Dear Pete,

You and I both know we have some significant differences of opinion — significant differences of conviction — about church and how it’s to be done, on everything from video venue stuff to the point of sermons, and all sorts of secondary theological issues, I’m sure. But this isn’t about any of that. Because even though we run in different tribes (so to speak), I love you and appreciate you and am glad for your heart for people and them knowing Jesus.

Pete, I remember when I was less of a nobody than I am now and you wanted to meet. I remembered you fondly from your pastoral teaching at the church we once shared, even though you didn’t know me then, and I’ve always been grateful for your instruction during that time. So I was glad to meet you as a friend and as a learner and to talk about life and ministry. You’re the real deal. And you acted as a friend to me when you had nothing to gain from it and no real reason to do it at all. I didn’t have a book out, I didn’t have blog traffic, I pastored a brand new church plant of about 20 people. All that to say: you showed me friendship and mentoring when most other people in your position had already written me off. I’ll never forget that.

Pete, when you more recently contacted me privately to discuss a concern you had, I was both impressed and humbled that you trusted me enough to receive it well and respond appropriately. I appreciate that you also weren’t demanding anything either; you could have thrown your weight around, but you didn’t. So even though you’re 4 feet tall, you stand head and shoulders above so many other men. (insert winky face here)

So again: I love you and will never forget the kindness and respect you showed me once and continue to show me. You were a picture of grace to me in a difficult time, and I wish you nothing but the best in life and ministry.

And since these open letter thingies are supposed to be full of blistering criticism, here’s one more for the road: It’s time for a grown-up haircut, bro.


An Open Letter to Ray Ortlund

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8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Pete Wilson”

  1. Jacob Riggs says:

    Love it! Praise God for grace-filled interactions like the ones you guys have had.

  2. Jared,

    Thanks for writing this open letter. It spoke to me on multiple levels. I appreciate your heart as well. You must have learned well from Pete, because you took time to meet with me before you left Nashville as well:) I think the more we realize who we, and others, are in Christ, we will lose the celebrity status that you speak of here:)

    Blessings to you bro,

    Jamal Jivanjee

  3. BJ Stockman says:

    Your last line is golden, but the body of the letter is worth far more than gold. Humble.

    One last thing, maybe, after this letter, Pete can get you in the next Taylor Swift video ;)


  4. Mike W says:

    What a great idea and an awesome post. I need to read more stuff like this!

  5. Frank says:

    Jared – thank you for being an example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and not just a believer in Jesus. That the world would see more of this, and less of our selfish ambition.

  6. SD Smith says:

    That’s how it’s done.

  7. Joe says:

    I am certain the point is affirmation, but this reads like a high school yearbook signing. First name dropping like cray, “I love you,” blah blah. Inappropriate. This is how it should be done… in private. There are levels of appropriateness, even for thank yous.

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Jared C. Wilson

Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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