FROM PASTOR MIKE’S DESK:
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Over the course of the last year, really since it was announced that I wasn’t going to be taking the Senior Pastor position because I wanted to continue to work with our youth, many have approached me stating how they wish I would reconsider. As we have progressed through this time of vacancy of the Senior Pastor role, out of necessity, I have taken on the responsibilities of that position, all the while still trying to give the youth the attention they deserve. Needless to say, things this past year have been a little on the crazy side.
The idea of potentially serving as the Senior Pastor and still concentrating on our Youth and Family Ministry programs didn’t really set in until we were going through interviews of potential candidates from our second list. One of the pastors we interviewed currently serves as the Senior Pastor and also works with the youth. That church then called an Associate Pastor to oversee the ministry done toward their senior community.
As we were waiting for the illusive third list to come, God was working on me. I found myself in different conversations which were about things which most Senior Pastors do. I found myself thinking about what it could potentially look like serving as the Senior Pastor and still working with our youth. Jessica and I at times would talk about it. You all continued to approach me and say how you wish I would change my mind. Jessica can tell you, the idea of serving in the Senior capacity was eating at me.
She then one day shared a devotion with me from Joshua 3. Joshua 3 is all about Joshua getting the Israelite people together so that they could cross over and start taking possession of the Promised Land. Joshua 3:15-16 says … “Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.”
The thing this devotion emphasized is that the priests carrying the ark didn’t run into the water, they didn’t jump into the water … they slowly walked in. The slowly walked in and as soon as their toes touched the water … the water stopped flowing.
After reading that, I started to wonder what God was saying. Had this past year of vacancy been my wilderness where I have had to learn to rest on God more? Has this past year been God’s way of getting me ready to walk up to the river and cross over to take the Senior position? Was this passage trying to reassure me that this isn’t something which I’m jumping into but something which I have slowly been walking towards?
Now you need to know … I’m one who doesn’t jump into change quickly. Sometimes it takes some prodding and tugging. I think this devotion was God’s way of prodding me along some. Praying about this, talking it over with Jessica, I decided to have some conversations with some other people who I trust and lean on. After those discussion and conceptualizing serving as the Senior Pastor and still serving our youth … the idea started to become more flushed out and more clear. With this, there was this sudden peace which came over me.
This is when I decided to approach the Elders and the Call Committee to see what their thoughts were on this. At the special voters’ meeting on September 19th, it was clear that the congregation was in approval of me serving as the Senior Pastor and still working with our youth.
The support from you has been incredible and greatly appreciated. I am very humbled by the love and generosity my family and I have received from you over the last four years. We have been truly blessed.
It is my prayer that we continue to walk forward … not run, not jump, but walk … that God would continue to walk along with us as we continue to serve Him and those around us. May God’s blessings be upon you all as you serve our amazing God and those around you. May the love of God permeate through all that we say and do.
God’s blessings to you all!