(May 7th) This isn’t goodbye…

It was announced last Wednesday and again on Sunday, but it feels right to post something on the website about it too…

Our family is leaving Guy.

We have accepted an opportunity to move to Batesville to work with the North Heights congregation and will be joining their ministry sometime in July. I can’t emphasize enough how difficult and prayer-filled this decision was. When our family came to Guy seven years ago, we did so without any intentions of ever leaving. Throughout our time here, that never changed; we never sought another work or looked to leave. We have grown together as a congregation, both in number and in grace, in fellowship and friendship, and those were not blessings we were eager to walk away from.

And yet we are leaving; why?

Every preacher is different and I can’t speak to the way other preachers go about their “careers” as pulpit-ministers; I can only talk about my own thought process. For me, it has never been about status or money or prominence or congregation size or anything else like that. Over the past fifteen years I’ve “changed jobs” three times (leaving the work at Forest Hill in Memphis for Higden, leaving Higden for Guy, and now leaving Guy for North Heights), and that average of moving every five years is still too much for my taste. But every move we’ve made we’ve made because we thought it was the right thing to do, not just for ourselves but for the kingdom we labor in and for the King we serve.

Some preachers use terms like “moving up” or “moving down” but for us it’s always been about doing the work we’ve been put here to do; we just want to be wherever our work can do the most good. So we’re not moving up or moving down; we’re just moving on.

Announcing that you’re leaving is always tough because it always seems like a sudden decision to everyone else. Because of the nature of these things, you can’t really say anything until you have something to say. But Lauren and I had plenty of time to talk and pray and decide if this was the right thing to do; not just leaving Guy, but going to Batesville. We think it is the right thing to do. A lot prayer was done. A lot of homework too. And as it was when we left for Higden, and then left for Guy, this just feels like the right move at the right time.

I think it was Providence that lead us to Higden, Providence that lead us to Guy, and Providence that’s leading us to North Heights.

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to have been your preacher all these years. I’m overjoyed to see how we’ve grown together over the years. I’m immensely sad (in a selfish way) that I won’t get to be here to be part of the continued growth and success that you’ll have under your next preacher (and judging by how many preachers have expressed interest in the work here, I’ve no doubt you will select a man hungry to help you continue to grow).

Please pray for our family as we go through this transition period. We love you all very much. We’re thankful for all the warm words we’ve already received from many of you. Almost everyone has been so kind and supportive and that’s really all you can ask for during times like this. I’m not going to say goodbye since I’ve not left yet, and I certainly won’t say I’ll miss you, because we will see each other too much to miss. So I’ll just say God bless you all and leave it at that.

God bless you all.

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