Why Kevin Durant Should Choose the Knicks in Free Agency

So I’ve had a lot of free time during my Sabbatical, and while pondering relatively heavy topics along with the rest of the country in recent days, my mind has meandered to other (less) significant topics like NBA Free Agency.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking about Kevin Durant and the team he will play for next season (and Jeremy Lin, of course, but Durant seems to carry a bit more intrigue around the country right now).

Put simply, I think Durant should choose to play for the Knicks.

Before you label me foolish or misguided, please allow me to list why he should choose the Knicks over everyone else.

1) The Knicks play in the Eastern Conference, a far more desirable Conference to play in than the West.  If Durant’s main goal is to win a championship, then it makes sense that the easiest path to the Championship goes through the East.

Of course, the Cavs are the defending champs and defeating them is no small task, but the last I checked the Western Conference still has perennial winners in the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs, the Thunder, the Clippers, and the up-and-coming T-wolves and Pelicans.  The Eastern Conference offers a far easier path to the Championship than the Western Conference – both now and in the foreseeable future.

2) Of the 3 Eastern Conference Teams that Durant will meet with – Boston, Miami, and the Knicks – the Knicks have the best supporting cast.  I know, this is arguable, especially since both the Celtics and Heat performed far better than the Knicks last year (almost everyone performed better than the Knicks, btw).

However, the trade for Rose changes everything.  I should clarify – the trade for Rose in his contract year changes everything.

I know Bulls fans might be skeptical of Rose’s ability to stay healthy, but if he is healthy, the trio of Rose (contract year, 27 years-old, transcendent talent if he’s on top of his game), Porzingis (potentially transcendent player who’s only 21?!?!), and Melo (transcendent talent whom I hope is not past his prime).

Moreover, if Rose doesn’t work out, Durant can recruit Westbrook to come play in New York next year.

Which of the other Eastern Conference teams can offer this kind of combination of youth/talent?  Boston has youth but they’re not quite as talented, and Miami has talent but they’re not quite as young (even Whiteside seems uncertain that he’ll stay).

Moreover, this is NEW YORK CITY we’re talking about.

Winning ONE championship in New York would mean more than winning multiple championships anywhere else.

I know, this makes NO sense to non-New Yorkers.

But ANYONE who’s lived in NYC knows what I’m talking about, and knows that it’s true.

3) Why Durant shouldn’t join any of the other Western Conference Teams 

  • The Clippers – I’m surprised they got a meeting.  I don’t think they have the talent/youth to make a case for being a perennial winner, especially in the Western Conference.
  • The Warriors – As good a thing as the Warriors have going on, I can’t imagine that Durant would join a historically great team to chase a ring.  I know people dogged Lebron for ring-chasing by joining the Heat, but there’s no way that can compare to Durant joining a 73-win team as a free agent.  Granted, I think Steph is awesome and is one of the most humble superstars whom anyone would love to play with, but yeah, I just can’t see Durant joining them because it would be almost too easy.
    • Sidenote: In addition, it must be SO awkward right now on the Olympic Team.  With Klay, Draymond, and Barnes playing on the squad (along with Durant), how weird must it be for them knowing that if Durant comes, Barnes has to go.  While Melo can be unabashed in his wooing of KD, Klay and Draymond must understandably walk a fine line when talking about Durant, especially if they’re pals with Barnes, which the team chemistry on GSW seems to indicate.
  • The Spurs – I don’t think Durant can choose the Spurs over OKC, especially after OKC beat them in the playoffs this year.  I’m sure any consideration of the Spurs would stop when Westbrook gets in Durant’s ear and says, “How can you join them after we beat them in 6?!”
  • The Thunder – I seriously think it’s going to come down to the Thunder or the Knicks, especially after the Ibaka-Oladipo trade last week.  Seriously, the Thunder are loaded with Oladipo/Sabonis, and with Adams’ emergence, I think the Thunder are going to have some major swag heading into next season if their full team comes back. The only thing that makes OKC less desirable is…
    • Familiarity Breeds Boredom – I wonder if KD wants to feel what it’s like to play somewhere else.  I think Lebron had a little bit of this when he joined Miami.  I think we all do.  The grass can seem greener somewhere else.
    • Westbrook’s Team Now? – I wonder if KD would like to go to a team where he’s the clear go-to guy.  I think his friendship with Russell is real, but yeah, I’m wondering if KD would like to go somewhere where he’s clearly the #1 option. Sidenote: This is also what makes the GSW jump less likely.  I think it’d be personal if Durant leaves Westbrook to play with Curry.  This might be reading too much into it, but yeah, since Russ & KD are boys, I think Westbrook would be hurt/angered if Durant went to GSW, and I think Durant would also feel disloyal if he were to do that to Russ.  Uh, this is obviously total conjecture because I know neither Russ nor KD personally.
    • How important is it for Durant to play in the Eastern Conference?  Again, if this matters to KD – which I think it should – then I think KD should choose the Knicks.

