The Bittersweet taste of Ministry

Sometimes we are called to things that we did not expect to be called to.
I have found this statement to be true many of times in my ministry and today is one of those moments.
Two years ago I was visiting Richland Christian Church trying to become their minister… I had just finished my trial sermon and had an opportunity to talk with the staff to discuss the possibility of coming on, it was there that I was hot with the following question:
“If you come how long do you plan on staying?”
That question hit me hard… I wanted stability and a place where my family and I could grow for awhile… but I knew the timeline was only known to one person, “That’s up to God,” I replied.
It is now two years later (to the Sunday) and I now know the answer to that question.
Today, I resigned from Richland Christian Church, here is what I read to them at the end of service:
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To the Elders of Richland Christian Church and to the family of Christ at Richland Christian Church,
      When Isaiah saw God in chapter 6 of his book, he thought he was a dead man, but through God’s grace and provision, an angel came forth and purified the lips of Isaiah so  he could be declared clean and thus stand in the presence of God. Then, in a test of Isaiah’s faithfulness to Him, God asked,”Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
      To Isaiah, the response was a no-brainer, “Here am I. Send me!” At that moment Isaiah realized how much God had given him and he knew the only response he could ever give God was to go wherever He wanted.
       I have formed my own life around this philosophy. I go when God calls me, I go where God calls me, and I stay for as long as God calls me. Two years ago, God called me and my family to Richland Christian Church, we grew here, we gained fantastic relationships here, and we saw God’s hand move miraculously here. Yet, it is in the midst of a fruitful ministry that we hear God asking us to go where He wants us to go.
        Last Sunday my family and I accepted a call for me to be the Senior Minister at Paoli Christian Church and thus will be resigning from Richland Christian Church. As it stands, my last Sunday will be September 9th.
       On a personal note, I wanted all of you to know that our decision to move on is only due to God’s calling on our lives and nothing else. I pray for only great things for the future of this church and that God would use this opportunity to make Richland Christian Church a stronger and healthier church that makes a huge impact on the community in Spencer County.
        Pray for us as we pray for you. We love you and will miss seeing your wonderful faces every Sunday. We know this isn’t goodbye, but only a temporary separation until we see each other again, either on this side of eternity or the other.
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Heather and I are a mixed bag of emotions… On one hand we are sad to leave a community that has been so close to our hearts over the years, but on the other hand, we are excited to see what the Lord as for us at Paoli Christian Church.
To those of you who have been by our side here at Richland, thank you… You have helped make these last two years the most successful ministry I have ever had.
To those of you anxiously awaiting my first Sunday at Paoli, I can’t wait to see how God moves through our community as we team together to bring the Kingdom to the who need it most.
Peace, Love, and Soul
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