Goodson Accepts Call to Christ Lutheran

Drew talks about becoming a minister; what they don’t teach you in seminary

By: Larry Dagenhart, Jr.

Who says nobody’s a prophet in his hometown?

Drew Goodson, a son of St. Mark’s—and of David and Cathy Goodson—returned to Charlotte in March after accepting a call as associate pastor at Christ Lutheran Church.

Drew, his wife Megan and young son Zach came back to the Queen City from Greenville, N.C., where Drew served for more than five years as the only pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran.

Christ Lutheran is the largest Lutheran church in Charlotte and each Sunday worships about 1,100 among three services.

Drew is one of two associates who works with Senior Pastor Scott Suskovic.

“It’s great to be back,” Drew says.

“I was hoping to eventually wind up closer to Charlotte, but I didn’t expect to actually be in Charlotte.

Back in December the Synod office asked if I’d be willing to have a conversation with the call committee at Christ.

I said yes and it turned out to be a good fit.”

“In your head and in your heart”

Christ Lutheran is Drew’s second call.

He graduated from Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia in 2009 and the same year was ordained at St. Mark’s with Pastor Peter Brown and Bishop Leonard Bolick presiding.

St. Mark’s, of course, was a tremendous influence in Drew’s career choice.

“I remember I was in high school.

“It was an Easter sunrise service; Ian Reid (another St. Mark’s son who became a pastor) and I teamed up to preach the sermon.

“That day I felt a strong sense of call to ordained ministry and that this would be a very rewarding thing to do.”

Drew credits former St. Mark’s pastors Peter Setzer, Lou Bauer and Jay Harbinson as three strong influences on his becoming a pastor.

“Jay said, ‘when you’re called to ministry, you know it in your head and in your heart,’ and he told me I should really think hard about this.

“Peter Setzer and Lou Bauer were terrific examples of simply how to be a pastor. My grandfather, Frank McKeen, was also a huge role model for what it’s like to be a godly man.”

What they don’t teach you in seminary

Drew talked a little bit about what he wished he’d known coming out of seminary: “You could argue that seminary isn’t long enough,” he says.

“You certainly get the fundamentals but then you have to learn a lot—basically how to make a community run.

“Pastors are called to ‘equip the saints.’

“The seminaries train us on how to do the ministry but not necessarily how to help other people do their ministry.

“In other words, how do we teach others to use their gifts to serve Christ?

“There’s some trial and error to this and it takes a lot of patience.”

At Christ Lutheran, Drew focuses on Christian education and “adult faith formation”—activities that involve spirituality, small group ministry and retreats.

“I want to help others grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.

“I look forward to seeing the people of this parish be transformed by the Holy Spirit.”

Going forward, Drew says he’d like to see more interaction among local Lutherans: “Coming from a town where we were the only Lutheran church in the whole county, it’d be great to have more coming together of the Lutheran churches in Charlotte.

“I’d like to see us be closer.

“I don’t know what that looks like but I think there are ways we can help each other.”

For now, it’s safe to say Drew likes where he is.

“I was an ordinary kid, but I felt the call to ministry and I’m now doing a job that I love.”