One super-random wild card in all this is that KD considers Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong NY, his good friend and pastor.  I love it.

Carl, let’s make this happen.

So there you have it.

KD, become a legend in NYC.

The Best Pizza in the World?

Warning: Trivial Post while I’m jet-lagged.

Okay, so the title of this post is a cheap way to get people to read what I’m about to write (and I truly covet your responses to see if I’m crazy), but at least I’m going to be forthright and share that my thoughts have little to do with pizza and more to do with me and my heritage.

I’ll save you all from the suspense and share where I claim the best pizza in the world is found: Seoul, South Korea.

Before you hurl stones at me, let me explain that it took me some time to come to this conclusion, and this is only after visiting Italy for the first time earlier this year, then rediscovering my love for NYC pizza, and finally coming to Seoul this summer for me to realize that I truly believe the best pizza in the world is found in Seoul.

Of the aforementioned places, I actually surmised a few months ago that NYC pizza was my favorite pizza city… until I came back to Seoul to confirm what I truly believed for a couple of years but could never admit.

Before you accuse me of being a homer, I want you to know that I don’t even think that Korean food is the best in Seoul (Los Angeles would have that distinction).

Okay, now that the caveats are out of the way, here’s why I think Seoul has the best the pizza in the world.


Mr. Pizza is one of my favorite pizza chains in the entire world. The Chinese think so too!

1) The Bread – If you ask most New Yorkers, the reason the pizza and bagels taste so good is because of the water.

I’ve heard this so many times and from so many people (natives, transplants, people who have never lived in NYC) that I’ve just adopted this as true without any empirical research.

And seriously, what I have known to be true is that NYC pizza and bagels just taste better than anywhere else.  In fact, the bread in NYC is just so dang good – any bread really.

However, have you ever had the bread in Korea?

The bread here is SO delicious!

Anything from pastries to pretzels to pizza – the bread here is AMAZING.

Whenever I come to Seoul, I can’t wait to eat bread.

2) The Copycat Instincts – This is a total generalization, but Koreans tend to be really good at copying things, and then adding a subtle twist (Samsung, ahem).

I find this in myself too – I mostly just love reading/listening/copying from all sorts of Pastors/Thinkers over the years and regurgitating stuff to people.

Anyhow, this topic deserves another blog post.

But as South Korea has grown as a global country and Koreans have traveled the world, Koreans have seen/heard/tasted the finest this world has to offer, and the same is true for food.

This dynamic isn’t unique to Korea though. How else could some of the best ramen places in NYC be run by a Jewish guy and another be run by a family named Smookler (shout out to Mu Ramen in LIC)?

Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that all sorts of non-Korean food restaurants have emerged in Seoul the past 20 years.

I can’t tell you how many Italian places I’ve seen here, and Mr. Pizza, a Korean pizza chain, is easily one of my favorite pizza places in the world (Apparently the Chinese think so too according to the above Wikipedia link)!

3) The Flavor – Okay, I’m not quite sure how to describe this, because I have a rather savage palate and usually anything that’s meaty in taste and texture is fine by me.

But the flavor of just about everything here appeals to me – the spicyness/acidity, the freshness, the sweetness/sourness, etc.

I admit this is probably because I’m Korean, but all the non-Korean food I eat here I absolutely love.

I love ordering jja-jjang-myun in Korea.

I can eat jja-jjang-myun in Korea every meal every day.

I can eat jja-jjang-myun in Korea every meal every day.

Random Question for Chinese friends who have had jja-jjang-myun in Korea and Chinese jja-jjang-myun anywhere else: Which do you prefer?

For me it’s Korea hands-down, but uh, I’m biased.

I love ordering burgers at Kraze Burger and even Mcdonalds & Burger King.

I never thought I’d say that I like eating non-Korean food in Korea, but eating non-Korean food in Korea actually one of my favorite things to do while I’m here.

That and munching on as many Korean gwa-jahs (snacks) as I can find. Delicious.


