–prayer, preaching/teaching, and writing
–providing theological and directional leadership
–cultivating missional leaders
Brad has been happily married to his college sweetheart, Holly, for 13 years and they are proud parents of five children: Cooper (11), Margo (9), Sloan (6), Everett (5), and Blythe (1). Brad is a 2000 graduate of Missouri Baptist University (B.A.) and is currently pursuing a M.Div. with Liberty Theological Seminary. He regularly writes about the intersection of the Gospel, the church, mission, and culture at his blog: transformission.com, as well as serving as a religion columnist for the Urban Tulsa Weekly. He also served as one of the ten framers of The Missional Manifesto, alongside Tim Keller, Ed Stetzer, Alan Hirsch, Eric Mason, J.D. Greear, Dan Kimball, Linda Berquist, Craig Ott, and Philip Nation.
The strategy regarding spiritual oversight and accountability at Mercyview is to have a plurality of elders shepherding the church. The New Testament records a consistent pattern of pastoral oversight by a council of elders in nearly all of the first churches and these churches were spread over a wide geographic and culturally diverse area (Acts 11:30, 14:23, 15, 20:17; Phillipians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-25; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 13:17; James 5:14, 15; 1 Peter 1:1, 5:1). The elders are always spoken of in plurality because God intends for more than one man to lead and rule over the church as a safeguard for both the church and the man. The elders’ duties include ruling (1 Timothy 5:17), (1 Timothy 3:4-5), (1 Peter 5:2-5), (Hebrews 13:17), (Hebrews 13:7), (Acts 20:28), (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 3:2), (1 Timothy 5:17), (Titus 1:9), (Matthew 18:15-17).
This does not mean that the elders will not seek the input of the members when making decisions for the Church. It is the desire of the elders to be as open as possible with the members of the Church and to seek input when necessary from the members in order to make decisions that reflect the conscience of God. We are always open to brotherly and sisterly discussion, criticism and/or advice, as long as it is done so in love. And we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and discernment to lead Mercyview in a manner that is holy and blameless.
Due to the nature of church planting, in Mercyview’s initial phases, the only elder is the lead pastor-elder. In lieu of “in-house” elders at the inception of the church, an external advisory board has been designated to give oversight, support, and accountability to Mercyview. This board consists of experienced pastors and advisors who are outside of the covenant community of Mercyview but fully support the vision and mission of the church. They are: