Dear Good News Church,
Change is hard, even when God is leading the change.
On Sunday morning, August 19, I shared how the Holy Spirit is leading Kerrie and me into a new season with a new direction. The Spirit has made it clear to us that my assignment as lead pastor at Good News Church has come to a finish.
This news may come as a big surprise to you, maybe even a shock. And I can understand why. I’ve been a pastor on staff since 1996 and I began serving as the lead pastor in 2007. Out of our love for God and love for you, we have desired to live out our values of providing long term, stable pastoral leadership these past 22 years. I’ve always told Kerrie as well as our staff, “I will never quit, but I will finish.”
Moses was God’s choice to lead the people of God out of Egypt and toward the promised land. It was an incredible journey filled with miracles and displays of God’s power. But the day came for Moses to finish. Moses had led the people of God as far as he could lead them. God allowed Moses to see the future and the land they were to possess, but God did not allow him to lead the people into it. God was raising up a different leader to lead the way. His name was Joshua.
Like Moses, I know I’ve led you as far as I can lead you. The time has come for us to finish. It’s time for a new leader to lead the church into the future God has planned. I don’t know who that leader is, but God does, and He will reveal him to us. What I do know is this: if I remained as your lead pastor I would be hindering, not facilitating, the church from moving into the season God has called Good News Church into. A season to “Go and Multiply.”
I want to be clear that my resignation is not motivated by pressure from any one person or group of people. I have not been fired. I have not been asked to resign. I’m not leaving because I’ve been offered a bigger and better opportunity. I’m not leaving to plant a church. I have not searched for another job, neither have I been approached about a job or been offered one. I’ve not had a moral failure. I’ve not done anything that would disqualify me from spiritual leadership. I am moved to make this decision with the clear guidance from the Holy Spirit and full support of my wife.
Genesis 12:1 says, The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people and your father’s household, and go to the land I will show you.” In like manner, we are leaving and going, not knowing where we are going to. We are stepping out in faith, following the God we’ve come to know, trust, and follow. Pray for us as we journey to discover our next assignment in God’s Kingdom.
It has been an honor to serve in this calling and capacity as lead pastor these past eleven years. It’s been a joy of mine to work with a wise and supportive board of deacons. And I could not have accomplished what the Spirit has led me to do without the dedicated, unified pastoral team and staff that God has surrounded me with.
As I have said many times, “This is not my church, and it’s not your church. It’s God’s church, and God is the one who is building it.” We are simply stewards of this amazing body. And, by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, we have done our best to be good and faithful servants. We are incredibly grateful to Good News for sharing the past twenty-two years with us. The Good News Church family has become our family.
Our last Sunday as lead pastors at Good News Church will be Sunday, September 9, 2018. Until then, I will be sharing more about the journey God has taken us on. I look forward to worshipping together and anticipating the great things God has in store for Good News Church.
In this season of change, fix your eyes on what has not changed. God has not changed. His mission for the church has not changed. His direction for Good News Church has not changed. It’s still time to “Go and Multiply.” During this time of transition, it would be tempting to move into maintenance mode. Don’t do it! Press into God! Press into the future! Be strong and very courageous and embrace the change He is bringing to Good News Church.
May God’s Kingdom come and God’s will be done on earth, here at Good News Church, as it is in heaven.
Pastor Walt and Kerrie
Letter from our Board of Deacons
Dear Good News Church,
As the board of deacons of Good News Church, we support Pastor Walt and Kerrie’s decision. We appreciate their commitment to hear from the Lord and must now press in together to do the same. In light of this, it is our desire to uniformly and diligently seek God throughout this transition.
Our By-Laws provide us with a process to work through over the next few weeks and months. This process is well defined, and we don’t take this task lightly. As He always has, the Lord is leading us through this and we will wait patiently on Him.
The first step is for us, the Deacon Board, to accept Pastor’s resignation, which we have done. Pastor Walt’s last official Sunday as our Lead Pastor will be September 9th, 2018.
The second step is to nominate an Interim Lead Pastor. The Interim Lead Pastor will act in the full capacity of our Lead Pastor until a Lead Pastor is elected. The Board nominated one individual and it is our honor to present to you, Good News Church, your Interim Lead Pastor—Pastor Rafael Aristy.
The third step is to begin the search for the next Lead Pastor for Good News Church. This process will be outlined in more detail to the congregation in the very near future. Our goal is to keep you well informed.
If you have any questions related to this process, please don’t hesitate to contact John Hudson, chairman of the pastoral search committee. John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good News Church
August 19, 2018