Moving to Louisville

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

In a little under two weeks my family and I will be moving to Louisville, KY.

After thirty years of being in Gaithersburg, MD, Sovereign Grace Ministries, the family of churches that I serve, is relocating its offices. I’ve been here since 1997, so it’s understandably a bittersweet departure. But I’m filled with faith for what God has planned for the future.

The Lord has been kind to us in Gaithersburg. We’ve been able to co-labor with Covenant Life Church to put on conferences of all types (including WorshipGod), host the Sovereign Grace Pastors College, and serve other Sovereign Grace churches in our region. For ten of the past thirty years we’ve shared a facility with Covenant Life. I have countless memories of rich relationships, encounters with God, and fruitful ministry here. And many dear friends.

But a potential move has been on the radar for a while now and numerous factors have moved it to the forefront of discussion. The high cost-of-living in the DC suburbs has affected not only our staff, but the 15-20 men who move with their families to be trained in our Pastors College each year. In light of the economic downturn, decreased giving, and wanting to steward our resources wisely, it made sense to consider a less expensive location like Louisville. But Louisville has more to offer than low cost living. It’s home to Southern Seminary. Being close to Southern will enable us to beef up our academic offerings for the Pastors College and possibly offer credits toward a Masters degree. Add in the more central location and the thoughts I list below, and Louisville makes even more sense. (You can read more about the reasons for relocating here).

But relocating our offices isn’t the only reason I’m moving. I’m also going on a church plant. In fact, one of the aspects I’m most excited about is starting a church, led by CJ Mahaney, along with a group of people I know, love, and respect.

Planting a church at 57 is a little daunting (can you say crazy?), especially since the last time I did this was 21 years ago. But as I’ve thought and prayed about the benefits of this move, my faith has only grown. Here are some things I’m looking forward to:

1. Ministry in and from the church: Sovereign Grace Music is songs from the church for the church. For a while now, my role has been more Sovereign Grace, less day-to-day local church ministry (thanks to Ken Boer, who assumed my position at Covenant Life about six years ago). I’d like to once again be leading as an elder in a church while also serving as the musical theologian/director for Sovereign Grace Music. Participating in a church plant will bring those two worlds together again.

2. Pastoring: I pastored for 12 years before becoming Director of Sovereign Grace Music in 1997. While I remained part of a pastoral team for ten years after that, I was rarely involved in pastoring people in the church in an ongoing way, other than on Sunday mornings. Participating in a church plant will put me back in the place of doing what God has placed deep in my heart – caring for his people.

3. Co-laboring with CJ: Apart from books I’ve read, my primary mentor through the years has been CJ Mahaney. Even though he makes no claim to being a musician, he gets what’s supposed to be happening when we worship God in song. The idea of being able to serve with CJ in a new church is very appealing, as it will give me more hands on experiences to draw and learn from. And I can’t wait to hear CJ preach regularly again, something we’ve talked about for years.

4. Long-Term Training: One of my primary goals in recent years has been to focus more intentionally on the training of worship leaders, songwriters, musicians, and studio personnel. I’ve run an intern program the past two years with Ken Boer and it’s been very fruitful. But I’d like to increase the number of people we can serve and mentor, both inside and outside Sovereign Grace. Louisville would provide a low cost environment to make that happen. On the studio side, I’m grateful that Steve Cook will be moving with his family to Kentucky, and will oversee our album production from Louisville.

5. Boyce College/Southern Seminary: At the invitation of my dear friend, Chip Stam (now with the Lord), I participated in the Institute of Christian Worship at Southern Seminary for a number of years. Southern is now in the process of retooling their worship program and making some great changes. Being in Louisville will enable me not only to engage with the college and seminary more consistently, but could also provide interns in the future. The folks at Southern have already been incredibly welcoming.

6. Nashville: Louisville is 3 hours from Nashville, which brings a large and influential musical population much closer. We have great friends in Nashville, including Sal Oliveri, Keith & Kristyn Getty, and others. I think good fruit could come from hanging out there a little more often.

