Monday, January 16, 2012
The Letter about Our Transition
Our story from yesterday's service at The Brook. More information coming about how you can be a part of this new transition in our lives.
There are about 200 million non-churched people in America, making America one of the four largest “unchurched” nations in the world.
Each year about 3,500 churches close their doors permanently. We either have to plant more churches or revitalize them or we will lose an entire generation.
Church planting is one of the most effective ways to reach people with the Gospel.
Many of you might not know how I actually came to The Brook. In October of 2003, I was enrolled in a church planting class in seminary. Part of the course work was that I attend a church plant and interview the pastor. Because I was on staff at a church it made it very tough to find a place to go, as my responsibilities were great at my current church. But through a long time friend of Michelle’s, she shared with us about her church holding a Saturday night service. This made it much easier to be able to attend. So one Saturday night in late October 2003, I attended a service at The Brook. The first person who greeted me that night was David Smith and he shared with me a little about the church. As a part of the class I was required to interview the planting pastor. At the end of the service I found the planting pastor and in the most non creepish way I ask if I could interview him for the class. About a week later I met with Steve Lacy the founding pastor of The Brook to ask him questions about The Brook and how they started. The interview went really well and I left with all my information and wrote the paper. However, the interesting part is three or four weeks later I receive a call from Steve Lacy. He shared with me that actually during my interview of him he was actually in turn interviewing me. He shared how the current youth pastor was stepping down. He asked if I would submit my resume and the process began. On April 15, 2004, I started my first day of work as the Youth Pastor at The Brook.
It is hard to believe that Michelle and I were 26 and 24 years old with no kids. Oh how things have changed. My plan was always to be a youth pastor, forever. I often joked with fellow youth pastors and student ministry interns about why would I ever want to become a pastor and take “the step down.” God does has a sense of humor. Over the last several years God began to stir my heart in many ways. One of these areas has been church planting. At first, I honestly resisted God. I would often argue with Him about how I had been called to youth ministry for life and he had the wrong guy.
However after much fighting with God and conversation after conversation it became very evident that God was calling us to this area of church planting. It is our desire to always follow God no matter what or where. I am not certain about what every detail is to come but I know that God has called my family and I to step out in faith and plant a church.
I am so thankful for each of you in this room. We had our children here. We have grown in so many ways over the last almost 8 years here at The Brook. From a young punk to well still a punk at times.
Our desire has always been to give so much of our lives to you, but you all have done so much more then we could ever give back to you. You have been so caring and loving to my family. Your presence and encouragement has been incredible through so many great times and tough times. Your love for our boys. You have supported me to finish my Masters and in the ministry that we have sought to lead with passion.
We want to thank all the students and parents who have been a part of making the student ministry a huge success over the last 8 years.
We are grateful to an amazing adult leadership team both past and present who supported us and encouraged us even through all my crazy ideas. Their service and love is second to none.
We are grateful to our staff and management team and now elders who have supported us in so many different ways and have been behind us a hundred percent. They are each all stars.
We want to thank Brian. He has been a constant support and encouragement through conversations, emails, and phone calls. He has cheered us on and offered more support then we could have ever asked.
This is the unique part about this transition. The Brook will actually be a part of launching this new work. You guys will have an opportunity to have an active role in helping us plant.
I know many of you will have questions about what this all will look like over the next several weeks and months. We have narrowed down the target area to the Zierdt Road area. We know many of you will have questions about what the process will look like and we want to answer all those questions and more.
We hope you all know that you can email, call, or drop by anytime. We will be on staff at The Brook through the end of February and our hope and desire is that you will continue to be a very tangible part of our lives even after that.
We will have more information coming over the next several weeks about how things will progress over the next month.
We want to invite all of you to come and be a part of a special Vision Gathering held right here at The Brook on February 10th at 7:00pm. We will serve dessert and drinks. We are working on child care. This will be a time for you to hear the entire story and how you can partner with us in planting this new church. Our desire is that every one of you will be at the Vision Gathering just to learn, know, and understand more about planting and what we will be doing.
We hope each of you know how much we love and care about you. You are all so special to us. We are excited about what the future holds for this new church plant but we are just as excited about what God holds in store for The Brook. This kingdom of God is on the move and this is just one reminder to Satan that his time is drawing near. I want to leave you with one of my favorite passages of scripture. Never forget these words of Jesus to Peter.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.