Yesterday marked a huge day in my life and the life of my church family as a big announcement was made. I'll be blogging much more about it in the days and weeks to come trying to fill in some of the gaps, but here is the initial announcement that was made yesterday:
Dear Legacy Family,
First of all, I would like to say thank you so much for the wonderful fifth anniversary surprise last month. I appreciate all the cards, gifts, and kind words. I am overwhelmed by the love of my church family. You have been the biggest blessing in my life for the last eight years and there is no other place I would have chosen to work for the last five. Thank you for taking a risk on a college student, allowing me to make mistakes and grow and learn along the way. Thanks for entrusting me with your students, from the times we've spent in the youth house to the countless miles we've road tripped. It has truly been a journey.
The thing about journeys is that the road often twists and turns when you least expect it. Two years ago such a twist happened when I was offered a position at a campground in Michigan. The job there had been my dream as a teenager, and I desperately wanted to accept it. Legacy was in the midst of huge transition, and with all of the previous staff now gone, I was ready to join them. Yet the one word I heard over and over from God was, "stay." So I did. I turned down the job and struggled through the transition, confident that I was where the Lord wanted me. And I am so thankful - the last two years have been more than I ever could have asked or imagined. God not only brought incredible new staff members to Legacy, but he also brought wonderful friends - family - into my life and the most amazing team of youth leaders to our ministry.
My life and my heart are full, and it's in this time of plenty that God has again been nudging me in a difficult direction. This fall, the position at the campground in Michigan was again open and offered to me. After a long period of praying, wrestling, and pleading with God, I know that his word this time is not stay, but "go." Though my selfish desire is to serve here at Legacy forever, God is calling me elsewhere and I have to follow. Today I am announcing that I have officially accepted the position as the Youth Ministries Director at the Conference Grounds in Grand Haven, MI and will begin my work there the first week of March 2015.
Please know that there is nothing here at Legacy causing me to go. Many youth pastors leave because of dissension with other staff or parents or problems in ministry, or to move "higher up the ladder" and I assure you that is not the case. But as we go through The Story and continue to hear about all the people who simply went, even though they did not know where they were going or what God was up to, I am confident that I need to learn from their examples of faith and do the same in my own life. I have nothing but the the best to say about the leadership and my family at Legacy.
I'm so thankful that I still have a couple months with you before I go, and I am confident in the plan Steve, the elders, and my youth team are putting into place as we embark into another time of transition. I know many of you will have questions and concerns, and I welcome you to come to me with them in the weeks ahead. I am grateful for your support and so excited for the future God has in store for Legacy Christian Church.
Love you all so much,