Anyhow, I’d love to hear what you think, especially those of you who have had pizza in Korea. Am I way off or am I on to something? 

The Challenge of Planting a Church in NYC – Part 2

You can check out Part 1 of this series here.

In many ways, the challenges I will discuss in this series are issues that most church planters/pastors face in any context.

Living in NYC simply exacerbates some of these challenges (for instance the disproportionate cost of living here, as mentioned in Part 1).

For instance, when it comes to the financial pressures of any start-up, these anxieties exist for any entrepreneurial endeavor.

However, the pure financial costs are higher here, simply put.

One could talk about the “greater risk, greater reward” mantra to describe the merits of planting a church in NYC… but it’s exceptionally difficult to quantify the great “reward” of planting a church in NYC vs another city/context when ministry “success” entails so many different elements.

If one were to speak purely of numbers of people when it comes to church “success”, there are significantly larger churches and church plants around the country, a fact that can easily cloud the merits of investing significantly more money to plant a church here rather than say, South America.

But I digress…. (although you’ll see how church size will come up later in the post).

The next challenge I wish to write about is one that is ubiquitous regardless of context… and yet there are some peculiarities to NYC.

Here’s Challenge #2: Planting a Church in NYC is Awfully Lonely. 

Church Planting in NYC can be an isolating experience.

Church Planting in NYC can be an isolating experience.

Non-profit management guru Peter Drucker once said that the four most challenging jobs in the US are the President of the US, the CEO/President of a Hospital, a University President, and a Pastor.

It’s already hard enough being a Pastor and navigating the different “hats” one has to wear (which, along with the other 3 vocations Drucker mentions, is why being a Pastor can be one of the most challenging jobs), but adding the element of being an entrepreneurial Pastor can make the task of Church Planting profoundly more difficult and complicated.

Both Pastor and Entrepreneur are inherently stressful positions, and adding NYC to the equation makes for a particularly combustible context.

I believe this to be true of most pastors/church planters I meet in NYC, but what makes the feeling of loneliness more acute here is the feeling that I’m never quite measuring up.

This goes back to the discussion about measuring ministry “success.”

If one were to go purely based on Sunday attendance (which is generally the standard measurement across time/place in church planting in the States – as much as people would hate to admit), then “success'” is difficult to come by in NYC when compared to one’s previous context (usually a mega-ish church in the suburbs of middle America) or even in the shadows of more established churches in the City (so many great, longstanding churches to name).

The above paragraph reveals even more nefarious messages that I often tell myself as a church planter – I’m measured against other Pastors/Churches.

All in all, the stress of financial worry, family adjustments, and the inescapable cloud of comparisons to peers or my past can lead me to isolate myself from feeling what is reality to so many of us:

Church Planting in NYC is financially taxing, a stress on my family, and not quite as glamorous as the big city itself.  

Yes, I’ve been there.

I suspect most of us have.


Thankfully, the above news is something that many have reflected on before, and as a result, ministry heroes of mine have tried hard to keep Pastors/Church Planters in NYC from isolating and growing cynical.

Here are a few folks I’d like to highlight:

1) Redeemer City to City & NYC Leadership Center – I link these ministries together not because of any official connection but because these organizations have long been advocates of resourcing and connecting church planters for decades now.

I’ve written about the spirit of leaders like Tim Keller and Mac Pier before, and I truly think these guys have been forerunners to much of the camaraderie and friendship enjoyed by Pastors in NYC today.

Also, shout-out to Parakeleo, a ministry of mutual support for church planting spouses that I’ve heard great things about.

2) Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – I can’t emphasize this one enough.  My heritage obviously comes from New Life Fellowship, so it’s no surprise that I want to advocate for every pastor to learn from Pete & Geri Scazzero and Rich Villodas in living an emotionally healthy life that allows my marriage and family to flourish.  Church planters especially can use a healthy dose of EHS.

3) Christ Tabernacle – Ever since I’ve known the CT guys, I’ve been amazed at their hospitality and willingness to serve/connect church leaders in NYC.  Pastor Michael Durso is part of that wave mentioned above, and Adam Durso and the rest of CT are some of the most generous folks I know.

4) Recovery House of WorshipTrinity Grace Church & “Network” Church Planting – I LOVE the RHOW folks. They are a church planting movement doing amazing work in the city and beyond, and are some of the most mission-minded church planters I know.  I learn so much from them about mission and discipleship whenever I’m around them!

