Have fun with this mini-novel! I want to share as much information with you on everything that we know up to this point about ours and New Hope’s transition.
So, where will you be going?
I know you hate this: BUT WE STILL DON’T HAVE A PLACE, a JOB, not even an INTERVIEW! Sorry. And for those leaders checking in…YES, WE WILL STILL BE COMMITTED TO SMALL TOWN MINISTRY wherever we end up! There are a ton of small towns under 75K around the areas that we are considering. That is a huge part of our calling.
Didn’t you go out west for a job interview or something?
NO. We went out there to talk to pastors and church planters about the region. To put our feet on the soil and PRAY.
What cities are you focused on?
We are still focused on the cities, suburbs and areas around Salt Lake City, UT and Denver, CO. (read the full vision points in the earlier posts from last week) And YES, to be fully honest, we are leaning toward 1 of those areas. Watch for updates coming soon!
Is the Rocky Mountain Region the Region that you will be going too?
I can say a definite YES! The lack of churches, planters, and cooperation startle us. The need is OVERWHELMING. Refer to the earlier posts for more details.
Were you really chased by a mountain lion while finding a restroom in the national forest behind a tree?
NO. If so, I would have a nice pair of mountain lion slippers.
Has this been hard on you guys?
I can’t even describe how hard. Our life, friends, family, and church and people we love are here. But, just as Abraham when he was asked to sacrifice and be obedient, so we must as well. We might not LIKE it, but we are willing to be obedient! Pray for all of us (Tiffany, Christian, Grace and Joi) during this tough time in our lives.
We also know that it has been hard for many of you. Understanding the will of God is not always an easy thing to accomplish. As we seek HIS will and hear from HIM, it makes it much clearer, though not always easier!
We resonate with those of you who feel this pain of our departure, because it is just as hard on us. But obedience is never guaranteed to be easy, but it is promised to be rewarded!
So…you aren’t happy about this?
God’s call isn’t always exactly what we think or thought theyWe are JOYFUL to answer the call, but happiness is not required in Scripture. Being joyful in all things and OBEDIENT is the key whether it is fun or not! We are excited about the work of God in our lives and in those we will reach. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt or be hard!
What is happening at New Hope right now?
The Elder’s met and have laid out their requested transition plan to me. Though we had recommended a longer transition through the end of the school year, we also understand that the elder’s seek what is best for the church at this time. I accepted the plan with submission to the authority that is over my life. (So yes, I do try to practice what I preach!)
What an amazing group of Elder’s we have at New Hope. That is one of the reasons I knew that we were leaving New Hope in great leadership hands! Tough decisions handled with grace is the key to taking ground now and in the years to come!
What are the specific plans?
The Elder’s met last week to make decisions on the transition plans that we will put in place. The Elder’s have requested for the health of the staff and church that Pastor Jeff take the interim role at New Hope and that I turn over complete control of day to day operations to him effective immediately. We look forward to the Elder’s and church undergoing the search process for the next Lead Pastor at New Hope. God is beginning to stir in the heart of someone out there a crazy call like what happened to me, to come to New Hope. (I just pray for your sakes that they leave the horse manure at home on Christmas next year.)
They have asked that I preach a few more times in the next couple of months, but that for the sake of the transition that I not work at the church on a day to day basis any longer as Pastor Jeff assumes my role with the exception of teaching on those occasions. They feel this best for the staff, church and vision that this clean break in transition occur.
We fully accept what the Elder’s feel is best, as I have asked that they take the lead in this transition from here on out. We know that they have heard from the Lord and as we are called to do, I now become fully submissive to the elder’s, staff and team that are in place at New Hope.
God must have something far ahead of our schedule and planning!
How will you and your family be taken care of?
Major highlights include that the Elder’s have given me 8 weeks of pay beginning February 1, and we are excited that they will be taking a seed money offering for us to make the transition into our next ministry frontier (that will be a HUGE part of our transition funding). They have also offered to continue our health insurance through May, and we all know that I need that
What if you haven’t found a job in the next 10 weeks?
Anyone looking for a former cop turned preacher for some work? Bible in one hand, Glock in the other?
Unfortunately, due to the announcement being leaked [oops, lesson learned there!] before we had secured any sort of direction, funding or job, we had to announce God’s plans in our lives prematurely. Of course, this has made us have to step up aggressively to seek the next move of God, but we will still be patient (not my strong suit, but I am doing amazing in this at the moment) this is a HUGE decision that we want to wait fully on God for.
