It is with mixed emotions that I announce the following: Lindsey, Ben, and I will be moving back to Savannah at the end of November/early December (well actually Ben’s moving there for the first time). I want to take some time here to explain why we’re making this move, both on a personal and professional level, as I am certain this announcement elicits questions from numerous parties. I’ll speak to the professional side first (which inevitably includes the personal).
I have been a pastor for about four years now. Over the course of that time I’ve had some fun, built great relationships, met fantastic people, and made a lot of mistakes in ministry–live and learn. I cannot begin to say how much we miss some wonderful people in California at Christ’s Church of the Valley and SHIFT College. I imagine leaving our friends at Harvester Christian Church will be just as tough, especially those Lindsey and I have had the personal privilege of leading in life group and VIVE. So why leave?
The decision to vacate my position as the College/20s pastor at HCC was mutually agreed upon by myself and the leadership of the church. And no that’s not just politically correct talk or propaganda. First and foremost, I am a preacher/teacher. That’s my passion. That’s what motivates me. It’s what brings me the greatest satisfaction, to open the Scriptures and have the honor of communicating timeless truths with the hopes that God’s Spirit would awaken the hearts and souls of people to believe for the first time or, as is the case with many people, to RE-awaken hearts that have grown cold.
As the ministry at HCC evolved, however, preaching became less and less of a responsibility, whereas administration, organization, and creative leadership became the bulk of what needed to happen. What I’ve learned over the last few years is that I rank rather low in those three categories. As someone who’s been in leadership positions for years that’s a hard pill to swallow. But it’s the truth. And I’m finally okay with that truth. So the primary reason we are moving is because I’m not operating in my area of giftedness. Does that mean the college/20s age at HCC is not important to me? Absolutely not. But it does mean that I would have a limited shelf life in ministry if the overwhelming majority of my time was spent trying to do those things that I don’t do well and that, in the end, drain me. Simply refer to the stats of pastors who are done with ministry all together after 3-5 years (about 50% of pastors don’t make it past 5 years).
So why Savannah? Mainly the beach. Okay not really, but it’s a perk. This is where the personal and professional really come together. Some have asked if I’m going back to work at Savannah Christian Church. I am not. Am I going back to a different church? No. The ‘why’ of why Savannah? is because it is home to Lindsey’s family, many of our mutual friends, great culture, and some strong churches…and the beach. I’m not rushing into a ministry position or applying all over the country for jobs. In other words, there’s no hurry. We feel God has invited us into a time of uncertainty because those times bring the greatest potential for sanctification and personal maturation.
On a personal level we are both sad to leave and excited to arrive. Lindsey’s excited (I assume) that I’ll be able to wear yellow and salmon pants and not be looked at strangely. Ben will have some great little guy and gal buddies who are experiencing life in the low country already. We’ll live around family for the first time in about four years. As for work, I’m not sure what I will be doing, but I may become a lumberjack. Lindsey is applying for teaching positions at the moment, but our hope is she will be able to stay with Ben more than other peoples’ kids–no offense to the other people.
How can you help? You can pray for us. If you’re the praying type here are a few requests:
1. That I will find a job that offers decent pay and insurance.
2. That Lindsey wouldn’t HAVE to work full time, but could if she so chooses.
3. That God would make straight our path as we faithfully take the steps we know to take.
4. That the college and 20s of HCC would band together and contribute to the building up of God’s kingdom.
Grace to you all.