TGC is another family of parishes all around NYC.  Their kingdom vision is really genuine and inspiring, and the ways they plant churches by 1) empowering/contextualizing and 2) serving with a Central Office is something that many church plants and churches have learned a great deal from (including Hope).

I LOVE how these folks fight against the isolationist spirit of church planters by creating a network of mutual support.


And helpful.

5) So many Pastors/Church Planters in NYC who now embody the Kingdom Spirit – Reach out to any of us.  I think you’ll realize we’ll share the following:

– Church Planting is Hard in NYC

– Church Planting is Rewarding in NYC

– The City is Too Big to be Thinking So Small

– I Don’t Have to Do This Alone

– I Desperately Need a Gospel-Centered Approach to My Identity, Our Church, and Our City.

Together – and only together – can we be part of something significant in this Great City.  

The Challenge of Planting a Church in NYC – Part 1

Now that my wife and I have been involved in church planting in NYC for almost 3 years (while living in the city for 15), we’ve had a chance to reflect on a lot of the unique challenges of planting a church in NYC.

As cliche as this sounds, God’s truly worked miracles for us to be where we are, especially as I reflect on my own folly and the other dynamics that make planting a church in NYC difficult.

Here are some reflections on the challenge of planting a church in NYC:

Everyone wants to live in NYC nowadays.

Everyone wants to live in NYC nowadays.

Challenge 1: Planting a Church and the Cost of Living in a Neighborhood 

Um, I don’t think I have to comment further on the exorbitant cost of living in NYC, but I’ll comment on what’s ideal for church planters in NYC and how it’s immensely difficult to meet that ideal.

What’s ideal for church planters is to live in the neighborhood in which you’re planting.

There seems to be a new wave of literature celebrating a parish approach to planting – one that is incarnational, neighborhood-based, and local.  I’ve found these books and perspectives to be quite helpful for ministry, especially in NYC where there are so many unique neighborhoods.

The idea of incarnational ministry is not a new one by any means, as heroes such as John Perkins and others from Christian Community Development urged Christians to live in the neighborhoods in which they were doing ministry long ago.

In my observation, the difference between Perkins and the newer voices engaged in an incarnational approach to ministry is that Perkins was advocating for Christians to move and settle into neighborhoods that no one wanted to move into.  

Back when Perkins and others were writing, people (and Christians) were fleeing the city.  John Perkins and Ray Bakke were prophetic voices in their call for Christians to root themselves in neighborhoods while the vast majority of people were leaving.

This reminds me of what Rodney Stark wrote about in the early church, when in counter-cultural fashion, Christians stayed in the cities when plagues hit in order to serve the needs of the sick and needy.

Today, it’s en vogue in church planting world to advocate living in the neighborhood in which you’re planting a church, especially if you’re an urban minister.

Of course this ideal, but I think the call to live in the urban neighborhood in which one is doing ministry has grown less prophetic and less realistic in our day and age.

1) Less Prophetic (in Christian-speak, I mean less counter-cultural)

The call is less prophetic than Perkins and Bakke and others because of urbanization and gentrification.

As a church planter if I say, “I want to plant a church in Midtown East (where our Midtown church gathers on Sundays) and I want to put down roots there to be an incarnational presence”, I’d be making a sensible and ideal statement of “moving into the neighborhood” (as Eugene Petersen translates John 1:14).

The thing is, in today’s day and age, the whole world wants to move into Midtown Manhattan. My statement above wouldn’t be all that prophetic.  Moreover, only the .001% actually get to live in Midtown Manhattan.

Please don’t misunderstand, the urge to do incarnational/neighborhood ministry is biblical and ideal.  

deeply desire for all of our pastors and church planters to live in the neighborhood in which they’re planting.  

Moreover, I want to lead a church in Midtown because I love and cherish Manhattanites (yes, especially the .001%).

However, doing urban ministry this way is not quite as prophetic a call as it once was because saying “I love this neighborhood in NYC” or “I want to put down roots in this neighborhood in NYC” is a statement that I hear from Non-Christians in equal proportion.

In NYC in particular, I’d love to hear church planters talk about moving into neighborhoods and starting churches in places like East New York or Corona Queens as much as I hear folks talking about starting churches in Manhattan or gentrified areas of the five boroughs.

I should add though, there are plenty of churches and pastors serving and living in places like East New York & Corona Queens – they’re mostly the platform-less, servant hearted immigrant and ethnic Pastors who are truly living out their prophetic call in neighborhoods that aren’t quite cool enough yet for the .001%.

