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Transitions: Our Family’s Future

BannerIt’s been some time since I’ve blogged at all, let alone share any updates. Life has been a bit on the crazy side, and it’s been difficult to do anything beyond what I must do each day.

Since June of 2014, our family has ministered at Morning Star Church in Rockford, IL, where I’ve served as lead pastor. It has been an amazing joy to serve the Lord in Rockford. Hebrews 13:17 tells the church to allow leaders to serve with joy, not with groaning. Serving at Morning Star has been so much joy. What an amazing gift.

Some of our favorite things about Rockford:

  • Morning Star Church (it’s hard to put into words what a gift Morning Star has been to us)
  • The people (such a welcoming community, and we’ve made such dear friends inside and outside our church family)
  • Our home (God gave us a beautiful home in an amazing neighborhood, right by the Rock River)
  • Anderson Japanese Gardens (a Rockford gem)
  • Beef-a-Roo (if you don’t know Rockford, you won’t get it, but just trust us)

Yesterday was our final day at Morning Star. We are headed to serve at Ashley River Baptist Church in Charleston, SC, where I’ll be senior pastor. The Lord has answered so many specific prayers and directed in remarkable ways to bring us to this point. We are so thankful for the Lord’s leading and pumped to serve in a congregation and community to which God has so clearly led us. He’s already begun to give us good relationships there and answered our prayers for a home that would allow our family to love and serve our church and community. Ashley River, we’re thankful for you and looking forward to serving together.

So, Rockford, goodbye. It has been sweet. Charleston, look out—here we come!

Photo Credit: Figment Photography

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Transition to Morning Star Church

The last several months have been months of transition for us, as we have prayed about clear direction on next steps in life and ministry. We praise God for His kind hand in leading us to Morning Star Church in Rockford, IL. We look forward to serving them. Our transition period will be a couple of months, and we’d greatly appreciate your prayers for us and for the church. 

Here’s a letter we wrote to the church this week:

Dear Brothers & Sisters at Morning Star,

Thank you for your prayers and for the time you dedicated to getting to know us and letting us get to know you. We are excited to accept your call to serve as the next lead/teaching pastor of your body. We have sought God’s face in this decision along with you, and we have clearly seen His hand leading us to Morning Star Church.

As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision, as it means leaving people that we know well and love deeply. The good thing about the pain of saying goodbye is that it means we have loved and been loved. And we have also felt the Lord placing a deep love in our hearts for you. We have seen the Lord calling us to love and shepherd the church of God at Morning Star … that’s the joy before us.

One of our draws to Morning Star is the need of our hearts to receive care, as well as give it. We feel that Morning Star is a place where that will be true … where we will be built up in love because of the body of Christ around us. So, God is calling us to a place, but we feel most strongly His call to a people … to you. We love you. I love you and want to be your shepherd.

More than any other factor, God used the knitting of our hearts to the people who are Morning Star Church to draw us here. We are excited to get here and excited to know you better. I pray that God makes me a faithful shepherd who loves, leads, and serves the sheep, and I beg your prayers in my behalf and in behalf of my family.

The next several weeks will be emotional ones, as we leave dear friends and family. But we are excited to follow the Lord and excited to love and be loved by the body of Christ at Morning Star.

See you soon.

Grace to you, my brothers and sisters.

Joshua (for Liz too)