7. Sojourn Music: I’ve appreciated my friendship with Mike Cosper, worship pastor for Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, for a while now. Our musical styles and approaches are different (I’m much hipper), but our biblical and gospel foundations are the same. It will be a joy to benefit more consistently from the Sojourn Music and the Sojourn church network, as well as other gospel preaching churches in Louisville.

8. Fresh opportunities for faith. If you had asked me five years ago where I’d be in 2012, my answer wouldn’t have included Louisville. But  in the wisdom and sovereignty of God, whose purposes can’t be thwarted (Job 42:2), that’s where we’re heading. I have no doubt my faith will be stretched, and that God will prove sufficient for every task and challenge. I’m grateful that I take with me countless memories of dear friends here in Maryland and expectations of making many more in Kentucky.

I’d appreciate your prayers for the following:

1. that my family, and all the other familes that are relocating, would experience peace, faith, and joy in the transition process
2. that the church plant would quickly be known as a gospel preaching, gospel singing, gospel living, gospel sharing community of believers
3. that we would develop meaningful and fruitful relationships with other gospel-proclaiming churches in Louisville
4. that God would enable us not only to train musicians and leaders for our church, but for other churches and future church plants
5. that this move would enable Sovereign Grace Music to produce Christ-exalting songs and training for the local church more effectively

 

55 Responses to Moving to Louisville

  1. Jared Mellinger May 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM #

    This is exciting. I am praying for you and thanking God for this church plant!

  2. Patrick Nix May 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM #

    Great news! Before you get ‘connected’ to a church home – would you considering coming to our church for a day of worship… or perhaps to do a worship event in our county through our association???

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM #

      Patrick, thanks for asking! Too soon to make any commitments, but I’m looking forward to getting to know our new neighbors better!

  3. Erik Schmaltz May 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM #

    Praying for you and your family, Bob!

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM #

      Erik, your prayers mean more than you know. Thanks!

  4. Chris Youell May 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM #

    Wow! Very exciting! Mr. Kauflin and Sojourn in the same city now…. very exciting! :)

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM #

      Chris, hopefully we’ll see some more collaboration!

  5. Blake Boys May 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

    Pumped.

  6. David May 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

    You’re moving to our backyard (I live in KY, 4 miles from Cincinnati) – very cool. Looking forward to joining you for conferences, etc.

  7. Ken Puls May 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

    Thank you for sharing this. My family and I pray for you and for Sovereign Grace Ministries regularly. We will be praying that God will prosper this upcoming move and church plant in Louisville.

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

      Ken, your prayers mean much more than you know. THANK YOU!

  8. Jon Shea May 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

    Excited for y’all! I can’t wait to see all that the Lord does in and through you guys in Louisville!

  9. Jamin Eben May 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM #

    I know this must have been a tough decision. I’ve been watching Sovereign grace from afar (no Sov Grace churches up here in little old South Dakota) and I’ve found so much joy SG’s passion and doctrine.

    In about a month I move to louisville to start my MDIV and now I’m delighted to know I might get the chance to see Sovereign Grace up close. You have my prayers. All the best, and God speed with your relocation.

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM #

      Jamin, thanks so much for your prayers. Very grateful! And look forward to meeting you!

  10. lauren rohwer May 24, 2012 at 9:23 PM #

    Mr. Kauflin,
    We are going to miss you tremendously. You’ve been a blessing not only to our church, but to me personally as I’ve encountered the Lord through your sermons and your personal example and the few interactions we’ve had. Thank you for embracing God’s call on your life and for being such a blessing to so many. Paul and I will really miss your influence and your family. Excited for what God is going to do through you in Louisville.
    ~Lauren (and Paul) Rohwer

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM #

      Lauren, thanks for your kind words. We are so grateful for our history here and look forward to seeing all that God has in store!

  11. Wally Brath May 24, 2012 at 9:29 PM #

    May this next season of ministry be even more fruitful than the last!

