Andrew Oceans Reed
Meet Andrew Oceans Reed, Communications Resident at Cornerstone Church in Litchfield, MN. Andrew has only been in his new residency program at Cornerstone for just over a month but has already gained a plethora of experience in his new communication-specific ministry role. “I think this residency has been completely crucial to my long-term ministry,” says Andrew. “I am getting the exact work experience I need and I am learning and growing in ways that will prepare me for years to come.”
Andrew grew up in a ministry family, even spending much of his childhood in Tanzania on the mission field, and has been drawn to it from an early age. “My family's life was always encircled in ministry work everywhere we went... From a young age I felt called to serve in the Church, but it has been a long journey discovering how and where I fit in.”
Life is a Kingdom assignment, and so far that journey has taken Andrew from a small Christian college in Missouri to a mega church in Phoenix, and now to rural Minnesota. College was great for Andrew. It gave him the solid Biblical foundation every future leader needs and it’s also where he met his wife.
“I knew I wanted to do ministry, but by my junior year I was beginning to realize that maybe I wasn’t going to be a preacher,” says Andrew. Like most of us he had questions at graduation with just a few answers. Searching for his answers, he applied a year early to a residency program at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix. Shortly after graduating in May 2016 he and his wife headed West.
This step of faith ultimately proved extremely fruitful. Not only did he gain valuable training for strategic leadership and day-to-day ministry, he also obtained his master’s degree while doing it.
Most importantly however, it’s where he first got his ‘feet wet’ in communications and knew he’d found his niche in ministry.
After his year in Phoenix, and a summer of searching, Andrew and his wife discovered an opportunity at Cornerstone Church in Litchfield, Minnesota. Leadership Pathway (Lp) had partnered with the church to help them innovate and begin a residency program. “There are so many things that are great here,” says Executive Pastor Martin Allen, “but getting the pipeline full of committed, young, and future talent is difficult do to our location. We are thrilled that Andrew is with us.”
So, in a great leap of faith, they committed and moved to Cornerstone with a fresh outlook and direction for ministry. As Andrew describes, “Christ’s Church of the Valley was a general preparation residency for me. I learned a lot that will be applied to whatever I do wherever I go, but I decided to go to Cornerstone for communications specifically. Christ’s Church of the Valley was a lot like Ozark Christian College--a broad foundation. My time here at Cornerstone is focused to grow specifically in skills and experience in Communications.”
“I had leaders that poured in to me,” says Martin, “We must be doing that for the next generation as well. Reality is, we’ll be doing coaching sessions and helping Andrew, but we are in the perfect spot that we really need him to engage and help us do communications well.”
The Lp team has also worked to connect Andrew to other seasoned church communication directors in the region and the twin cities. “We have a saying at Lp,” says Lead Recruiter Sean Badeer, “This is on us. Andrew is a great example of a young and energetic future leader who is doing everything asked of him to be ready. Martin and his team at Cornerstone is the perfect place for him to achieve this.”
“A residency is for people who have ministry knowledge and experience, but need an opportunity to put it to the test,” says Andrew. “I’m already working as if I’m actually on staff. The responsibility, accountability and pressure is on me to get work done. There is no hand holding, but there is tremendous grace to fail forward. I would say to any church leader that if your church is healthy and growing, you have something to offer! What people like me need is a healthy place to start our ministries where we can learn alongside you, how to be effective in ministry.” The Lp team couldn’t agree more.
We look forward to seeing where the path takes Andrew in his future.
Leadership Pathway (Lp) curates a network of churches, leaders, and training pathways in order to generate a pipeline of world-class church leaders who are highly desired and hirable. For more information on Lp go to http://leadershippathway.org/.