The above section may sound like a critique, but I have to share that every church we’ve planted is located in a gentrifying, up-and-coming neighborhood (Astoria/LIC, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, & Nassau County).

I personally live on Roosevelt Island in what locals on the Island jokingly call “the rich part of town”.

I’m simply making an observation (and a self-critique) of the call to incarnational ministry I’m hearing in church planting circles nowadays, and I want us to also be part of a prophetic call to go where people generally don’t want to go.

2) Less Realistic

There are so many native New Yorkers who wish they bought brownstones in Park Slope 20 years ago.

Or better yet, Williamsburg.

The challenge of planting a church in NYC is that the ideal is to live in the neighborhood in which you’re planting, but if you want to plant a church anywhere in Manhattan, most parts of Brooklyn, growing parts of Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island, the cost of living is unbelievably high.

And if one wants to plant a missional, incarnational church (the two buzzwords that are most ideal for church planters today), the onramp toward financial sustainability is truly a miracle.

Unless a church planter has access to significant funding (either through fundraising or personal wealth), the feasibility of living in a neighborhood can be unrealistic in the long run.

Some have spoken of the merits of bi-vocational planting, but bi-vocational church planting is increasingly difficult in a place like NYC, especially if my money-earning vocation is one that can net a hefty salary but also demand the kind of time and energy for me to net that salary.

Hence, I think it’s often unrealistic for church planters/pastors to live in the neighborhood in which they’re planting.

We should aim for living in the neighborhood (and I truly covet those who are able to do this), but I’m not sure how long-term and sustainable this can be for a family that is interested in being in NYC for the long run.


In conclusion to this point, if you can live in the neighborhood in which you’re planting a church and 1) have the financial means to do so and 2) your family feels called and 3) can be there for the long run, then by all means, do it!

However, if 1, 2, and 3 are not feasible, then do whatever you can to live in a neighborhood that fulfills all three of the above, and build a sense of Christ-centered community and family on mission amongst people in the city (hopefully near where you live, but it doesn’t have to be this way), and be part of what God is doing in this great city.

So if you’re thinking of planting a church in NYC, it’s okay if you don’t live in the neighborhood.  It’ll be okay.  I promise.  It can be done.

2 Years at Hope Church NYC

It’s hard to believe Hope is now 2 years-old.

It seems like it’s been ages since we launched in September 2012.  At the same time, it feels like just yesterday that Hope Astoria was born.

While Hope Astoria has continued to grow and deepen, it’s had a hand in helping plant Hope Roosevelt Island, which has blossomed into one of the most unique church communities I have ever seen.


Hope Midtown launched October 26th, 2014.

Meanwhile, this past October, Hope Midtown was born out of the Hope Church NYC family, and it’s been so invigorating seeing people come to know Jesus for the first time, as well as people come back to faith after years away.

There are countless people to thank for being part of what’s happening…

We truly love our church family and we count it such a privilege to be a small part of what God is doing in NYC.


Hope Church NYC – 2 Year Anniversary from Hope Church NYC on Vimeo.

Why I’m Thankful for Redeemer Presbyterian Church

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for awhile, but it seems most appropriate to write this following a weekend in which Redeemer Presbyterian Church celebrated its 25th anniversary.

As someone who has lived in NYC since 2001 (and first visited Redeemer in 2000), it’s been really cool to get a first-hand look at how Redeemer has impacted our city and world for 13 of those 25 years.

Much has been said of Redeemer’s influence over the years, and I thought I’d write my own list of things I’m grateful for from the perspective of a pastor/church planter in NYC.

1. I’m thankful for the ways Redeemer has resourced, blessed, and celebrated other churches in NYC – I sat down with a friend of mine in the Bay Area a few months ago, and he mentioned that the pastors in NYC all seem to know each other, which was odd to him.

But more than that, he mentioned that the pastors seem to speak highly of each other.

He asked me why this was the case, and I was taken aback by the question because I thought that’s how all cities worked together.  He assured me that this isn’t the case in other cities.

Much of this unity can be attributed to the tireless and prayerful work of Mac Pier, Concerts of Prayer, and the NYC Leadership Center, and I think that Redeemer embodies this so well.

This general positivity toward other churches has filtered down to all the church plants that Redeemer has had a hand in resourcing, and it’s truly a joy to see church planters/pastors celebrating the work of all churches around the city.

