“Why would you leave?”
“What are you thinking?”
“You’re kidding, right?”
Just a few things I’ve heard over the last few weeks from a lot of people. And that’s okay. I asked myself those same exact questions. Why would I leave a fantastic church that has the best people? What in the world would make me think about ever leaving? I thought I was pulling an April Fools on myself.
This is real life. I officially resigned my position as Student Pastor at Second Baptist Church in Clinton, Tennessee. Let’s be real. I’m 23. Fresh out of college. Zero experience. Second Baptist took a leap of faith. I came into a great situation at Second. I did what I knew to do, and God blessed it despite my ignorance at times. Seven months into a growing youth ministry, Sara and I are feeling called away. An unsettling. Why would you leave a church like that? Why would you leave a growing ministry? Why would you leave a student ministry of that size? Why? Why? Why?
The answer that I have come back to over and over again is simply God. I was told by one of the wisest dudes I know that when people challenge a decision you’ve made, it will either cause your decision to crumble beneath you or it will strengthen your decision. Not because of pride or wanting to prove someone wrong. Simply because it’s the decision that God has put in your heart. What in the world are you thinking? Would God move you after just 7 months? Are you sure that’s God or is it just some bad Mexican food?
Here’s what Sara and I are thinking: it wasn't bad Mexican food.
We didn’t eat Mexican for a few days to make sure. We want to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We believe that seeking out him will bring us to where he wants us to be. So, that’s what we did. For weeks. And weeks. We didn’t make a decision based on emotions. We didn’t make a decision based on a timeline. We made a decision based on what we both felt separately that God was telling us to do together. So, you left a great church that gave you health insurance and a chance to come straight out of college into a huge student ministry. Now what?
No health insurance from the church, and no huge student ministry. No problem. Since I surrendered to ministry at age 16, I’ve wanted to plant a church. If you’ve been around me for more than 45 minutes you know that. I believe working for an actual church plant will give me the experience to do just that one day. So, we have moved to Jackson, Tennessee to be a part of SoulQuest Church. It actually turns one year old this Sunday. I will be taking a position as Operations Pastor. That’s a hip new church planting title that basically means I will do everything that the Lead Pastor doesn’t want to do. Just kidding. I am very excited about what this entails. I will be starting the small group ministry for SoulQuest Church. Something I’m very passionate about. I will have the opportunity to speak on Sundays. I will be organizing volunteer teams. I will be creating the smoothest assimilation processes as possible to make taking the next step with Jesus as simple as taking the first. I will be heading up media and graphics. I will also be heading up student ministries. This is a lot, but I’m excited about the challenge of building systems and investing in leaders.
So, to recap:
We left Second because we felt God leading us to do so.
We made our decision apart and together through prayer, fasting, and seeking wise counsel.
We are going to SoulQuest Church to serve on staff as Operations Pastor.
If you'd like, there's a page that you can sign up to be a "partner" of my ministry. Basically, I will keep you posted on everything that's happening in our ministry. If you're interested you can click here.