A Visit to Puyallup

Prologue: Clifford Keith, who has completed his career in the military, is starting a second career as a pastor. Keith reveals that he just graduated from seminary and would like to know as much about practical ministry as possible as he launches his pastoral career. He has accepted the invitation to spend a few days at Puyallup church and Northwest Christian School, to learn as much as he can about how churches can partner with schools in mission.

Act I: It’s graduation night at Northwest Christian School, and Pastor Seth Pierce introduces Pastor Cliff to the Lee family. Mom and dad and the kids share how they became members of Puyallup church because of their initial exposure to the Adventist faith at the school.

Act II: The school year is wrapping up as Cliff hangs out at Northwest Christian School to try to figure out how a school and church can occupy the same physical plant. A pancake brunch for students, parents, and friends creates a casual atmosphere where cliff can observe first-hand the complex and symbiotic relationship between the church and the school. We watch as he interviews teachers, parents, pastor, and principal and discovers an underlying mission that bonds these two entities together and guides them through potential conflict. He discovers that when the strengths of each organization are combined, the impact of the joint organization eclipses what each could do on their own.

Act III: It is Sabbath and we watch Cliff as he shadows Seth in preparation for the worship service and all of the events that happen on Sabbath, all with an eye toward church/school collaboration. He queries many of the members to see how collaboration has enriched the mission of the church. We see the fruit of the labor of the joint mission as families that were first introduced to the Adventist faith at Northwest Christian School are beginning to attend church.

Epilogue: Finally pastor Cliff reflects about how he will adapt some of the things he has learned to his ministry context.