StaffNews Senior PastorDr. Ken Whitten
Celebrates 21 years on October 1
Describe three things you find most rewarding about your ministry: 1. Seeing lives changed with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Working with and co-laboring with the best Staff in the nation. They’ve made me wiser, stronger, healthier, and cleaner. I love this team, all of you.
3. Having the joy and privilege of being the Senior Pastor of a Family of Faith, where God’s glory is desired, reaching the lost is expected, and having a heart for the undeserved and the underprivileged is foundational. I love what I do and Whom I serve.
How has your ministry changed during your years of service? When the Whitten family joined the Idlewild family 21 years ago, Idlewild was meeting for worship in a high school. We have relocated our entire campus three times—that’s a change. Technology has changed— years ago texting, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, iPhones, IMAGs, and the list goes on, never existed to the degree they do today. Because information comes to us so readily and is so easily accessed, the demand for returning information has also increased. It seems in these years of ministry, people’s lives are more busy, schedules more demanding, and hearts are more broken—which gives us greater opportunities than ever before to minister to and reach more people for Jesus Christ. One major change for me, personally, has been that as the church grows more numerically, my job narrows specifically. It is physically impossible to meet with every member, visit everyone in the hospital, counsel, lead staff, and still preach two and three
times weekly. That is sometimes both a reality and a disappointment, as my desire is to know everyone.
What changes or areas of growth would you like to see God accomplish at Idlewild? Idlewild is growing—because of God’s grace—but so is her Pastor. Dr. Henry Blackaby, a man whom I love and respect, says, “Find out where God is working and join Him.” I believe God is working in several areas of our fellowship. I see His hand in adoption and orphan care. I see Him working in Special Needs and their families. I see more and more people desiring to be on mission with God, making radical adjustments in their lives to serve locally and internationally.
I would love to see our Family of Faith grow in: • Daily sharing their faith
• Developing a deeper intimacy in their walk with the Lord in prayer and Scripture memory
• Personally being involved in discipleship and mentoring—men to men, women to women, older couples to younger couples
As you picture the next five years, could you paint a picture of what Idlewild may look like? Of course, no one has a crystal ball and no one can predict the future. In fact, we’re not even guaranteed the next five years. But if the Lord tarries, here are some things I dream the Lord would allow us and help us to do:
• I dream of starting and helping non- existent and struggling churches through church planting and church restoration ministries. I dream of starting a Hispanic church on our campus.
• I dream of adopting portions of the inner-city where rural families and inner-city families partner for the Gospel, as well as education, housing, food, clothing, and mentorship. I dream of helping the underprivileged obtain their GED and assist them in finding job opportunities.
• I dream of finishing the construction of our campus in building out our second floor for Children and Preschool Ministries.
• I dream of building a first-class Family
Life Center, where indoor sports, work- out opportunities, and the church and city basketball leagues of all ages can begin, that
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