I will be the senior pastor at University Reformed Church for a few more days.
This Sunday I will preach one last time as an installed pastor at URC. Come Monday morning I will be the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina.
Which has me thinking about Ecclesiastes 3. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (v. 1). A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to celebrate. A time for hellos, and a time for goodbyes.
I am excited for the next chapter of ministry. Everyone from Christ Covenant has been exceedingly helpful and kind in this transition time. I pray for God’s help to preach and lead and serve and love well in the months and years ahead.
But until June 19, I am the pastor of University Reformed Church, and I want the dear saints in East Lansing to know how grateful I am to have been their under-shepherd for the last 13 years. I still have one more sermon to give on Sunday morning and then a few final remarks to share on Sunday evening. What I want to say in this public forum is simply “thank you.”
Thank you for taking a chance on a 26-year-old associate pastor with no senior pastor experience.
Thank you for always being more concerned about substance than style.
Thank you for always being interested in college students and internationals.
Thank you for coming out for the monthly prayer service and loving it.
Thank you for loving most the sermons that centered most squarely on the gospel.
Thank you for following along in your Bibles.
Thank you for using the hymnal.
Thank you for singing with gusto.
Thank you for generously supporting missionaries, capital campaigns, special projects, and the general budget.
Thank you for quietly and consistently replenishing the diaconate fund, whether anyone asked you to or not.
Thank you for no-drama congregational meetings.
Thank you for elders who work hard and pray hard.
Thank you for a diaconate that was eager to serve.
Thank you for a staff that could learn together, labor together, and laugh together.
Thank you for a support team full of godly, encouraging men, but not yes-men.
Thank you for letting me lead and keeping me humble.
Thank you for the opportunity to pray for you, marry you, baptize you, and bury your loved ones.
Thank you for loving my wife and kids and letting them be themselves.
Thank you for letting me be my own nerdy, silly, picky self.
Thank you for being hungry for the Word of God.
Thank you for welcoming us into your homes and into your hearts.
Thank you for embracing the call to be plodding visionaries and hugging theologians.
Thank you for praying for your pastor.
Thank you for making Christ your all in all.
Thank you for calling me pastor. These 13 years have been better than you know.