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Thank-you for Loving Us!
Below is the text of a letter that I read to our congregation this morning to announce my resignation and transition to become the Student Minister at the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, TX. I wish there was a better, more personal way to handle these types of transitions but no matter how they are handled, they are always difficult. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or just would like to talk. I hope to be able to spend time with many of you over the next few weeks before we move to Abilene. Kendal and I love this church family and are so thankful for our time here. Thank you, Clear Lake Church family for loving us well.
For His Glory,
Dear Clear Lake Church Family,
I’ll never forget the phone call I received from Paul Arnold almost five and a half years ago when he asked me if I would serve as Youth Minister for the Clear Lake Church of Christ. That phone call was the culmination of a whirlwind week of interviews, meetings, and prayer that made it abundantly clear to Kendal and I that God was leading us to become part of the Clear Lake Church family. That leading was so clear and so obvious that I am confident that my memory of that time will always be a reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life.
This morning I need to share with you that God has once again called Kendal and I. It is with sadness and mixed emotions that I must inform you that my time as Youth Minister at Clear Lake Church of Christ is drawing to a close. I am confident that even in my absence the Refuge Youth Ministry will continue forward in its growth and effectiveness as a tool drawing teens closer to Jesus. I also know that sometimes God uses one person to lead a ministry from point A to point B and then he chooses to use someone else to lead it from Point B to point C. I believe that It is time for someone else to come along and lead the Refuge Youth Ministry into the future.
In early October, I was approached by the Executive Minister of the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, TX and asked to consider their open Student Minister position. Initially Kendal and I were hesitant, but after a time of prayerful reflection we decided that we should at least consider the opportunity. Throughout the entire process we have prayed for discernment to see the Spirit’s leading. As each step of the process unfolded it became more and more clear to us that we were being led in a new direction for each of our ministries and our family. Two weeks ago, Highland’s Executive Minister called offered me the job. After much prayer and discernment through the process we have accepted the offer and our last Sunday with this church family will be Sunday, March 10.
There are several reasons that this change is appealing for Kendal, Nora, and I, but the biggest reason we have decided to go is because we are confident that this is God’s leading in our lives. As hard as it is for us to leave this incredible church family, we learned a long time ago that God often calls us to do things that are very difficult. We strive to be people who when God says “go,” we go. Highland is a wonderful church and we are eagerly anticipating what God has in store for us there.
We are so incredibly thankful for our time at the Clear Lake Church. This church has surrounded us like family and loved us when our own families have been far away. You’ve shared one of our happiest moments as we welcomed Nora into the world last summer. We will forever be grateful for our time here. We have friends here that will be lifelong friends. I’ve been mentored by amazing, Godly men in Byron, David Layman, and our shepherds. I’ve been blessed beyond measure to serve along side Donna Stone, my extraordinary ministry partner for the past five and half years. We’ve shared some incredible times together and seen God work in some mighty ways. God has used the youth ministry here to lead this church’s efforts in loving our neighbors in new and fresh ways. God has worked in the hearts of our teens and used them to reach other teens in our area with the love and mercy of Jesus. Many students have grown in their pursuit of Jesus so that following Him is not something that just happens on a certain day of the week or in a certain place but rather is who they are and the way they choose to live. The Refuge Youth Ministry is strong and I believe that it is one of this church’s greatest assets. And what makes the Refuge Youth Ministry strong is not a person or even its leadership team; it is the incredibly special group of teens that make it up and wonderful parents who model what it means to follow Christ. These students have a passion and enthusiasm for serving others that is infectious. Their love, compassion, and acceptance of others is unlike any group I have ever been apart of. Following Christ for these students is about becoming more like Him each day and I have been witness to transformations happening all around in the lives of these students. I am honored to have been allowed to spend the past five and half years with them and I am so excited to hear the amazing things that God will do as this ministry continues to grow and flourish.
I am especially thankful to the leadership of this church. The Shepherds here are men who love God with their whole hearts and who love this church and serve it selflessly. They have consistently taken care of me and my family in many ways and I will forever be thankful for the blessing of starting my time in ministry under their leadership. I am confident that God has big things planned for the future of the Clear Lake Church and I am excited to see how this community is transformed because of the people who gather in this building each week because they desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.
Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21