from our lead pastor

After well over 200 applicants and a prayerful and thorough selection process, we are thrilled to announce and welcome Ryan Smith as our new teaching pastor!

In related news, I need a nap.

If Ryan looks familiar, it might be because he was our guest preacher on September 8th and he absolutely killed it. Or you may recognize him from the publicity surrounding J.J. Abrams latest project. I completely made up that last sentence and there is no truth in it at all.

Ryan, his wife Erin, and their daughter Emma, will be moving to the Westside in early October. They’re coming just in time to celebrate with us as we turn 4 as a church community in mid-October.

So who is this guy? I’m glad you asked.

He was described to me recently as someone that is “really excited about Jesus”. I think that’s a pretty fair assessment.

He’s a man of integrity whose character the Lord has shaped through the reality of life and ministry and through the investment of godly people.

Ryan has served with several churches around the country in a variety of cultural and theological contexts, and has spent the last five years leading ministries, teaching, and preaching at a church in Reno. The pastors he works with all speak very highly of him.

His greatest passion is to help people in an urban, progressive context, understand and love the Bible as they see its beauty, complexity, relevancy, and fulfillment in Jesus and his Kingdom.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Bible & Theology from Evangel University and is currently getting his Master’s degree in Biblical & Theological Studies through Western Seminary in Portland, OR.

Over the last few months, Pastor Isaac and I have really enjoyed getting to know Ryan and his family and we can’t wait for the rest of our church community to get to know them too. They are going to be great additions to our church fam.

I said months ago that our primary desire was to follow the Lord’s leading and find someone that was the right fit for Collective Church. I promised we would guard against making assumptions and would conduct an objective search while remaining fully submitted to Jesus. I believe we have done that.

I want to thank you all for praying and for being so patient and steadfast throughout this whole process. Your trust in us and your commitment to one another and to our shared mission is both humbling and inspiring.

I’d also like to thank Pastor Isaac for helping with the preaching duties when he could and for contributing invaluable counsel and wisdom during the search process.

We’re also very grateful for the team at Vanderbloemen Search Group who handled the practical aspects of the search when we had zero bandwidth (or expertise) to do it ourselves.

And last but not least, to Ryan and his family, thank you for trusting and following Jesus, and for the example you have set with your willingness to step out in faith and obedience.

It won’t be long before we’re back into the full swing of things, firing on all cylinders with Ryan at the pulpit on the regular, but we are never going to stop depending on and trusting in Jesus. He is the Head of the church and this is about Him. He has called us to participate in His work as responsible followers of Jesus, responsible family members, responsible stewards, and responsible disciple-makers.

We’re just four years old.
We’re just getting started.
The best is yet to come, church!

God bless,

Lorenzo Smith (no relation)