A Schoenleber Family Update

Questions people have been asking us:
(Stardate: 06-05-2020)

Change in Ministry

Kitchen ViewThe picture to the right is my bride’s new view from the kitchen since I invaded her house with more than 2,000 books from my church office to add to the 2,200 books I already had at home. Pray for her. Her home has become a library!

As many of you know, I resigned from the pastorate at Manchester Creek Church. We are confused and disappointed and at the same time, my bride and I are in a good place emotionally and spiritually. What’s next? We don’t know. I don’t want to retire and I don’t feel like I am finished preaching but the coronavirus and my age are a double-wammy on getting a new church. Some have asked about us planting again. We haven’t ruled it out but it would take a set of extraordinary circumstances to move us in that direction.

What are some of your options?

Well, I am looking into chaplain positions, teaching positions at seminaries, considering a seminar ministry focused on prayer and meditation, as well as doing more writing. A friend and I are talking about developing an online presence of some type. We are kicking around a couple of ideas for a Podcast that would appear once a week.

I continue to counsel men and women and to disciple other men, three men in particular have shown a real desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. It has been a joy meeting with them weekly and by phone multiple times a week. (Yes, we are appropriately socially distancing—mostly). And I have been getting much more involved at a local day-center for the homeless. Recently, I received permission to start a garden with some of the men there and will start some of the build-out next week. We appreciate your prayers.

Will you stay in South Carolina?

That is our plan until God shows us differently. We would like to stay in the area. Making room in the house to accommodate my library has been a challenge. I have listed over 1,000 books on Amazon for sale! I am trying to figure out a way to set up a “store” in the Amazon Marketplace where my friends could check out some of those books and see if they are interested in purchasing any. There are still 4,200 books on bulging shelves all over the house. I think my bride would like me to get rid of a few more. Stay tuned. 

What have you been doing during the COVID Lockdown?

Well, I keep looking for positions and ministry options but virtually no one is looking to hire in churches while COVID is an albatross in the culture. I miss preaching and teaching on a regular basis. We have been spending a lot of time together, which is always a plus. Any time with my bride is good. But I’ve been spending a lot of time in reading, prayer and writing. Stephnie and I can tell you the plot of far too many Hallmark movies! My BLOG has had the greatest upturn in readership since July of 2015. That has been encouraging and has been one way that I have been working to continue to have an influence for Christ. Just in the last week, a couple of friends have suggested a number of creative opportunities for me to look into. I will write here if any of them pan out.

Over the last month I have written the first 150 pages of a new book. I have to shop a publisher but it has been good to have the time to think and write and hone some of the sentences and chapters of a book that I hope might be used by the Spirit of God as a stimulus to revival in America. (More on the book in the months to come.)

Let’s see, what else? Oh, I have been spending a lot of time in my garden and mowing my own plus three of my neighbors lawns. Both are great ways to be present in my neighborhood and I have had some great conversations, one of which moved to spiritual issues. I am thankful for the opportunity to build into my neighbor’s lives. Now that COVID “house arrest” is coming to an end, I will start up my once a month Men’s Night Out for the housing development. I’m looking forward to that.

So, that’s the latest. We will try to keep you posted about new developments as they happen. Please, please keep us in prayer. And, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section.

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