”

           ––Psalm 130:5

It's exactly nine years to the day since I showed up at Cornerstone University, excited to start the pre-seminary program. You know, I don't remember feeling anxious to get through orientation. Or to get through my first year. I was comfortable that I was where God wanted me to be at that time. When I started seminary, about five years ago, I was starting to get a little bit antsy, thinking the end was in sight (yeah, right––one week of Hebrew and Greek cured me of that). But now, all of a sudden, it seems like an eternity just to wait one week for a search committee to have their next meeting.

Remember that 1970s poster that graced the walls of every church basement well into the '90s? It had a picture of a turtle looking all grumpy and it said, “Lord, Give me patience...and give it to me NOW.” I tried to find a jpeg of that poster so I could link to it, but all I could find was this Precious Moments figurine. By the way, those porcelain Precious Moments things give me the willies. Am I alone here? They don't look cute to me; they look like they're biding their time, waiting to come to life and attack me in my sleep. I suppose I should see a therapist about that, but I probably won't.

Yet, I digress. Paul lists patience among the Fruit of the Spirit. In other words, if I allow the Holy Spirit to do His sanctifying work in me, I will have patience. I'm not 100% sure what it means, then, when I don't feel like waiting on the Lord. But the beautiful thing with patience is this:  in most cases, you don't have a choice. God will do things in His time and in His way whether I like it or not. Without patience, though, I'll most likely miss out on some other Fruit of the Spirit––peace and joy.

Soli Deo Gloria,

P.S. Remember, “patience is a virtue,” but “God helps those who help themselves.” It says so in II Hezekiah 18:24.


I've got an interview lined up for Monday evening. I'm very excited about the possibility of doing ministry at this church. If ye be religious, pray for that interview, that we'd all be seeking God's will.

I also just finished reading Byzantium. It ruled. If you're into history and adventure and monks (or any two of the three), you should check it out.
I think I would have made a good monk...except for the no wife and no talking part. I would have hated that. Did you know monks discovered that coffee beans get you hyper? It's true. Ethiopian monks would eat coffee beans to stay awake through late-night prayer meetings. They also pretty much preserved civilization and most written knowledge during the Dark Ages. So take some time this week to thank your local monk for civilization and coffee (two of my favorite things).

Soli Deo Gloria,


Well, my ABPS profile is finally available to churches. There were a few errors, but the people at the National Ministries office fixed them all quickly and, as of Monday, it's in the system. A couple of weeks ago, I met with the denomination's consultant for transistioning ministries in our region. He's a nice guy (bought me lunch at the Red Robin) and we talked about several opportunities for serving a church in Michigan.

A few days later, a church called me and set up an interview. Erin and I traveled to the church earlier this week and met the search committee. They were great people and the church does a lot of great ministry. We all felt the interview went well, but the setting wasn't a match for my gifts. This was confirmed when a minister who had previously been in serious talks with the church came back into the picture. So, God doesn't want us there. I suppose a tank of gas is a fair trade for a good practice interview.

There's another church that sent me their profile last week and requested mine after reviewing my sermon DVD and résumé. There's a lot of awesome ministry going on at that church, so I'm hoping that my profile leads them to follow up with me.

That's about all that's going on. Wait, no. I got a new Palm. It's way cooler than my old one. The Greek and Hebrew fonts are crystal clear and it plays MP3's and movie clips. Now I can watch the trailer for Napoleon Dynamite anytime, anywhere.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Yesterday was the ordination service. It was one of my best days. Four ministers were involved: my pastor, Frank Feltis; my former pastors, Ed Pikey and Ed Pedley (or just “the eds” as I now call them); and international millionaire playboy, Rev. Michael Gohn (my friend and sometimes-collaberator). I was very touched and humbled by how many people attended––lots of people from Burton Baptist, a van from Essexville Baptist, where I grew up; and tons of family members. I really appreciate everyone's support.

I'm sending in my profile tonight. Apparently, they're quite quick and efficient at entering the information into the computer system. Once it's in, my profile can pop up in searches just about anywhere. That means churches from Los Angeles to Kennebunkport can tell me that I don't have enough experience. I'm also sending out the first couple résumés tonight and am in the process of setting up a meeting with the person in charge of placement in Michigan.

I'm still doing some supply preaching as well. I'll be in Zeeland the evening of July 24 and I'm doing two services in Caledonia Sunday morning, August 7.

Soli Deo Gloria,


I've had a lot of people ask me how “the search” is going and request regular updates of where I am in the process of ordination/placement. So, here's the dull skinny with many unnecessary hyperlinks to keep things interesting. I will update this page regularly––probably with increasingly vague information as we start the candidating process (I wonder who first “verbed” the word candidate...I bet it was Darby).

On June 26, Burton Baptist called an ordination council for me. We had exactly the six churches present that the region requires. Representatives came from Grand Rapids, Ionia, Midland, South Haven, Tekonsha, and Three Rivers. Compared to all the horror stories I've been told about ordination councils, it was a rather painless and enjoyable experience. All of the delegates were very kind and the moderator put me right at ease. They voted unanimously to recommend that Burton ordain me.

On July 17 at 3pm, we're having an ordination service at Burton Baptist Church. Everyone is welcome to attend.

This month, I'll also finish filling out my ABPS profile and send it in to Valley Forge. We haven't really started a search for a church as of yet. I've received a couple of “tips” about ABC chuches that are looking for a pastor, but haven't sent out any résumés or anything yet. We've been focused on getting through all the hoops for ordination and getting a profile in.

In the meantime, I've been preaching pretty regularly and enjoying being done with seminary. A forty hour work week seems like nothing when you're used to that plus twenty-five hours of school work...

Keep your eyes on JESUS!

Soli Deo Gloria,

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