New Creation Conversation Episode 072 - Rev. Dave Roberts on Longevity in Ministry and Creating Healing Conversations
Welcome to episode seventy-two of New Creation Conversations. One of the joys for me in starting this podcast has been the chance to make several new friends along the way. However, it has also been a joy to help others get to know some of my great long-term friends. Today I get to share a conversation with a treasured friend and a true kindred spirit in pastoral ministry. For about a decade Dave Roberts and I pastored about twelve miles from each other – down the 201 Freeway – in Southern California. Dave and his wife Cindy have spent their entire post-seminary ministry (34 years!) serving the Church of the Nazarene in Montrose, California. A congregation simply known as The Montrose Church.
I recently was asked to introduce Dave when he spoke at our Northwest field gathering. I went into detail about all the things that were different in 1988 – when Dave first went to Montrose – to how they are now. For example, it was the year I graduated from college. The year George HW Bush (the older one) was elected president. And only 15% of American households had any kind of computer. It takes a lot of persistence and patience to stay with one group of people that long. It takes a lot of creativity and leadership to grow a church of less than 50 to a church running over 900. But most of all it takes a lot of integrity and character to live openly and lovingly with a people for that long. As I told that gathering, no one can fake faithfulness for 34 years.
Dave is an alum of both Southern Nazarene University and Nazarene Theological Seminary. We talk quite a bit about longevity in ministry. But we also talk about his recent and very helpful book, Healing Conversations: Taking Yourself Out of Conflict and Loneliness – published by Morgan James Press. It is such an important book for such a divided time. I think The Montrose Church is one of the best-kept secrets in my denomination, and a lot of that is due to Dave’s great pastoral heart and leadership. I hope many of you know him already, but if not I’m excited to get to introduce him to you. Here is my New Creation Conversation with Pastor Dave Roberts.