Saturday, August 22, 2009
Passing the Baton
"I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved!" So states the U.S. Army's First General Order. It is a principle of service that I have continued to apply beyond military endeavors and which has shaped my attitude towards ministry service since I began following the Lord's calling on my life over 25 years ago. It was in that spirit that 12 years ago, Luz, our girls and I left our beleoved ministry in Cleveland and began our Motown ministry adventure. Our time of ministry here in "The 'D'" has been punctuated by almost every human emotion - joy, sorrow, triumph, disappointment, heartache, victory, doubt and hope. Our family has grown and experienced God's amazing love in abundance all along the way. We have dreamed boldly and we have seen God's faithfulness to us in every situation through which we have traveled and have come away from even the most painful of experiences with a deeper faith in the Lord and a renewed commitment to walk forward in our lives whatever the circumstance.
Nevertheless, as vocational Christian workers, even when we have emotionally felt that we were riding the crest of a wave, we have always endeavored to be sensitive to God's leading and to follow His call wherever it might take us. It is for that reason that after much prayer, contemplation and reflection, we have arrived at the conclusion that the Lord is calling us to pass the baton of leadership at Eastside Community Church to others and to follow His call to Wisconsin. There I will serve on the staff of a wonderful Church and a strong body of Christians dedicated to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment as the Pastor of Outreach. It is my duty in that ministry capacity to lead the congregation in outreach ministries "Here, there and everywhere" in accordance with Acts 1:8 which would include local and International ministries.
It is our sentiment that our work in Eastside has reached its climax and that it is time to allow others to build upon the foundation that the Lord has mercifully allowed us to establish. It is also our belief that our next ministry assignment offers an optimal opportunity for us to put our gifts to use in the most effective way at this time in our lives and at this stage of our ministry experience. The passion and focus that has characterized all of our ministry assignments will continue, it is just the setting and context that will change. Also, the diversity, warmth and heartfelt outreach that have characterized Eastside will also continue and I believe grow as new leadership emerges with a fresh sense of God's purpose and direction for Eastside of Detroit.
I will continue to share my thoughts on faith and life through the vehicle of this Blog. As I continue to share, please keep in mind that the next two months or so will be a time of transition in the ministries we are bridging - much like the passing lane of a relay race where responsibilities for one leg of the race taper off and, as the baton is exchanged, the responsibilities for another leg rev up to full speed.
We ask for your prayers as we seek to follow the Lord where He has led us. Please feel free to let us know how we can be of service to you and encourage you in the faith during this exciting period of our lives. Until next time...