My name is Jason Greene and I am honored to be the candidate the elders have selected as the next Senior Pastor of Bethel Church. Here is a brief snapshot of my story and why I feel God is leading me to be your next Pastor.
I grew up in a small town in Northeast Ohio with my parents and brother. Despite growing up in a loving home, I did not know the Lord or the gospel. My family did not regularly attend church and I was first introduced to the church during high school. I dated a girl (Haley, now my wife) who invited me to church regularly. I decided it wasn't for me and our relationship ended. During my second year of college, I reached the lowest point of my life. I was hopelessly lost as I tried anything that would help me escape the brokenness that surrounded me. It was during that time that I witnessed a violent crime against a friend that resulted in his death. This traumatic loss caused me to question everything in life including my own brokenness and mortality. The week after his death I showed up to the only church I knew (Haley's home church), searching for answers. I was shocked by the message and songs that day based upon God’s grace toward sinners. I had never had ears to hear that before, and I will never forget that feeling. As the service went on, I became increasingly convinced of my sinfulness and my deep need to be rescued. I heard about God’s love for me that was demonstrated in Christ’s death on my behalf. At the end of the service there was an invitation to ask God to forgive anyone of their sins and make them new in Christ. I prayed that Jesus would save me while sitting in the back pew of the church that day. More than any other moment in my life, I could sense that I was becoming a new person and God was bringing a dead man to life.
Call to Vocational Ministry
After coming to know Christ, my life was transformed in radical ways. One of those early changes was a shift from full-time studies as a Mechanical Engineer at the University of Akron to enlistment into the United States Air Force. My desire at the time was to enlist, finish my undergraduate studies, and become an Air Force pilot. My early career took me to Texas, Mississippi, and ultimately Denver, Colorado. Haley and I began life there together as a married couple. The Lord led us to an incredible church where we quickly connected, were discipled and found belonging. In October of 2000, I was listening to our pastor give a message on God’s unique call for each of us. Over the previous months, God had been revealing gifts and abilities that he had uniquely placed in me. It was during that service that I started to gain clarity on the calling that God had prepared for me. My pastor helped clarify this calling and invited me to shadow him for a season.
In 2001, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Colorado Christian University. I had a desire to increase my understanding of the Bible and my abilities as a pastor. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, we moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina, where I completed a Masters in Divinity with Biblical Languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I thoroughly enjoyed this time of studying and increasing my knowledge and passion. I’ve had the privilege of serving two local churches prior to Bethel over my 17 year career in full-time ministry.
My wife, Haley, has taught me more about faith, love, and perseverance than anyone else. She is intelligent, witty, and kind. Haley and I have been married for 21 years. Throughout the years we have lived in four states and added seven children to our family. Our children are our greatest joy and challenge! We have five daughters and two sons ranging from 17 years old to 6 years old.
Haley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice (Probation, Parole & Corrections). She spent many years at home with our children but currently is the Executive Director of a non-profit organization working to reduce substance use among youth in our community through education and programs. Haley is passionate about community collaboration to solve local issues and supporting students in their journey.
Haley shares my heart for global missions. Following several mission trips as a family to an orphanage in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2012, we knew God expected more from us in the area of orphan care. We decided to become foster parents in 2013. We were blessed to see the restorative power of reunification in the families we served and to see our family grow through adoption when reunification was impossible. Adoption has increased our understanding and utter awe of our own adoption as children of God. It has also opened our eyes to the complexities of trauma, racism, and the broken systems of this world. Although we do not have the capacity to foster at this time, our prayer is that the Lord will continue to use our family to serve, love, and share Christ with the least of these in our community. We pray that our children will love and serve the Lord in this way as they enter into adulthood.
What are You Passionate about?
My greatest passion is discipleship in the local church. Nothing gets me more excited than teaching Scripture, discipling people, and seeing the gospel go forward to the ends of the earth. When I consider the opportunity to lead a team of Biblical expositors who are faithfully teaching God’s Word in the communities we’ve been called to impact, it’s exciting. When I look at the long history of Bethel as a disciple-making church, I look forward to the next chapter as Bethel expands into a movement of disciple-making disciples. I have been so encouraged by all the Lord has been doing through Bethel in the Tri-Cities, Lower Valley, and around the world. God is making a great name for Himself among the nations, and He has invited us to be an active part of His mission. I’m eager to see how the Lord works through Bethel as we seek to make disciples of every generation both locally and globally.
As I shared before, I’ve never had it as my personal goal be a Senior Pastor, let alone to be considered for this position at Bethel. The Bethel-Prosser campus and the community of Prosser have loved us so well and our time in ministry there has been the most exciting and rewarding we have ever experienced. When you are serving in such an incredible place that the Lord is blessing, it can be difficult to tell whether God is directing you to something new. Haley and I have always asked the Lord make clear any decision or move He may be leading us to make and He always has!
As Bethel has walked through this process over the last 12 months, we have tried to serve Bethel well in the interim and be faithful through the process. When the Bethel elders recently engaged us in conversations about the position we began praying about the possibility. We asked the Lord to make it abundantly clear to all involved and we sought insight from mentors and friends. When the elders shared that they were unanimous in the Lord’s calling, we agreed in our spirits. I can honestly say that I could not do anything else with a clear conscience unless I put my “yes” on the table. Though we are walking through one of the most complex times in recent history during this pandemic, I am convinced now more than ever that God is calling me to this new assignment.
I am honored that you would consider calling me to be your next Senior Pastor. I hope that I have earned a reputation through faithful and consistent service, sharing signs of my calling and fruit in the work that God has called me to. Thank you for prayerfully considering my appointment to this position.