Well, the news is now official, so I'm free to put it out here in the blogworld. I've been asked to join with First Baptist Church, Almyra, Arkansas, as their pastor. Ann and I have prayerfully considered the request, and are going to be moving at the end of this month. My last Sunday as pastor of Calvary is August 29th.
This is part of why I've been blog-silent these past few weeks. The energy it takes to create something worth reading has been going into decision-making, and we've been very wary of letting something slip. Then, once the decision was made, we wanted to allow people at Calvary to hear it by being in church, so we announced it last Wednesday (the first church meeting since the decision was made) and held it offline until after Sunday. If you're a Calvary member and this is the first you've heard, I'm sorry if this bothers you, but I can't keep silent forever.
For Calvary Baptist, this means getting together and prayerfully addressing what you feel God has for the church He has entrusted to your stewardship. Nominations will be taken this week for a pastor search committee, with actual voting in a couple of weeks, according to the procedure in listed in the church constitution. Also, there are some things we're going to need to hand off:
1. We have, though under-utilized, a page for our church on Facebook. I need someone to let me know they want it, and I'll hand off the admin privileges to it.
2. The church website has just recently been renewed, but we also need to have someone else take over the maintenance of that.
3. Calvary is still scheduled to host the Bartholomew Baptist Association meeting October 17, so we'll need to connect whomever is planning services at that point, probably the deacons, to David Mitchell at the Association to plan that.
For Ann, the kids, and I, this means packing up all we own and moving it about 80 miles across Arkansas. It means forming new relationships, and starting over on much of what's important to us, and asking our kids to do the same thing. It means that I'll be back in September to do a couple of weddings, but that's about it.
We want to express our appreciation to those who have supported us through your prayers, words, and actions over these past couple of years in Monticello. We're not going to find the words to share that with you, but know it's true.
More blogging should follow, now that I'm feeling a little freer to comment on life in general.
Thanks for reading,
Further note: I thought I'd take a minute on the process involved with this. Ann and I didn't seek this position, but a friend recommended us to this church. It's neither more prestigious nor larger, and it's not a salary increase. We honestly feel this is what we need to do out of obedience to God. In the long-term, no church needs a pastor that isn't striving to listen willingly to what the Lord is calling him to do. Our prayers are with Calvary in Monticello, but we fully believe that fresh leadership is a part of God's design for this church and will help the church grow in faithfulness in the coming years.