A Very Fond Farewell

I’ve been at HVC almost two years now. One of the first things God showed me when arrived was a picture (or impression) of a tacking sailboat. If you have ever been sailing, you know that you have to zigzag. As you switch directions there’s a moment where you rely on your old momentum while you adjust the sails before the wind catches again. When the wind fills the sails, you immediately feel the thrust forward. At the time I said, “hang on to your seats!” I believe two years ago we were trying to trim the sales to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit, and since then we’ve felt him pulling us. We have a lot to celebrate and also a lot to look forward to.

My wife and I personally came here because we felt that God was calling us to Heartland. The language God gave us was that he was calling us “through” if not “to” Iowa and this church.

I have some big news that I shared on Sunday. It’s happy-sad news. I have accepted a position at a vineyard church in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. If things go as we hope, it will be as part of a transition plan to become the lead pastor there. We’ll be moving at the end of the summer, but remain here to serve until virtually the day we move. This is probably a shock to many of you. It was a shock to us as well. We expected to stay much longer than we have. In fact, we declined the interview at that church several times before going to visit. But God kept on us, and when we finally went out to visit at the beginning of May we had a strong sense that God was calling us there. In the month that followed, he continued to nudge us with every conversation and prayer time.

It’s happy news because we feel like we’re being obedient to God and trust that he desires our good in all things. We always want to be openhanded to what God is calling us to and to be up for any adventure. It’s an incredible opportunity that we’re truly looking forward to. Allison and I look forward to moving back into a bigger metropolitan area. It’s a context where cultural Christianity is dead, and we’ve always wanted to serve as a missionary to a place like that. It’s sad, of course because we love this church…and we’ll miss you. This church is special! It’s a place where we let anybody in, and that’s rare.

Dan has shown me incredible grace and I’ve learned more than I could have ever expected during my time here.

I will be around through August 14. I want to make myself available if you have any questions. Satan would like nothing more than to get into this and spin this into something it’s not. Please don’t let him!

Thanks so much for the opportunities I’ve had these last two years to serve alongside you and Advance the kingdom of God with you!