Lead Pastor VoteSunday, Jan 24th @ 2pm (register below)
Lead Pastor Vote Jan 24th @ 2:00pm
If you would like to get to know the candidates, click on their church name to get to the websites of their current church.
You may also request a recording of the congregational meet-n-greet.
Pastor Scott Christenson
Pastor Scott Christenson (or “Pastor C” as he is usually called) is 50 years old and was born and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota. He graduated from Concordia University Chicago in 1992 and Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1996. He has pastored three congregations: First Lutheran Church in Lake Elsinore, CA (1996-1998), Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Palatine, IL (1998-2014), and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church & School in Orange, CA (2014-Present). He and his wife, Linda have been married for 28 years and have two sons: Josh (Sophomore at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix) and Timmy (Freshman at Orange Lutheran High School). In his free time, he enjoys playing acoustic guitar, collecting baseball cards and walking his beagle.
Pastor C’s philosophy of ministry is guided by the words of I Peter 4:8, “…love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” He believes churches work right when four loves are at work: love for God, love for self, love for the church, and love for the community. These four loves form the heart and center of Jesus’ teaching: love for God (“love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” Mt 22:37), love for self (“love your neighbor as you love yourself” Mt 22:39), love for the church (“…as I have loved you, so you must love one another” John 13:34), and love for the community (“..by this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35). Churches almost always do the right thing when they simply ask themselves, “What would love do in this situation?” However, our sinful tendency is to ask ourselves very different questions, like, “What do I want?” or “What’s best for me?” Healthy churches fight against that tendency and work to stay focused on living out the four loves together. When a church makes & keeps love as its focus, God does amazing things!
Pastor Jon Thomas
Born and raised outside Detroit, Michigan, I grew up in a traditional Lutheran congregation. I have been in the ministry for over 25 years, my calling into the ministry started early with my grandmother letting me know that I would be going to the Seminary when I was just a young boy. My first lesson as a child was to learn the difference between a seminary and a cemetery.
I met my wife, Dr. Margaret Christmas Thomas while serving in Florida and we married in October 2009. She is a counselor/consultant and also serves as an associate dean at Concordia University Irvine. After moving to California, we were blessed with our daughter, Isabella, age 9. She loves art, school, and spending time with her friends. When I have a moment, between being a husband, father, and pastor, I love to read, workout, and travel, which, like my wife, feel can be a wonderful act of worship.
I believe the church should be the greatest place to experience the love, grace, and truth of God. To reflect our great God, it should strive to be a healthy, generous community that seeks to grow larger by reaching more people and yet at the same time feel smaller through developing relationships. For a church to fulfill its mission, I believe it should make a difference in the community and be passionate about bringing Jesus to everyone so that more people will be in Heaven.
Pastor Jon’s Bio: Graduated from Concordia University, Ann Arbor in 1990, and Concordia Theological Seminary, St Louis in 1994. He has served as Associate Pastor at Gloria Dei, Houston, TX (1994-2003); Associate Pastor at Holy Cross, Lake Mary, FL (2003-2011); Sole Pastor at Salem, Orange, CA (2011-2015); Senior Pastor at St. John, Mansfield, TX (2016-present).