  12. Trent Broussard May 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM #

    Praying for you and I am excited to see what God is going to do through you and Sovereign Grace in Louisville. I am especially excited for the potential of the WorshipGod conferences to be held in Louisville. Being only 6 hours away may enable me to bring many more team members to the event.

    • Bob Kauflin May 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM #

      Trent, thanks for your encouraging words. We’re in the praying/discussing phase of WorshipGod. Lots of options…

  13. Fred Schaumkel May 24, 2012 at 10:38 PM #

    Grace to you and your family as move and confident in the purposes and goodness of God in the days ahead. I’ll have to work out how to get Louisville from auckland , New Zealand for WG13.

  14. West Breedlove May 24, 2012 at 11:01 PM #

    e-hem, 9. Living nearer to West Breedlove and other friends in Knoxville.

  15. Bren McLean May 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM #

    Wow, that’s a big move! Like going from Sydney to Melbourne (ha).
    Praying your ministry will continue to be fruitful and rewarding.
    Bless you brother

  16. Trillia May 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM #

    Hi Bob!

    I’ve been praying for you guys. I will definitely pray these specific prayers. Welcome to our region! Wishing you and your family a smooth transition.

    Blessings,

    Trill.

    • Bob Kauflin May 25, 2012 at 1:49 AM #

      Trillia, thanks for much for your prayers! Glad we’ll be closer to Knoxville!

  17. John May 25, 2012 at 1:30 AM #

    Will Worship God Conference be affected by this move as well?

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Bob Kauflin May 25, 2012 at 1:51 AM #

      John, we’re in the praying/planning stage for WorshipGod13. We have a number of options and are exploring them all. One thought is to have one in the East and one in the west. We’ve even talked about having 3! Or we may just do one. Pray God will give us wisdom. Thanks for asking.

  18. dave dabbondanza May 25, 2012 at 1:49 AM #

    Grateful for you years of service at CLC! A specific thx for investing in our care group, both you and your wife. we are blessed!

    • Bob Kauflin May 25, 2012 at 3:24 AM #

      Dave, it was a joy and privilege to share with your care group. Thanks for the opportunity. Keep pointing couples to the sufficiency of Christ and his Word!

  19. Nicole McLernon May 25, 2012 at 2:14 AM #

    Thanks for sharing this. Will be praying!!

  20. jenn May 25, 2012 at 3:19 AM #

    That’s a great move. Louisville is where I grew up, and sometimes I want to go back (in Chicago now!). I know your ministry will flourish there and sounds like God has helped you make some wise decisions! I look forward to seeing what He’s going to do with y’all :)

  21. Caleb Vander Ark May 25, 2012 at 3:34 AM #

    So does this mean that members of a sovereign grace church will get a discount at Southern Seminarylike the southern baptists do?… ’cause that would be pretty spectacular… just sayin’ :)

  22. Barry Joslin May 25, 2012 at 3:40 AM #

    Bob,
    We are excited about the news and are excited to see what the Lord is going to do. I am grateful that SG is going to be local. These are exciting days, for sure. We will be praying for the countless details that need to be worked out both for SG, the college, the Cooks, CJ, your family, etc. when making such a significant transition. May the Lord bless your steps!

    Barry

  23. Kyle May 25, 2012 at 5:08 AM #

    Louisville as a home for SGM makes great sense to me. (Which puts your mind at rest, I know.) I pray blessing and grace upon the transition.

    One question – do you know yet how this will affect your ability to put on WorshipGod conferences in the future? I’d be pretty broken-hearted if that event did not continue!

    • Bob Kauflin May 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM #

      Kyle, we’re still planning on continuing the WorshipGod conference and are considering various locations. Thanks for asking!

  24. Carri May 25, 2012 at 6:42 AM #

    God bless you Bob as you move forward in this new exciting adventure for the Lord. I pray many inspired and needful songs will come out of this new experience. It’s always so insightful to be ministering at the grassroots level of a local body where you will see more clearly the need for certain themes to be written and sung about. Love your music! Keep bringing more of it on! Just prayed for your prayer points. Blessings to you all!

