Big News and Palm Trees
WE ARE MOVING!
Big news that has a bittersweet taste to it. I have officially accepted a ministry position at a church in Vero Beach, Florida and Darian and I will be making a big transition (1,384 miles to be exact) over the next month. While we are ecstatic for what God has in store for us in Florida, we are saddened to leave a church who has cared so deeply for us.
Alameda Church of Christ is a good church. They are a church that is being led by a model eldership and an extraordinary ministry staff. They are bold, courageous, and hopeful when it comes to making Jesus known more effectively in the community. They have big things down the road and I anticipate what God will continue to do for them and through them for his glory. We are going to miss Alameda and the many people who have touched our lives in the past couple years we were with them. So, from the bottom to the top of our hearts we thank you! Thank you for taking a chance on us. Thank you for being patient with me through my mistakes. Thank you for continually developing Darian and I mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We love you.
Now our eyes begin to focus forward to what is in store for us in Florida. While there are still many unknowns (we gotta get there first), here are some of the things we are looking forward to the most:
- A driven leadership. Like Alameda, Vero Beach Church of Christ has a leadership looking forward. I am confident that the church in general needs this in order to survive and thrive today. I believe that by rediscovering the mission of the church, by refusing the distractions of theological liberalism and traditionalism (there is a balance between the two), and by showing courage in our time, we can recover the the fire that caused the gospel message to conquer the entire Roman world in the first century. But it begins with a leadership willing to lead boldly, courageously, and hopeful. I believe this to be true in Vero Beach just as I have seen it true at Alameda Church of Christ.
- The opportunity for growth. I see this from a church standpoint, but also a personal standpoint. The Vero Beach Church of Christ is seeking to grow, spiritually, intellectually, and, yes, numerically. Hopefully all churches want to bring more people to Christ. At Vero Beach, there is an opportunity and anticipation for growth in the near future. That's exciting! But, this is also a move that is going to force personal growth on my part. I am moving out of the notorious 'Bible Belt,' the place I have lived my entire life. My wife and I are both moving away from family and entering into a part of the country that is stark different than what we have grown use to. I would be lying if I said we were not scared. However, I am ready. I am ready for the challenge. I am ready to be uncomfortable. I am ready to point people to Jesus, no matter which part of the world I am living. I am ready to grow.
- It's Florida. Need I say more?
- Time to set some roots? I think all the parents and grandparents perked up a bit. It's true, Darian and I are "FINALLY" entering into the conversation of being parents. Scary! Does moving to Florida suddenly open a door that was not there before? Of course not. That would be silly. But where we decided to begin our family was extremely important to us. Florida has promising opportunities for our family and we simply could not say no. Don't get too excited, mom. There still is time. But 'Beach Bum' onesies might be on the horizon soon.
These are but a few reasons we are leaping with excitement for this next chapter in our life. As mentioned, this is still a bittersweet moment. Between the sadness of 'goodbyes,' and and the stress that comes with moving thousands of miles away, this has proven to be an exhausting process. Selfishly we ask for prayers. Not just for our sanity, but also for the two churches involved in this process. Pray that in all that happens God receives the glory. Pray that all conversations and decisions are led by the Spirit. Pray that we all continue to make Jesus known, even through the transition.
To Alameda Church of Christ, thank you for showing us what love looks like.
To Vero Beach Church of Christ, let's change the world.