Dearest friends of Harvard Avenue,
I wish I was sitting in your living room right now, eye to eye, heart to heart, to share this news in person. Given the speed of news today, such is not our luxury. With the deepest of mixed emotions, I have accepted a Call to serve as the Lead Minister of Broadway Christian Church in Columbia, Missouri. Tremendous prayer, discernment, and more than a few tears have gone into this decision. Our love for each of you and this sacred gift of ministry at our church has made for the most meaningful decade of our lives. A quick review of ten years leaves us speechless. How can we adequately describe what this time with you has meant to us? We cannot. At least not yet.
As we felt such a Call to Tulsa ten years ago, we feel that same Call to Columbia now. Broadway Christian Church, a church that had my college apartments to one side and my college bank job on the other, is a church that needs those gifts and graces now. Most significantly, perhaps, is a Call we feel to live near our families. Carrie’s mother, three brothers, and their families all live in Columbia and my family lives just a short distance down the road. For twenty years, we’ve missed most every birthday party, family dinner, and the daily gift of our kids growing up with their cousins and family. Given the age of our children, and our parents, it is a gift that this is the time for such a ministerial Call to surface. As exciting as that is for us to imagine, we grieve deeply that it means we will be leaving the ministry we so deeply cherish with each of you.
I could not be more confident in our staff team, our lay leadership, and the strength of our congregation moving ahead. You are healthy, strong, growing and focused. As God is preparing us for a new Call, God will also prepare you for this new season. And surely, God is preparing a new ministerial partner to arrive with new gifts, different strengths, and unique energy. I fully trust God to bless your faith and keep Harvard Avenue growing into her bright future. We will be your greatest cheerleaders!
While this news is fresh and we all need some time to sit with it, I also anticipate a season of sharing together the joy of all we’ve experienced. Our last Sunday serving among you will be July 28. A time of celebrating our ten years together and saying goodbye will occur the evening before. More details will be shared about that as we approach that time.
For now, please know not only our deep love and gratitude for you but even more so the great height and width and breadth and depth of God’s love for us all. God is not done with any of us. Christ, who has led us faithfully this far, will continue to be the One who leads us forward. I trust that truth with my entire being.
With humility, gratitude, and a deeper love than you can know…