Friday, February 18, 2011

Finality part 2

Please take time to read the last entry Finality for all of this to make since. Patrick Phillips is a long time friend and great blogger. I truly appreciate the opportunity to respond. Thanks Patrick!

Patrick says:

Knowing nothing of this particular situation, other than the fact that you are no longer there, I can't help but wonder why a staffing change in a church requires a severing of contact that makes one feel "cut off."
It hardly seems what one would expect from the "family of God." I've known of other pastors who've separated from their churches and the contact just ended. Completely. 
Why should one have to lose "the intimacy of accountability and ministry?"

The finality is my realization that God has moved us on to other things. As far as the accountability and intimacy, it is only hindered by the proximity of the people involved. All of the ministerial and support staff are the most loving gracious friends I have, but because I'm not "in the office" anymore, I miss our impromptu conversations, last minute lunch and coffee, and just being in the same building as they are. When someone leaves a church staff, even on good terms, it's still a loss and void for all involved. We all know God will fill the void. That's what He's teaching me now. I told a group of students the following about 4 years ago. "God will not take anything away that He won't fill with Himself." But as that happens, I have to empty ME. That's the hard part and it's on me. I love them dearly and they will always be family. I have been SO fortunate to work with 2 church staffs who share that connection. It's a testimony to like mindedness and Christ likeness. Thanks for helping me process my brain!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


It seems too real. We have closed the book on almost 9 years of ministry at Trinity and 20 years in student ministry. It hit me a few days ago when I stop receiving church emails hospital and prayer lists. I still have the account sitting on my laptop, but today I got the message my username and password were no longer valid. I help set up that email account. It seems insignificant, and I hold no animosity toward the staff, but it's bitter sweet for me. It's hard to make a cold turkey clean break, but I know it's best. I enjoyed my time in the office. There were deep friendships, deep accountability, and a lot of learning. Ministry took place among the ministerial and support staff in a special way many churches never experience. I know friendships will continue, but I already miss the intimacy of accountability and ministry.
This is just one piece among many that includes missing the band, small groups, retreats, midweek worship and all the students and leaders who have poured into and drawn out of the goodness of God through the ministry. I look forward to the days ahead, but I miss the days that were. I guess God's still working on me.