Joe is the husband to an incredibly talented artist and justice-seeker, Joann; dad to their fun-loving, music-playing son, Asher; and best friend to their dog, Leigh. Joe loves being outdoors and travelling and enjoys all things music and sports. Joe currently serves as Lead Pastor at Bothell UMC in Seattle.

He has travelled around the world as a speaker, workshop leader and facilitator, encouraging people of faith to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.


Prior to serving as Lead Pastor, Joe was the Associate Pastor of Bothell UMC. In this episode, we talk about how important your character is when transitioning between two different roles at a church. Especially when the transition is to Lead Pastor. We talk about the motivation, transparency, accountability and the heart.

Welcome to episode 31 of the Young Church Leaders Podcast with Grant Vissers!

Show Notes

Guest Links

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Bothell United Methodist Church


Takeaways from the Episode

1. God has been Faithful. God will be Faithful

There will be a day when each of us is no longer in ministry and someone will have to take up the mantle of leadership in our current communities, organizations, and churches. The important thing to remember as we do ministry today is that God has been at work long before we got here and will continue to be at work long after we lead. As Joe said, this is God’s work, not ours. It doesn’t mean we don’t work hard, we do. But, we need to remember that our work needs to be aligned with what God is already doing in our midst. In that way, we honor those who have gone before us and those who will come after. 

2. Am I Listening to God?

Joe talks about stopping and asking himself these questions: “Am I listening to God?” and “Am I praying for God’s people?” In the midst of a transition in ministry, it is so important to have practices that position us to hear from God. God shows up in the midst of our routines and he shows up in the midst of our habits and practices that posture us to experience God. What practices do you have in your life that position you to hear from God.

3. Character is What we Stand On.

You can be the best preacher in the world and still lose the trust of your community. You can lead the best programs and services in the world and still lose the trust of your church. We need our churches to see who we truly are. Leaders need to be authentic and real and not put on a face that promotes the idea that we are perfect. People want to follow authentic leaders. More than any sermon we preach, or workshop we lead; more than any program we start or thing we accomplish, we need to lead from transparent and vulnerable places.

4. Make Accountability and Character Concrete

Joe talks about taking their office space, and what would be his office space, and creating a transparent, collaborative workspace. Not everybody needs to create the same kind of space, but we all need to mack accountability and character concrete. What steps will you take today to make your church environment safer for everyone involved, including yourself?

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Next Episode

Join us next time on the Young Church Leaders Podcast with Grant Vissers.