Four years after the McKnights came to Dearborn, Michigan (see chapter 8), they accepted a position that sounded ideal to them: co-pastor of 2,000-member Trinity Lutheran Church in Amarillo, Texas. Jerry was now forty-two, Arlene was forty, and two of their three children were on their own or in college. The southwestern climate and lifestyle attracted them, but even more exciting was the chance to work with Ray Gundry.
Jerry had met him through a denominational commission and greatly respected the strong church he had built over the past fifteen years. The more Ray talked about Jerry becoming his partner in ministry, sharing the vision, and regular preaching, the more the McKnights paid attention. The chance to preach 40 percent of the time was especially attractive.
Several of their friends questioned whether a bipolar leadership structure would work, but others gave it a green light.
Actually, there remains a difference even today about the term co-pastor. Jerry says that was the bargain; ...1