It’s official. This Summer I’m getting married and moving into a new season. I’ll also be leaving my position at CrossWinds Church. Leaving a ministry job is, to say the least, different than leaving any other type of job. It’s heartbreaking and exciting, delicate and severe, nerve-wracking and liberating all at the same time. The hard part is that I’m leaving my friends and family – people and relationships that I’ve loved more than I can describe. The freeing part is that we’re being forced to trust God. Trust that he will take care of his church and trust that he will provide for us. I’ve cried many a tear and had numerous sleepless nights mulling over and reflecting on all that my departure means. What it means for students, what it means for my family, and what it means me personally. As a Pastor, I’m leaving the people I’m called to love and trusting them into God’s care – something that is much easier said than done. As a man, I’m leaving the place that brought me so much. I hope and pray I can leave well and offer a goodbye worthy of how important this place has been to me and how grateful I am.
Here is a copy of my “official” goodbye letter:
Dear CrossWinds and STUFF Family,
It is with joyful excitement and tearful sadness that I am writing this letter. This will be my last school year as Middle School Director at CrossWinds Church. As you may know, this Summer I’m getting married to the beautiful Alie Renton, truly, a blessing that I’m undeserving of. As Alie and I prayed about what was next for us and where God might be leading us, we saw doors open in Southern California. Alie, a licensed nurse, was offered a position at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Hollywood, and I was accepted to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. While the possibility of pursuing ministry further and getting a seminary education greatly excites me, it also deeply saddens me because moving to Southern California means that Alie and I will be leaving our friends, family, and CrossWinds. After countless conversations, prayers, and advice, Alie and I feel strongly that Southern California is indeed where God is calling us. We’ll be moving down after the wedding in July.
For me this decision was tremendously difficult. CrossWinds has been my church home for the past 14 years. The memories, lessons, experiences, and friendships that God has blessed me with will be cherished for the rest of my life. My time as the Middle School Pastor has grown me in so many ways that I cannot possibly begin to catalog. For those things and so much more, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all the students who I was able to encourage and pastor, you are beautiful. Thank you to all of our staff who helped love our students, you are inspiring. Thank you to the families who supported our program and made it was it is. And thank you CrossWinds for providing me the opportunity to be a part of something so special. I am truly proud of the program and the relationships that I’ve been blessed to be a part of and I can’t possibly articulate just how grateful I am.
As soon as a decision was made I notified the Student Ministry Pastor, Mike Mason, and Executive Pastor, Chris Coli. While they were both sad to see me go, they understood and were completely supportive of Alie and I. For the last few months we’ve been conducting a nationwide search for the next Middle School Director. In the last few weeks we’ve offered the position to our top choice. We’re excited for you to meet Les Lederman, a Moody Bible College student (Chicago), who’s tremendously talented, experienced, and passionate about student ministry. Les and I will be working side by side for a few weeks as he gets acclimated with CrossWinds and STUFF. Additionally, our amazing team of interns and volunteers will do an awesome job during the transition. Would you please offer your total support of both Les and STUFF as we move forward to what God has next?
Over the next few weeks I will be spending a lot of time with students, parents, and leaders expressing my gratitude for their friendships. If you’d like to grab coffee or if you have any questions about what’s next for STUFF or myself I’d be glad to chat. Feel free to email, facebook, or call me.
Again, as sad as I am to say goodbye, I’m also deeply confident that God has something amazing in store for the future of CrossWinds and STUFF.
CrossWinds Church / Middle School Pastor
925 560 3849