As a church planter I can’t articulate how beneficial this is.  Redeemer really does embrace the idea that it takes a movement (and many churches working together) to bless a city, and I’ve been greatly resourced by the folks at Redeemer City to City (Robert Guerrero & Mark Reynolds & their team come to mind most readily) and Redeemer without them asking for anything from me.

Love it.

Sounds like grace to me.

2) I’m thankful for Redeemer’s theological vision for all-encompassing urban renewal – Back in 2000 when I stayed in NYC for the entire summer, I was extremely refreshed to witness a church that had a vision for serving the needs of the disadvantaged in the city (Hope for New York), as well as the wealthy upwardly mobile class (Center for Faith and Work – although this center speaks to all classes).

Back in 2000, when people referred to “Urban Ministry”, I’m pretty sure people were referring to the ‘hood.

This makes sense because in 2000, cities were just in the beginning stages of becoming attractive areas again, so most of the models of urban ministry had to do with working with the least of these while so many had fled the cities.

Fast forward to 2014, and Williamsburg is now Williamsburg.

Redeemer has really introduced a new way of thinking about “urban” ministry as including service to the disadvantaged and service to “Center City” folks (I believe Tim is the one who first used the term “Center City” when referring to the large upwardly mobile urbanites that now largely inhabit spaces like Manhattan).

3) I’m thankful for Mike Keller – Mike currently leads City Campus Ministry in NYC, and he’s also a PCA Pastor who preaches at Redeemer from time to time. Mike grew up at Redeemer.

The I first met Mike in 2001 on a car ride to Nyack College.

We’ve been friends ever since.

Mike truly lives out what’s outlined above.

Not only does Mike LOVE this city, but he’s extremely supportive and generous toward other churches and works in the city.

He’s someone who thinks deeply about people in every sphere of society, and he has this unpretentious way about him that allows him to connect with people from various diverse backgrounds.

I love the guy, and I love watching the guy do ministry (especially when he has no shame playing basketball on asphalt courts while being good for 25 fouls/game).

He married up with Sara, too. :)  It’s really neat to see how much they BOTH love this city and want to see it flourish.

It makes sense that Mike and Sara possess so much of Redeeemer’s DNA, and they’re first-class people that I’m proud to know.


As a church planter, I would not be where I am without Redeemer.

As a church, we would not be where we are without Redeemer.

Thanks for the ways you’ve impacted all of us, Redeemer.


We’re Launching A New Church in Midtown Manhattan

Hope Midtown Launches October 2014

I’m really excited to announce that Hope Church NYC will be planting our third church in Midtown Manhattan in October 2014.

It’s hard to believe that in September 2012, we launched this church not knowing what to expect, especially with the challenges of starting anything new in a city like New York.

We hoped to become a movement of diverse, small/medium sized neighborhood churches where God could move throughout faith communities, and 20 months later, we’ve been able to start two growing churches (Hope Church Astoria & Hope Church Roosevelt Island) in remarkably diverse contexts.

Of course, we’ve had our challenges too, but in many ways those challenges have allowed us to press deeper into trusting that God is doing the work, while we’re along for the ride.

For the past year and a half we’ve had a group of folks journeying together in Manhattan, and this crew is now preparing to help us launch this church in the Fall.

I will be leading this new venture along with James Chi (you’ll hear more about James soon) and a host of awesome people that comprise our Midtown Community.

In addition, Craig Okpala will be overseeing the worship experience in Midtown while still being significantly engaged in Astoria.

I will also remain significantly engaged in Astoria (I’ll still be attending and preaching at Hope Astoria regularly, for the most part) as Hope Midtown will gather in the evening.

One of the clearest ways this has all been possible has been because of the standout leadership of people like Kristian Hernandez (Hope Astoria & Preaching Team Lead – Kris will be a regular preacher in Midtown), Dan & Amanda Sadlier (Hope Roosevelt Island), and our Transitional Leadership Team (Darryl Romano, Christine Okpala, & Tony Thottukadavil), and a stellar staff team at our churches.

They, along with so many of our leaders, volunteers, and attenders – have been a joy to serve alongside.

And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my wife Tina is as supportive of this as she’s ever been.

I’m excited about all that God is doing in NYC, and I’m so glad to be along for the ride.

Hope Midtown has begun meeting weekly on Friday Nights in Manhattan as we prepare to launch in October, 2014.  If you’d like to find out more or if you’d like to get involved, you can email me at drew@hopechurchnyc.org.