Tonight after the service at Imago Christi, I read this brief letter to the congregation:
It has been a blessing to be at Imago Christi this year, to serve as an elder and as worship leader, and to help plan and organize a church in its very first days of existence. It is therefore with sadness tonight that I come to tell you that my family and I will be leaving Imago Christi Church as of the end of this month.
Why are we leaving? Like any decision, there are a multitude of reasons each having a small part in the big decision. Primarily, though, it comes down to personal and family needs, and the conviction that I need to reprioritize my life with family in mind first. Some have already asked “well, can’t you stay at Imago and just reduce your responsibilities?” and believe me, we have wrestled long and hard with that question. I have had something of a pattern of this my past several years in ministry – needing to recalibrate, trying to reduce, finding it impossible to effect permanent change. It is that history, as much as anything, that has convinced me (and Becky, too) that bigger change is necessary.
In case I haven’t been clear about it already, this isn’t a case of anyone being forced to leave or asked to leave or pushed out – quite the opposite, I have been pleaded with at length to stay. We are still very much behind the mission of Imago Christi, and our prayers go with you. I know that some of you do not or will not understand quite why we made this decision. And that’s OK. If you have questions feel free to talk to me afterwards. But please know that we have prayed much about this, and really feel like we are following God’s leading here. So we go. And so we trust, and pray that you will, too, that God is at work in this, both for our family, and for Imago Christi as a church body.
This has been a very difficult decision for us over the past couple of months. In the end, though, we feel like this is where God is leading us – to make a break and try and re-form things in a way that works better for our family. We don’t know where we’ll end up for church, but we’ll be looking around. That’ll feel weird after nearly 10 years with mostly the same folks at Noelridge and Imago.
One day at a time.