Thursday, May 6, 2010

A brave new world.

Dear friends,
As many of you may have heard by now Christina and I are entering into a exciting new adventure in our ministry lives.  I know there are a lot of questions about what these changes are and what they mean for the youth ministry here at Evangel.   I’d like to take a minute and share my heart for our new adventure and also for the future of the the youth group.

For some time now Christina and I have been feeling a sense of impending change in our lives.  We love youth ministry and we love the students here at Evangel but we began to feel like God was setting us up for a new direction. The problem was we really had no idea what that direction was.  There were many days I felt a bit like Abraham must have felt when he was hearing God say  "Leave... your people and... go to the land I will show you. “   I felt a sense of God calling me to step out, but not knowing what the next step was.  Pastor Jason and I talked regularly about these things and have been praying together about this transition for almost 7 months now.

When I was 12 years old I was at a youth camp in Grass Lake, Michigan when I began to feel like God wanted me to be a youth pastor.  From that moment on it was the only job I ever wanted. And other than a brief stint selling Polo shirts at Marshall Fields it’s the only full time job I’ve ever had.  You can imagine my surprise when 20 years later I found myself thinking God might have a new job description in store for me.  For the first time since 1988 I began to seriously consider a ministry other than to youth.  I began to think about planting a church.

And that simple thought has become a driving force in my heart.  I stay up at night thinking about it, I wake up early in the morning writing down ideas that formed in my heart through the night.  Like a woman who has just found out that she’s pregnant my minds wonders to random dates in the future and I wonder what this baby will look like, sound like and feel like.  I can’t wait to meet the people that Gods has been preparing for this ministry and to see the lives Gods will changes through it.  I’m going to be a church planter, and that’s something that only God could have birthed in my heart.

In all honesty I have to admit I have moments where some anxiety creeps in and the doubts start to swirl through my mind.  But in those moments God has repeatedly calmed my heart. He’s encouraged me through scriptures in my devotions, through encouraging words of friends and even through some surprising and timely wisdom from my three year old!

Just to be clear I want everyone to know this: I love Evangel.  I love the youth ministry here, I love the friends and people that we’ve meet here, I love the staff and board and I’ve loved working with and growing to become friends with Pastor Jason.  I have zero negative things to say about this amazing church and I consider it a honor and a blessing to have been able to serve and grow as a part of the staff here.  This is with out a doubt one of the greatest churches I’ve ever been to, much less had the privilege to work with.  I’ve already told Pastor Jason to get used to me asking questions because I want to learn from the guru himself as much as I can!  Pastor Jason and I are committed to make this transition happen in the most healthy and loving way possible.  God loves multiplication but hates division.  We are in this together as friends and family in Christ.

I know there will be some questions. If that’s the case please feel free to ask.  Christina and I would love to share our hearts with you and covet your prayers through this transition.

As for the youth ministry: No worries, it’s in good hands.  We have four former youth pastors currently on staff and several more in our audience.  Pastor Lisa is stepping up to make sure all the leadership needs are covered and that the ministry will not only be able to maintain, but I believe grow and thrive during this transition time.  Please be praying as Pastor Jason and the team start the search for the next youth pastor. I know that God has a great leader that he’s preparing for this position and for our students.  Pastor Kevin has been involved throughout this process and he and Krystal believe God has called them to stay in the Middle School position.  They are absolutely rocking it over there and this summer is going to be amazing as they receive an influx of new 6th and 7th graders.   Pray for them! I would love to see God bless the church with the finances to bring them on board full time.  Will you pray for that with me?

If there are any other questions of things that I can help clarify please let me know.  We love you all and want to thank you for the privilege we’ve had to serve your students these past four years.   

God bless.

Jason B

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