Wednesday, July 25, 2007


A year ago we left the security of a position at a church that loved us and was so very supportive. So, why go? Mainly because the position was so secure. We loved our BHWC people and they loved us, but they had become content. Content to stay in one place – even better, to go back a few years to the “good old days” before I moved on in my development as a person and pastor. So for the good of the church and ourselves, we began searching for a new place to serve.

Enter: Faith Church

Shortly after announcing my resignation, I began a long conversation with Joel Gorveatte – lead pastor at Faith Church in Lansing, MI. The more we talked, the more I liked the possibilities of becoming the Community Life Pastor. Several persons asked me about how I would handle not being the “big dog”. In retrospect, it’s been about what I’d expect. A few times I would have liked to make decisions my way, but for the most part, it’s been no big deal. As with so many things, there are trade-offs. I haven’t had to deal with a lot of the leadership hassles – hiring, firing, budgets, nominating committees and annual reports.

On the other hand, I’ve been able to focus on some things I’m very passionate about. I’m loving the CIA (Christ in Action) ministry. It is remarkable to see the number of people who have begun to come to faith (church) and later come to Faith (following Jesus) through simple acts of service. It has been my pleasure to guide the re-visioning of the church’s Global outreach. Similar efforts are underway for the discipleship and men’s ministries.

Turning Points

When we hired in @ Faith I asked Joel about his plans for the future. He told me how he had been approached in the past, but had no interest in changing churches. He would be happy to be at Faith for his entire career. With those words of assurance I signed on the dotted line.

On a Thursday a few weeks ago, Joel called those of the staff in the building together and let us know that he was being courted by another church and he and Tracy believed they were to pursue the position – which meant he was resigning as lead pastor at Faith. Since I and the rest of the staff are technically hired by the lead guy, our jobs are also suddenly up in the air. By all rights I should be upset and anxious. I’m not.

Why? Could be that I’m just in denial or not in touch with reality. But I don’t think that’s the case. First of all, I know when Joel told me he had no plans to move, he was being absolutely genuine. I’ve been in the same place. I have served in several places and in most of them, I planned to stay for the rest of my career, until the call to move on became clear to Marcia & I. I knew this when Joel gave me his assurance and accepted the risk – because Faith is where I am supposed to be right now. Secondly, experience has taught me that life is only as uncertain as the foundation upon which it is based.

My trust is not in my current position and paycheck. This is not what I’ve planned, nor expected, but I am called to a career of serving Christ in the vocation of a minister. The next thing may not be convenient nor as good a fit as I find at Faith, but following Christ has always been an adventuresome journey. Why should I expect it to change now? And who knows, maybe the next place is the same place.


BJ said...

That doesn't seem very cyncial too me?

Welcome to the blogosphere...

EdBob said...

Give me some time - I'm a optomistic cynic.