A Good-Bye Letter
The following is a letter I wrote to my home church and the church God has allowed me to pastor for the past seven years. It was published in the morning bulletin and on our church’s online community board called The City:
Good morning Church.
This morning I will preach the 328th Sunday morning sermon since coming to serve as your pastor on January 1, 2006. I began my tenure as your pastor by preaching a series from the book of Nehemiah called Beginnings. I will conclude my preaching ministry with you this morning with a final sermon from the last chapter of the book of Daniel called, The End. I never planned it to play out this way, it just has. Very much like life. There are beginnings and endings. Starts and stops. And between one end and another beginning there is transition. Just as my own life and ministry is transitioning, so too, is the life of this great church. I knew I’d never stay with you forever. No pastor does. For one, we are mortal and age will get us all eventually. And then I always knew that a time might come when God would simply say, “It’s time.” I never knew when that time would come. I had personally hoped to serve as your pastor for 10 years or more. But seven seems to be the number that God had in mind. And boy, what a seven years it has been. God has taken us together on a remarkable journey. I leave you now, knowing that my home church is better off than when I arrived. Not because of me alone, and not even because of all of us together, but because of this one thing…this one person, Jesus Christ. When a people of God, bow to the will of God, and act in obedience to God, according to the Word of God…then they WILL experience the blessing of God. That, my dear church, is the season we have enjoyed together.
And so it is time for me to go. This church is 78+ years old and going strong. It had many fine pastors before me and it will have many fine pastors after me. The next man that God brings to you will be a God called servant. He will be similar to me in ways and wholly different in other ways. That’s okay. It’s time for new leadership because its time for a new season at Grand. I exhort you to love your new pastor. Love his family. Pray for him. Encourage him. Hug him. Support him.
You are the finest of churches. I will always thank God upon remembrance of you… which will be often.