Thursday, March 13, 2014

a time of change

Today my pastor announced his departure to our congregation.  Again I cried.

His departure is sad to me on many levels, and yet I ABSOLUTELY Rejoice with he and his family!

I am sad personally because I have been a friend of he and his family since we were kids in school.  He is younger than I so I've always felt as if he were my younger brother.

I remember hanging out with his sister in high school when he was a pesky little kid running around, and hanging upside-down in trees!

I remember his family throwing Ron and I a wedding shower.

I remember how proud his parents were of him and how they adored his wife Michelle.  I remember falling in love with his beautiful wife Michelle - she has become an irreplaceable friend for life.

I remember when he came back to town for his father's funeral - just as he was going into ministry.

I remember the crazy things we tried for God in the early years of Crossroads.

I remember how we all laughed about the fun and the failures of some of our ideas.

I remember how much I learned from him.

I remember how we celebrated new lives in Christ and first steps of maturity.

I remember how we cried as we launched amazing new projects and as our congregation rose to the challenge of rescuing our precious Cambodian orphans - far exceeding our imaginations.

And now I'll always remember this day - when he announced his calling away from us.  He's always been on my prayer list - and there he will remain with additional vigor praying the Lord will accomplish unbelievable things for eternity!  And waiting on the Lord to reveal who my next pastor will be.

Thank you Pastor Tim and Michelle!

A Message from my Pastor Tim Armstrong:

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Proverbs 16:9 ESV

When Michelle and I launched the church in 1996 our expectations were to remain here in Mansfield for the entirety of our ministry lives.  For the past eighteen years we have served with that assumption.  However, as Proverbs 16:9 states, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” So it is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you my time at Crossroads is drawing to an unexpected close.

After many months of prayer and diligently seeking the Lord’s will, we have become convinced that God is calling us to another ministry.  Let me assure you that our decision does not come from any discontent with the ministry, staff, leadership or you, the congregation of Crossroads.  We love you and the entire church body and consider you our family.  Our decision, albeit very difficult, is purely a response of obedience to follow the Lord’s calling.

Next month, following our Easter services, I will be candidating for the position of Senior Pastor at The Chapel in Akron, Ohio. We feel amazingly humbled to be asked to lead a church with such a rich history of proclaiming the Gospel to Ohio and the world.

I firmly believe that as the Lord is calling our family to Akron. He is at the same time preparing Crossroads for this time of transition.  We serve a sovereign and mighty God whose ways are often mysterious to us at the time but when ultimately revealed always prove to be the best for our growth and dependence upon Him.

Mike Sloan, the Elder Board Chairman, and the Crossroads leadership are already organizing to lead the church through this transition.  They are committed to finding a passionate teacher of God’s Word who will lead the church forward in its unchanging mission.  Mike and I will provide further details at the close of this next weekend’s service on March 15th and 16th.

I want to close by encouraging you in three ways.  First, let this time of change be the catalyst for deep and dependent prayer.  Pray for all aspects of Crossroads.  Pray for its next Senior Pastor.  Pray that God will use this in unimaginable ways to deepen and strengthen the faith of God’s people.  Second, do not fall to the temptations of fear, doubt and panic.  Those are emotions the enemy will use to splinter the church.  Remember, the Lord said, “I will build my church”  (Matthew 16:18).  Crossroads is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ and will continue to be so.  Third, anticipate great things.  This will be an exciting time as you wait on the Lord.  More than any other time, the church will need your support.  Continue to faithfully participate on Sunday, give generously and serve enthusiastically.

As you might imagine, this is an emotional time for our family, as we know it is for you.  We have been praying for you diligently and covet your prayers for us as well.

In Him,

Tim Armstrong
Senior Pastor, Crossroads Community Church

2 comments: said...

In the words of Lori Biddle, STOP IT! You are going to make me cry again.

Little brother...Big Sister. Absolutely! That will not change.

Unknown said...

Wow! This is Powerful, Only God could do this, A Time of Change. And I believe Tim Armstrong walks in that type of Authority.