Having to make a choice between staying at Shepherd’s Gate or going to serve at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Tempe, AZ has been one of the most trying and emotional journeys of our lives. Through weeks of prayer and seeking God, Hannah and I finally feel that God has led us to a decision and a peace surrounding it. We believe that God is challenging our family to take a leap of faith and move to Arizona.
In light of this, there are a couple of things I would like you to know.
We have shed many tears along the way as we slowly realized what God was up to. Leaving our church is more than just leaving a job. It’s leaving our family, people that we deeply love and care for. You have given us more than we ever could have asked for. I can honestly say that I am a better father to my children and husband to my wife because of the time I have spent here. You’ve taught me humility and patience in leadership. Getting to listen to your voices praising God was a weekly blessing that I will never forget. For all of these things and so much more I’m eternally grateful.
We are not running “from” something, we are running “to” something. We whole heartedly support and believe in the mission, vision, and values of Shepherd’s Gate. This church is blessed to have such a grace filled, gospel centered, and unified staff. This is a testament to the leadership of Pastor Jon. I will always cherish serving with Jon, our staff, and all of the many volunteers who make this place such a great church. Though leaving is painful, we are excited to see what God is going to do through our family and Gethsemane as we reach out to the people of the Phoenix area with the Gospel.
As we make this transition, please join us in praying for Shepherd’s Gate, Gethsemane, and our family. As we look to the future, I echo the words of the Apostle Paul in saying:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Thank you for your friendship, love, and support. You have forever impacted our family.