Note added May 8: To learn more about the upcoming transition and to read about the the ways I see that the Lord is carrying us through these days, look at other April blog posts and what is being written now in May. He, our Lord Jesus, is faithful in everything!
[The rest of this was written on Sunday, April 19.]
Toward the end of today's message at Crossroads, I made an announcement that impacts our future here in the DC area. You can listen to the whole worship gathering at THIS LINK ... but the quality of the recording is not so good this time.
Here it is, pretty much as it was actually said at worship today:
... There's no good time to do this...
... There's some changes going on with Toni and I. We are walking through some changes, the church is walking through some changes.
You guys have known, I've said before, that I was looking for another job to supplement income because, hey, we're not exactly busting out the seams here, and so we keep our eyes open for what might be coming next and I've made a decision that I'm going to be doing something else.
Starting in June at some point, and I don't know exactly what that's going to be yet, but I do have a position that I've been offered. I've always said to Toni, well, if nothing else, I can drive bus.
So that's my plan right now, unless the Lord opens another door between now and then, is that I'm going to drive, not school bus, but city bus, during the rush hour; they always looking for... people to do that sort of thing, so, that's the plan.
You know, when we came here to Dassel-Cokato area there were five of us. We came as a family, and Naomi went off... off she went to the cities. A couple years later... Daniel went off, well first he went to Concordia and then to the cities. And then Jonathan, off with Breanna, and now our granddaughter is in the cities. And so there's kind of this magnetic pull. ...
So we'll probably end up [there], exactly when, I don't know, but my plan right now is that, I've talked to the board this last week, and we have an agreement with the church that there would be a 60 day notice, now the board said "we'll change that to a two week notice" just to allow some flexibility.
The plan, though, is, for... I was thinking the last Sunday in May, maybe it'll be the first Sunday in June, don't know exactly yet about when my "last Sunday" would be, but... please pray for us as we go through this.
The reason I want to bring this up now is that "What Next," really is all about Jesus and what he is calling us to, what God is calling us to. There are lots of details to be thought about.
As we consider how we're going to transition our lives quickly, or over a longer time, but the point is that God carries us. He's going to take care of us. He's going to take care of Toni and I. He's going to take care of you guys.
We love you very much. Some of you have been with us through thick and thin for a very long time. It's wonderful, it's great... but today... during the church family time, I handed off the microphone, and I just watched you guys at work. I was just standing over there, marveling at how this body functions. It's so sweet. And, each one you will need to be praying to see what God wants you to do.
There's that verse that says "Don't forsake gathering together as you see the Day approaching," that's not about when I go, but I hope you don't just run off... Becky was saying the other day "No lame duck pastoring..." ...We'll love each other and spend time together as we do this next thing.
But this is the verse I was going to close with because I think it's so fitting here. Jesus said this in John 14: Let not your hearts be troubled. In Jesus' Father's house there are many rooms, I, Jesus, to to prepare a place for you... and I will come again so that where I am there you may be also.
That's what's really next for us, is being in the house of the Lord, for ever and ever and ever amen. We know who the victor is. We know that he wants us to be with him. What a great thing. And a lot of the details are not known to us yet. They're known to God only. But because of Jesus we can be confident in our good future. Say that with me: Because of Jesus we can be confident in our good future.
We have a lot of questions about what's going to happen. We talk about it just as we talk about the weather. "Oh, what's going to happen tomorrow?"
Let's just do what God calls us to do. Okay? Extending the kingdom of God, in the places where he plants us.
Now that was a little bit longer than usual... if you get another pastor maybe sometime you can make sure that "only this amount of time... [for the message or worship]" That's up to you guys.
Or maybe you'll decide to have multiple elders. We had a study about this, we had a church study group--we looked at some of the early church stuff where there were multiple elders that were kind of pastoring a church together. There's no scripture that says you have to have a particular individual who is the leader of a particular church. You guys will be praying about that.
The board is going to meet again tomorrow night. And next week there will be the annual meeting and there'll be some conversation then.
Don't forget the potluck next week and we'll eat together.
And then we'll trust the Lord.