Rev. Chris McLain’s first pastoral role as a youth pastor and children’s director might seem different from his new role as Pastor of Caring and Senior Adult Ministries, but they are actually very similar — both are highly relational and event and discipleship driven, and both provide care in crisis.
“One of my sweet spots is pastoral care — caring for people in crisis, being a non-anxious presence, listening — and my number one spiritual gift is exhortation. This new role allows me to live into those gifts,” he says.
Chris, who is an ordained deacon, began his time at TWMC in 2015 as pastor over confirmation and fifth and sixth grade students. Because Chris received a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, he was in a unique position to join the TWMC pastoral staff.
“Deacons don’t have to have a full M.Div., but God and I had it out,” he laughs. “I was ready to be done with school, but God said I had to stay and get the full M.Div.”
And God was right — having the full Master of Divinity helped Chris get the job at TWMC because the staff wanted someone who was seminary trained who could communicate the theological basics to students.
“Speaking to people and getting big theological terms into something they can chew on and wrestle with is a great passion of mine,” he says.
That theological passion started when he was young and heard God’s call to ministry.
“I’ve been working in the church since I was 18,” he says. “In seventh grade I heard a call from God that I was going to be a pastor. That didn’t mean lead pastor; it didn’t mean I was going to preach all the time. God just set me on that track, and over the years He has shared His beautiful Wesleyan theology that allows as many people to come to the table as possible.”
Bringing people to the table is one part of his new role that excites Chris the most. With more than 3,000 senior adult members in the church, Chris is excited to engage these members, invite new brothers and sisters, and continue to build a support team to help and grow the group.
“I’m excited to bring in younger folks, specifically those who are 55-65. Oftentimes, this group doesn’t identify as senior adults since ‘55 is the new 45,’” he shares. “I see our senior adults in three activity levels — those who are super active go-getters, those who are a little less active and those who are homebodies or homebound. And we need a team of people with a heart for service who are willing to come alongside these groups and grow the group.”
Chris is married to Skye, and they have one son.