We have begun now aggressively exploring opportunities that would fill the gap. Church planting is very different from the traditional job that you walk into. It starts with nothing, and you build it up piece by piece as we did at NH! We were blessed to find some funding help from an outside organization for our vision trip last week. It truly is a walk into the great unknown!
Pray that as we haven’t had any official interviews or anything at this point, that we will find employment to fill the gap until the direction is clear! We will need something in 9 weeks, and I do know that God will lead us to something perfect in HIS plan!
How can YOU personally help?
Thanks for asking PRAY! Please pray for us. Here are some beginner requests:
Pray for our family as we seek employment much sooner than we had anticipated. Pray for our kids as we probably will have to transition them in the middle of the school year to a short term location and then on to wherever our long term plans are. (2 school moves in 1 year could be very tough).
Help market our houses! (We own a couple of properties and NO, we are making NO money off of them…trust me! They were LONG TERM investments that we will LOSE money on due to this wonderful economy.) Pray for a miracle, that we might just BREAK EVEN and carry NO DEBT with us! That would be a miracle for us. [Pre-economic collapse, we would have made around $40,000 on the sale of all properties, now we are facing a loss of around $50,000] Ouch! Miracles can happen, and we believe that they still happen! Come on!
We have 2 properties in Ashland. *One is a totally remodeled duplex. Both are 3 BR units. And have always been easy to rent due to being 3 BR.
*The other is a totally remodeled 2,000+ sq. ft. new, contemporary house on 1+ acre east of town that is for rent, lease to own or for sale.
The other 3 properties are in Loudonville. All are for sale.
*One is a very cute 2-3 BR remodeled house on North Adams St. right around the corner from our current house.
*The other one is a remodeled duplex. Both are 3 BR units. Again, very easy to rent and establish some cash flow due to them being 3 BR.
Of course the last one is our personal home in town that is simply an amazing place that many of you at New Hope were so gracious to help remodel for us several years ago! THANK YOU AGAIN!
If you are interested in some long term investments on the duplexes (there is cash flow on both) or one of the 3 other personal family houses, please e-mail me anytime. [email@example.com]
Of course, to make money in real estate, you must buy low! Well, I can tell you that prices have never been better of course! Help spread the word…that would be a huge blessing to get the word out for us, or maybe the word is for you to purchase one.
What else can we do?
Of course, you can be a blessing in the seed money offering coming next month at New Hope, or if outside New Hope, we do have a paypal account that is operational.
You can be a part of our month to month support team. We will be raising (as we did when we started New Hope) funds to support the church plant for 3 years. The needs are large, but just as God provided when we started New Hope, everyone playing a part will help us tap into a region that desperately needs Christ! I will send out more on that later.
We are praying that some of you will also catch some fire, passion and the call of God to help plant new churches in a tough area. We have already had people say they will commit to joining the team that will go out and plant this new work! We are overwhelmed with joy and passion that some of you will HEAR THE CALL as well!
We will share more details about it in the weeks to come. We hope in the next 8 weeks to have definite plans, vision and direction so we can share it specifically with those in the church and those outside who desire to see God’s work go into a very rocky area where churches are needed desperately.
The overview is this: Just like our family, you would sell your house, find a new job (thank God that the economy is somewhat better there), and give your passion and vision to seeing a new church established that will start other churches in the region! What a step of faith that some are taking already. Maybe after hearing the vision of where we will all be going, you will catch the same calling? We will be hosting informational meetings in the weeks ahead for those interested in hearing more about this opportunity and calling. Watch for details.
This is too long already, but we wanted to give you an overview of where we are right now. As I said, due to the premature nature of the announcement, we are just now trying to get our bearings in all of this and will be trusting God for the rest!
I hope to let everyone know next week about the city we will be focusing on and the next steps as our entire family prays about this next venture.
I want to say THANK YOU in advance for all of the prayers, support and love that I know you will give to use during this challenging, yet JOYFUL time as we follow our God’s lead! This place has always been so good to us, and we are happy that we can make a wonderful transition that we and the Elder’s are happy about that will put New Hope in a place to continue to reach out to the communities we minister in!
This is just but 1 chapter in this amazing story called New Hope. The best is yet to come because God is the AUTHOR of the book, and we are all the players that he writes an amazing part for us to live out along the journey. Please LISTEN to HIS voice and play the part HE is CALLING YOU to play!