    • Bob Kauflin May 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM #

      Carri, thanks for your encouragement and prayers!

  25. Fred Heumann May 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM #

    As one of those “others” in Nashville ( ;-> ), we’ll look forward to having both you AND the Cooks closer! We can be “fruity” together. Come and hang on the vine with us here.

    Peace and joy to you all in the move…

  26. Buddy Eades May 26, 2012 at 1:05 PM #

    Our prayers are with you and thank God for your continuing ministry in worship, gospel ministry and training leaders!

  27. Wayne Roberts May 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM #

    Welcome to the neighborhood guys. I’m really excited about the church plant. There are large parts of Louisville that are over-churched and under-gospeled. I’m looking forward to your helping spread the gospel in Louisville.

  28. Kevin Cooper May 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM #

    Bob,

    So excited to hear that you will be coming to KY. I am a pastor in Lexington, KY. We came to WG11, it was my first time and we loved it. I appreciated so much your faithfulness and commitment to the truth of the gospel in song. Looking forward to perhaps meeting you in person. I will pray for you to be used of God that the gospel might go forth. Thank you again for your faithfulness, you are a great encouragement to me.

  29. Jeff Bourque May 30, 2012 at 9:33 PM #

    So thankful you guys will be just a few hours up the road! Looking forward to seeing God unfold all of this.

  30. Mike Gilland June 8, 2012 at 2:24 PM #

    Bob, we are praying for you and Julie as you make the move. Grateful for many years of worshiping the Lord together. I have many wonderful memories of those times I was privileged to be in your band at conferences. Great times. I will be in Louisville next month, visiting Cindy’s parents. Our love to Julie.

    • Bob Kauflin June 8, 2012 at 11:23 PM #

      Mike! Thank you for your prayers. You have to come see us when you’re in town. Just email me the dates and we’ll try to work something out. Grateful to God for you!

  31. David Wilkinson June 8, 2012 at 6:09 PM #

    Bob, I live and serve just across the river from Louisville, and I have benefitted immeasurably from your ministry (I am the music pastor at a small church in Georgetown, IN).

    I have always desired to, but thus far been prevented from, benefitting more from workshops and conferences you do (though I’ve listened to most online). I know your schedule must be very up in the air, but I wonder if you might comment on future opportunities I might have to attend any and all workshops, lectures, and so forth, especially regarding the many musical technicalities (vocal, instrumental, team building, etc.).

    • Bob Kauflin June 9, 2012 at 3:41 AM #

      David, great to hear from you! You’re right – the schedule is up in the air. But I’m fairly sure that over time we’ll be offering some seminars and/or conferences in Louisville. I’ll draw attention to them on this blog. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  32. Xiao He July 10, 2012 at 3:49 AM #

    Hi Bob,
    When you introduced yourself to me, I did not know you except that you must be a strong believer from your passionate response during the Sunday meeting. It has been a “Bob Kauflin” week for me since I got to know you more by accident on youtube. Listened to most of your videos and looked forward to talking to you last weekend, but only learned you were about to move.
    it was a pleasure….and a pity now. Anyway I will come here for more of your influence!

    • Bob Kauflin July 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM #

      Xiao, thanks for your encouraging words. Come to Louisville any time! Or the blog will probably be easier…

  33. Demetrius Gray September 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM #

    Bob,

    As a brother in Christ I wanted to welcome you to Louisville. I attend a church in the city, Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center. The Pastor is Tim Findley, an alum of Boyce. I would love to meet you sometime and become familiar with your ministry. If there is anything I can do to help support you in getting settled please let me know. We’re glad to have you!

    • Bob Kauflin September 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

      Thanks so much, Demetrius! It is a joy to be here in Louisville, and we’re already finding many gospel partnerships and opportunities for ministry. Thanks for your kind offer to help us. Hope we can meet up some time!

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    […] of the things I’ve enjoyed about moving to Louisville two years ago and helping to plant Sovereign Grace Church is the opportunity to train interns from Southern […]

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