Last week in my Sunday sermon, I announced that I would be stepping down as the pastor of Community Fellowship sometime in July, 2014. We have begun a search process for a new pastor and are prayerfully seeking God’s guidance and direction in the process. We have adopted Jeremiah 29:11 as our verse for the year and our theme is Present Calling/Future Hope. I am very excited about the future of this church. I am also looking forward to this year here; although it will be transitional, there are some very exciting ministry initiatives that will be taking place.
Many have asked what I will be doing next and whether we will be staying around the Chicago area or heading back to New England. I would say that the theme for our church year is also an appropriate theme for me—Present Calling/Future Hope. I have a present responsibility to shepherd a wonderful, vibrant congregation that I love. I also have confidence that God will continue to find me useful and to lead me to another ministry opportunity.
Since some of you are connected in high places and might be able to find a job for me somewhere, I thought I’d share with you some of my past experience. I worked as a lumberjack for a while, but just couldn’t hack it, so they gave me the axe. Then I moved to an inside job working in an orange juice factory, but got canned because I couldn’t concentrate; I was always thinking about theology. Next I tried working for Midas Muffler, but found the work too exhausting. I had read that DL Moody was converted in a Boston shoe store, so I worked in a shoe factory and found that I just didn’t fit with the job. I was so desperate that I got a summer job working for a pool company, but even that job was too draining. I even considered working at Dunkin Donuts, but knew it would be a grind. Finally I went back to school to become a historian, but after the first semester I realized there was no future in it.
Then I became a pastor—ah, I love it! In spite of all my varied experience in the past, this was a place in the universe for me. All these jobs I got paid for; being a pastor was what I was made for. It is not the easiest job in the world, but neither is working in an orange juice or shoe factory. The issue is one of calling. I believe that the one whom God calls will be sustained. My life verse for ministry is 1 Thess 5:24; “The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”
Many of my readers do not know me, but I would sincerely ask those who are praying people to pray for Community Fellowship Church in its pastoral search during this year of transition. I would also ask that you would pray for my wife and me as we seek direction for the next chapter in our lives. Thank-you.