I have something exciting to share! Two days ago I received a call from the Grace Chapel elders. They were all on speaker phone, calling me from an evening elder meeting. Brian Moe, the chairman of the board, spoke for them all and said, “We are calling to tell you that we have had a unanimous vote to invite you to come as our Senior Pastor.” I was in the car with my family at the time. We had just finished dinner and were driving home. It was a sweet call to receive at a sweet time.
When the phone rang, my heart began to race. Before I answered the phone, I turned to Molly and said, “What should I say?” She said, “Tell them yes!”
We have been praying about this for months. God had been clear in the circumstances both at Grace Chapel and Mission Hills that this was right. God speaks through circumstances, His Spirit, His Word and other believers in Jesus. In all of these, He had been clear that this was the right next move, but He used circumstances as His megaphone to make sure I didn’t miss it.
One more thing has made this very clear to me—Molly’s passion seems to be coming to life in a whole new way. She told me the other day, after many interviews at Grace, that she was “feeling so alive” being with me through the process. She enjoyed standing by me on Sunday, shaking hands, and supporting me before and after I preached. I can tell that she is already loved by the people of Grace Chapel and they are embracing her. In fact, a running joke with some of the elders is that maybe they should hire Molly on staff instead of me—she is just that amazing!
I know that part of stewarding my call is to steward my wife and her calling. She is a gift from God that He has entrusted to me. The fact that she is so “alive” so “at peace” makes it all the clearer that this is the right place for us.
God is good, so good! I can’t believe that I am going to be the Senior Pastor of Grace Chapel. I attended there from 1985 until 1998, where most of my spiritual foundation was built. Now to return and lead, preach and serve will be a high honor. It is amazing to me how life has a way of repeating itself. I have learned the importance of faithfulness through all seasons of life; you never know where and with whom you will find yourself again.
Leaving Mission Hills is hard for me. I love it there. The staff are some of the best on the planet. The counseling center we have been building is in its infancy, and I wanted to see it come to maturity. The congregation are some of my favorite people in the world, and I have love preaching, leading and loving on them. It is with grief and heartache that I leave, but I know that that church is not my church, and my life is not my own. God will move me as He desires, and He will always care for His sheep with grace, gentleness and love. I will miss them greatly but hope that our paths often cross.
So here’s to following God’s will, no matter how comfortable, clear or courageous it may be. We must strive to live a life of obedience in the same direction. As I pursue Christ, I am sure this is the next step He has for me; I will follow, trusting Him with the details and the outcome. I serve at the pleasure of the King!
Here is a message I sent to the people of Grace Chapel:
For more information on any of the transitions for both churches please check out their websites: Grace Chapel or Mission Hills.
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