Since I’ve moved from the mountains to flat land, I’ve changed my blog to Surf Pastor. You can read it here: www.surfpastor.com
Yesterday at Life Church Franklin I shared with the church that my family and I will be moving to Orlando, Florida to start a new campus for Real Life Church. This is a exciting and terrifying decision for our family, but we know that God has called us. Because so many people are asking I thought I would share some of our thoughts in leaving Franklin and moving to Orlando.
For several months Laurel and I have felt God asking us to pray some very specific prayers. As we prayed God led us to Real Life Church based out of Clermont, Florida. In the midst of it we never even looked at a job posting site at any church, even this one. But we felt a strange ( in a good way!) connection with RL right away through some relationships with their staff. As we talked and shared we realized their current vision and direction for the church was exactly where God had us. It was really a perfect fit. We felt so called and connected to RL Church that I even turned down unsolicited job interviews with another really great church. We knew this was our calling for a new season of ministry.
As we knew God was calling us we had the stomach churning realization that we would be leaving the church and home we love and have called home for so long. 4 1/2 years ago we started Life Church Franklin not having a clue at all that God was going to do. We’ve seen tons of people give their lives to Christ and be baptized; we’ve seen families and marriages restored; we’ve see the prodigals come home; we seen God heal people emotionally and physically and ALL by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Leaving all of this was one of the toughest things Laurel and I have ever had to do, but we know this is the next step in our journey and that God was just asking us to be obedient to his calling.
Over the next couple months I will be transitioning out as Lead Pastor of Life Church into my Campus Pastor role at Real Life Church. The elders of Life Church and I are committed to prayerfully finding the right pastor to lead our church into this new season. I believe God has already called this pastor and it’s up to us to let God guide us to him. We have an amazingly healthy and vibrant church. I know many pastors would love to be a part of such a great church.
Some people will read this and want there to be some kind of hidden story or gossip. Sorry to leave you hanging, but there’s nothing more to it. God has called us and we must be obedient to go. After talking with so many at Life Church I’m encouraged to know once again that our church really takes “being the church” serious. Everyone is committed to going forward and staying with our vision to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. I know God will honor our church’s desire to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disicples. I can’t wait to hear all the stories of God’s work and faithfulness through the lives of Life Church in the days, months and years to come.
If I can ask something of you it would be to pray for my family in this transition. Laurel, myself and the kids are excited and sad, but we know it will be an amazing journey. Pray for Life Church and the Franklin area. There are still tons of people who don’t know Christ and don’t feel welcomed into most churches in this area. We want Life Church to remain that place where everyone can bring their “junk” and let Jesus bring the life change. Pray for the lives of the people who will continue to be impacted through the ministry of Life Church. Pray for the new pastor of Life Church and his family when God makes it clear who that person is.
Lastly, thank you to all my friends and family for all your love, support and prayers. Now, we go forward and trust in all that God is and will do in the days to come.
Ever thought about
using an iPad to preach and during your week as a pastor? Check out this post from Zak White about how he successfully using his iPad on Sundays and during the week.
I’ve been using my iPad more and more. I’ve used it a few times to preach but haven’t gotten comfortable with it yet. I’m going to use some of Zaks tips to try it next time.
Here’s a couple suggestions that help me when I meet with people and have tough conversations dealing with life and conflict issues:
- Pray – If you know you’re going into a tough conversation spend some time in prayer
- Listen – If the person has something to say just shut up and listen.
- Take notes – write down what the person is saying and your thoughts as well so you can communicate well.
- Stay calm – Don’t act out in anger. Stay calm.
- Say what needs to be said – Don’t drag it out. Say what you respectfully and gracefully need to say to someone and move forward.
Tough conversations are no fun. I’ve had plenty in the last 4 1/2 years of church planting and plan on having more as the months and years go by. It’s not fun, by is necessary in leading to have these conversations. You won’t get it perfect every time, but if you’re prepared and speaking in love things will always go better.
We recently moved into a 15,000 square foot meeting space in Franklin, NC that we renovated for an auditorium and LifeKIDS area. My first tip in renovating any space is get an experienced architect to help you look at the space and identify any and all needs that come with an “assembly” space. The North Carolina code for assembly spaces is very specfifc. I would imagine its the same in all states as well.
A couple areas that an experienced architect will be able to help with is:
- Is there enough parking?
- Are the bathrooms adequate or need upgraded, enlarged?
- What fire safety issues are there that need resolved?
- Do you need or is there adequate fire sprinkle system in place?
There really a whole list of things that an experienced church architect can address and design for. I’ve done a small project without one, but I’d never do the one we recently renovated without the use of one.
Take some time. Research and talk to different firms. It’s worth the time and cost.
Some of you know that over the last 4 months my church (Life Church Franklin) has been renovating a space of 15,000 square feet for permanent room in Franklin. I learned a lot about the process that I will be sharing here of the coming posts, but I wanted to give a quick look at the actually process in video.
All 15,000 square feet are for auditorium and LifeKIDS. We kept our offices downtown so we could maximize the new space for meeting Sundays and what not.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’m really proud of my team and our volunteers for making this happen.
It’s tempting to try and compartmentalize your life as a leader and pastor. I’m guilty of it. But, I’m thankful to God for teaching me what “all in” really is. I’m bringing it all to Him. I love how Brennan Manning says it here:
“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, ‘A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.’” (Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel)
This past weekend we moved our 4 1/2 year old church into a 15,000 square foot permanent facility. It’s quite a relief to be done with the construction and inspections and prep work, but it’s more exciting about what God will do next.
Ive taken a break from blogging lately to focus on finishing this building project but i look forward to sharing my experiences and lessons learned in the process for all the small to medium size churches out there where we were and are now.
I’ve got pictures, ideas and thoughts to come. So, let’s go….
This post from Perry Noble from Newspring Church is spot on about the price you will pay as a pastor and leader. Read it here.