Yesterday I announced that we had hired Will Chenault to be our SoulCare pastor. This is a new position for our team and it reflects our renewed commitment to discipleship. The author of Hebrews explains that following Jesus requires that we “throw off everything that hinders” us. Discipleship requires more than learning new disciplines; we must also put aside the hurts, habits, and hang-ups that entangle us. In other words, we need to unpack our baggage—we need SoulCare.
One pervasive misconception attached to ministries like these, is that they are limited to ‘those’ people (the ones with the chronic problems). But this view is just self-deception. We are all bearers of bad baggage, and we all need to make space in our hearts if growth is to take place. Knowing this, we went looking for a leader who had an expansive vision of congregational care, someone who could integrate SoulCare into the fabric of our discipleship efforts. Will Chennault is that man.
Part of the interview process requires a written response to set questions. This was Will’s answer to, “what really motivates you?”
I am really motivated by people discovering what it means to live free in grace, and when they truly discover the freedom of life in Christ. I’m really motivated by a group of people who have decided to put away religious pretense, and live honestly from their hearts and engage the heart of the Father. I love it when people are transparent about themselves, not in a condemning or shameful manner, but as people who are being truly gripped by the good news.
Will joins us from our sister church in Birmingham, AL. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and an alumnus of the Fellowship Leadership Residency. But more impressive than his educational pedigree is his innate skill at building life-giving relationships. Here is a guy whose likeable personality leads into meaningful conversation. He cares, and he is good at it.
Will is married to Amanda, who shares her husband’s commitment to loving others. Together, they have earned quite a reputation for hospitality. They have three daughters, Avery (8), Morgan (6), and Grace (1). Eager to get started, Will begins his ministry alongside us on June 1st.
Having been in the Fellowship world for many years, the cultural fit should be an easy one. But how would you advise him as he settles into our new community?