To my congregation
Updated: Oct 25, 2018
In the morning we are going to meet together to celebrate Jesus and enjoy being together... and I have to tell you that I am in the process of going to a new city to plant a church. I have been intimidated by this day ever since it became clear that God is calling us to go - second only to the intimidation of having to tell our kids that we are going to move away.
Some of you will be mad. Some will be sad. Some won't care at all. Several people will come up with reasons why this is best, others will talk only about why this is bad. Some of you are going to say that you knew this was going to happen, and others are going to say you never expected it. This is going to be confusing for some of you, and some of you are going to connect all sorts of unrelated things to this decision with the passion of a flat earther. ...and it's for all of these reasons that I love you all!
You are my brothers, sisters, friends, mentors and partners in ministry and service and this represents the beginning of a big change. It's going to be an emotional day - but I expect that God is going to meet us, and even surprise us with His nearness. If I don't cry, it's probably because I'm all cried out, not because I don't care. If you cry, that's OK. If you don't cry, that's OK too. We're all going to experience this a little bit differently from each other based on a strange combination up by our backgrounds, experiences, hopes, fears and who I am to you.
My greatest hope for our announcement is that you will be able to hear with ears of faith and that we can grow together through this process.
Here are some things that I probably won't say from the front, but should probably be said:
I've been the ringleader, but you make us who we are. I have (and will continue) to preach as well as I can, I've led (and will continue to lead) as well as I am able, but you are are the ones who make us awesome. Without you, I'm just a guy who loves Jesus and talks a lot.
God's not done with us (GCC)! The last 4 years have been AMAZING, and I believe that we are just getting started! God will still do everything that He has promised for (and through) this congregation, but God has identified different men to lead us to the next season.
Go ahead and be sad or mad (or glad), but don't sin. That is, don't let your emotions lead to you to sin - instead, find God in this time and let Him be the balm for what aches.
If this is hard for you, please don't process this alone. This is exactly the kind of thing that community is built for. If this is easy, please be patient give people time to work through it. We've been a congregation marked by authenticity and rich community - lets not change that now.
If you know my kids, please be good to them in this process - encourage their faith and don't take out any of your disappointment on them. I can handle your emotions, but my children shouldn't need to. Thank you for helping me with that.
Don't expect Pastor Eddy and Pastor Jermaine to be me. Accept them as they - if you do, you'll see the treasure in them that I value so deeply in each of them. One of the greatest things that marks our congregation is how much we love people for who they are. Please keep that alive.
Don't expect their wives to be Megan. There's only one of her, and she's mine. Besides many people complained to Megan that she was not the same as Pastor Brett's wife and that's a cycle that does not need to continue - it's hurtful and unproductive.
Let's make the most of our time. It's crazy to think how much we expect things to stay the same and therefore take each other for granted. Our move is still a long ways off, but I know that it will come quickly. So lets make the most of this time together and grow as much as we can.
Whether you pray about going to Denver, or you know that you need to stay here in VA, my hope is that whatever you do, you do by faith..
I'm going to miss you! I'm here for a while, but I can hardly imagine Sunday mornings without you. I will watch the livestream on Facebook. (I'm probably getting ahead of myself, now)
It's well after midnight now, and I should probably get to sleep. There's much more I'd like to say, but we've got plenty of time to talk, and this will be the first of several (if not many) letters that I write to you on this blog. See you in the morning.