Jeff Smith, D.Min., PCC
I am a pastor and have a pastor’s heart for people … of creation, really. I am a member of the clergy serving in the United Methodist Church and serve currently as lead pastor at Wellspring in Georgetown, Texas. I completed undergraduate studies at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth prior to completing a Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas. Finally, I received a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.
Additionally, I am a credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation holding the credential of Professional Certified Coach (PCC). I am certified also as an End of Life Coach and a Discipleship Coach. Coaching allows me to come alongside people who are struggling to make sense of life and death, despair and hope, doubt and faith. It upholds my belief that everything belongs and creates the wholeness that we seek.
Having served in pastoral ministry since I was 19 years old, I am passionate about the capability of the church to transform lives even despite the incredible harm the church is also capable of doing when it dangerously blends fear with privilege and power. Amidst all the hardness of daily living both within and without the church, I believe the answer to this is bound up in a simple, foundational doctrine of those who live according to the principles of John Wesley … and the people like Mary Magdalene, and the disciples, Paul, and Mary and Martha and their brother, Lazarus … and finally Jesus. That simple doctrine is GRACE!
So the title of this blog has been from the beginning, “Reflections on Grace: Living Only in the Shadow of Grace.” The reader will be able to tell that this isn’t just the warm fuzzy kind of grace where everything is sunshine and roses. This is the gritty form of grace that teaches us to love and practice empathy and compassion even when it is really hard. It is the grace that sees us right where we are (prevenient grace), but is unwilling to leave us alone (justifying grace), and finally pushes us to be the people of God we are called to be (sanctifying grace).
I guess the simplest thing about me is that I know no other way to live than to stand beneath this grace and let it do its work on me. Thanks for being part of my journey!