Dear friends, family, and supporters;
Over the past 2 1/2 months I have intentionally unplugged from various forms of media (i.e. facebook, twitter, blogging) so that I could take stock of a few things in my life. This ended up being an unexpected extension of my fast from television during Lent. The reason I did this was not that I felt hooked to any form of media, but more to get rid of some of the external noise in my life in order to more effectively have a season of introspection and discovery.
What I found was not pretty. Let me say up front that this is not a letter to say that I have “fallen” because of some specific sin. It is, however, a letter to communicate that, for a season, I will be taking a step down from leadership in ministry. This does not mean I am abandoning the call on my life. Quite the opposite. I will continue to serve in the local church body and continue to minister to my coworkers, my neighbors, and my family. This is a season of intense surrender that is necessary for me to go through so I can continue to embrace the roles God has blessed, and will bless me with.
So what’s the issue?
The thing that I realized over the past few months is how truly arrogant I am. Having seen the effects of arrogance among other pastors, I realize how important it is to deal with this issue before it gets to that point of no return.
I want my life, more than anything, to be defined by the obedience, passion, and love I have for Christ, His Church, and the Kingdom of God. The role of a pastor, leader, elder, deacon, etc is first and foremost to be a surrendered servant of Christ, I believe I have lost sight of that fact. I have lost sight of that audience of One, of the reason I surrendered to the call on my life in the first place…which was to serve and love the lost.
This has not been an easy decision to make, but Leanne and I know this to be the right decision. Rarely is the right decision the easy one to make. Ironically, the reason it is most difficult is because of my own pride; I don’t want people to see me as a failure. I have had to come to grips with the fact that people will talk and make assumptions and some will see me as a failure. As much as that pains me and I want to fight against it, I know that ultimately it does not matter. What matters is being the man God wants me to be and following His good and perfect will.
So what’s next?
Currently I am searching for a new executive director for the CENTER. I ask that if you are a prayer partner and/or financial partner in the CENTER that you would continue your support. Although, growth is paused, ministry is still happening. I am available to answer any questions you have in regards to the CENTER. From the beginning, we made a pledge of complete transparency and that has not changed.
I will no longer be leading any small groups or specific ministries at local churches. I will however be serving in children’s ministry every third week, and begin being a greeter as well. We are also looking to join a small group. I will still preach every now and again as opportunities arise. Lastly, we will still help host and organize trips for visiting work groups to New Orleans.
So what now?
Leanne, Bella, and I will continue to strengthen our lives and family on the bedrock of Christ. Now, I begin a season that is wholly unknown to me and one that kind of freaks me out seeing as I am a control freak. Now, I believe, I am exactly where God wants me. Now, I ask you to continue to pray for me, my family, and the influence we have on those around us. Now, we continue to follow God’s path and we hope you continue to do the same.
A dear friend, LaTanya, would pray for me every Sunday for humility. She said every time she prayed for me it was the word she saw. I want to thank her specifically for never wavering about putting that word in my face. I also want to thank all of you. Each of you have made your mark on my life. You have loved, encouraged, and challenged me. You have put up with my faults, failures, and insecurities. You have forgiven me when I have wronged you. You have looked past how horrible I am at staying in contact with those I do not see on a daily basis. You have been true friends and supporters, and I am grateful for that.
I write this to you in the name of Christ who is good and holy and who loves you. May we continue to pursue Him as we act as His hands and feet to the world around us.
In Awe of His Grace
P.S. I will no longer be MIA. I have lots more to share so you will see me once again on facebook and on the blogosphere. See you soon.