A megachurch pastor from Nevada has left his job not because of a controversy, but because he wants to help grow other congregations.
Unlike many other pastors who have recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons, one pastor from a megachurch in Nevada is stepping down from his role to help other congregations fulfill their missions for Christ. Vance Pitman started Hope Church in Las Vegas in 2000 and spent 21 years pastoring the congregation. In December, he decided to leave the church at its peak of success to lead another organization: the North American Mission Board (NAMB). He will now serve as the group's Send Network president.
"I've been part of Send Network since its inception, but I've been part of it on the field-as a church planter, a pastor and a Sending Church. Now I get to be part of it from a different vantage point," Pitman said in a conversation with the Baptist Standard. When the megachurch pastor led Hope Church, he contributed to planting more than 70 new churches. Throughout the years, more than 300 members of his congregation had also helped launch new churches. He hopes to bring this same growth to the Send Network.
"I want to take what the Lord has allowed us to be able to do at Hope Church and help be part of raising up the next generation of church planters and pastors across North America," Pitman shared. In an interview with the Religion News Service, the megachurch pastor said he and his family will stay as members of the Hope Church until God directs them on their next path.
Pitman said that he and his family will continue to serve at Hope Church, where he intends to "preach occasionally-four or five times a year." However, he will be "sent out full time," thus assuring his congregation that the team left to pastor them are more than capable to do so. He said that they "raised up a team from within" and "passed the baton" to them.
Pitman also shared some critical insights on church planting today. According to CBN News, the megachurch pastor of 21 years said that church planters today often travel to cities "thinking like pastors of churches rather than as missionaries" and simply "engage a city with the gospel." For him, churches are now "being born as a result of engaging cities with the gospel and seeing disciples made in those churches as byproduct."
The megachurch pastor began leading as the president of the Send Network since March 1. He underscored the importance of "the kingdom (of God) being expanded" and "[trusting] God for an even greater future than we've already seen in Send Network."
Pitman underscored the need for unity and cooperation, especially in a time when lines are being drawn between denominations. The megachurch pastor from Nevada pointed out that "one church cannot accomplish the Great Commission by itself." He urged all Kingdom believers to work together towards a common goal because the Kingdom of God is "much bigger" than any issues Christian denominations currently face. He also shared how he has had 165 new church planters last week who were all "incredibly diverse" and had "energy that was passionate about the gospel," which is far from the energy people expend on social media when talking about religion today.