The pervasive element in our two-thousand-year pastoral tradition is not someone who “gets things done” but rather the person placed in the community to pay attention and call attention to “what is going on right now” between men and women, with one another and with God—this kingdom of God that is primarily local, relentlessly personal, and prayerful “without ceasing.”

–Eugene H. Peterson, The Pastor: A Memoir

photo-24Brookview called me as pastor in April, 2012.

I was born in Louisville to a young mother and a father who was beginning pastoral ministry. Through my parents’ witness the Spirit convicted me at an early age, leading me to trust Jesus and profess my faith by baptism. While I began my growth in the knowledge and love of God, my family lived in a strange variety of places. God settled us when I was ten in Danville, KY, the hometown of my future love, Kari, and there the two of us graduated high school together.

Kari and I have been married since 2006 and were living in the Wilder Park neighborhood when Brookview called me. Now we live nearby on Kenwood Hill. Kari has worked full-time while I, alongside pastoral ministry, have stayed at home with our son, Henning, but recently she has been able to start working from home. We have two cats and, more importantly, two dogs.

My spiritual journey is a long story, and it continues. I keep coming more and more alive to God’s story, and as I enter into it, Christ becomes increasingly my daily strength.  As a pastor, I’m focused on leading my sisters and brothers to grow deeper in Christ’s love, to create a community that causes the goodness and loving-kindness of God to appear to those around us, and to form ourselves individually as well as communally in dependence on God in prayer.  I’m still learning how to be a Baptist pastor who cares about creation and locality, justice and mercy, culture and the arts, contemplation and attentiveness — and so the journey goes.  Since you’ve read this far, I ask you to pray for me.

Along with the loves a pastor must have, I also enjoy Shakespearean and contemporary theater, local and classical music, art history, good books, pulled pork, food trucks, and exploring this awesome city on my bicycle.

–Pastor Joseph Payton

Follow Joseph:

Some Personal Writings

POEM: Lenten Terrors

Heuristic Pastoring

My First Year, Now Henning’s

A Mother’s Day Reflection: The Old Normal