I have to admit, the last few weeks have been full of all kinds of emotions – joy, sadness, excitement, fear, amazing anticipation, overwhelming apprehension. Ending one remarkable chapter of life to begin a brand-new chapter of life has had me all over the place! And yet, here I am, May 1, 2018, and things have changed. I am no longer a “Pastor” (something I have had the honor and great privilege of being for the past 33 years), but rather, I am simply a “Follower of Jesus” who believes He will use me to reach people here, there and everywhere, until the task is completed.
I have loved being a Pastor (98% of the time). It has given me the opportunity to walk beside a lot of different people, during all kinds of stages and seasons of life, and together, discover how powerful God’s love is despite the challenges and even difficulties along the way. Experiencing this time and time again with so many amazing people, I believe I have learned something of great value: I can completely trust Jesus with anything and everything that has to do with life because He is 100% trustworthy. This is not to say that some of the seasons we go through are not hard (they are!) Yet, the grace and mercy of the Risen One that I follow has always provided a sense of peace and purpose, something I would not trade for anything in this world.
Stating this, to step down from this amazing calling as Pastor is not something I have taken lightly, nor based on my own whims. To the contrary; my Lord has had to work on my heart regarding this for a long time. And because I know I can trust Him with anything and everything, I willfully lay down that which I have loved to now follow Him into what should be my last assignment on this side of heaven – BE A MULTIPLYING DISCIPLE who helps make MORE MULTIPYING DISCIPLES throughout the nations until ALL HAVE HEARD THE GOSPEL!
It was 34 years ago this week, May 3, 1984, that I made a simple, yet, life-changing commitment to God: “I will go wherever you want me to go, I will do whatever you want me to do, and I will be whatever you want me to be.” I had no idea at 16 years of age, and as a brand-new follower of Christ, what that commitment would mean. But how thankful I am that He led me to make this promise to Him as it has afforded me a front-row seat to some of the most amazing experiences one can have in this life.
Due to all of these first-hand experiences with Him, I step into this new chapter in life as a FULL-TIME MISSIONARY and Executive Director of New Life Global Ministries, knowing that if I will simply go where He wants me to go, do what He wants me to do, and be what He has created, called and commissioned me to be, this next and last chapter will be the greatest yet!
Thanks so much for being part of this journey with me over the years. Now let’s go make more disciples!
Follower of Christ
P.S. – Embarking upon this next chapter in life, my family and I have a great need from you (our family and friends). We will not be able to do what He has led us to do without MINISTRY PARTNERS (those who will partner with us through prayer, encouragement and/or financial support). If you would be willing to be one of our MINISTRY PARTNERS (in whatever capacity), please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 304.433.7185) and I would love to meet with you over coffee, a meal or ice cream and share details.