Gordon Kirk has been the senior pastor at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, CA, for 14 years. no SP is perfect — but this guy was darn close. visionary, compassionate, insightful, wise. and, what can i say? he believed in me when i was a punk junior high pastor, and asked me to be the executive pastor at a 100+ year old church of 6000 people. it was unheard of. some of the church leaders thought he must have had a serious brain-fart.
any institution of 100 years needs a continuous process of change, or atrophy will (or has) set in, usually followed by death. gordon knew this, saw it, and — for the most part — was able to articulate a path forward. he was passionate about lake ave not being an oasis of middle-class white people in the midst of a completely diverse (racially and economically) neighborhood; and the church has made massive strides in this direction over the last 10 years. i’ve really been hoping and praying that lake avenue would become a model of a big ol’ church that was found a path from mono-cultural, through multi-racial, though multi-cultural, all the way to kingdom-cultural. at this moment, i’m feeling a bit less hopeful. the youth ministry of this great church is well on the way to living this reality — please, lord.
gordon’s resignation was due to ongoing attacks and nipping and plain-old wearing him down by critics.
i would absolutely not be sitting in my seat at ys today if gordon had not believed in me.